WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX — Five Williamson County residents died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising the historical fatality count to 61, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Williamson County and Cities Health District officials are precluded from releasing identifying details related to the victims given patient privacy laws. The five succumbing to the respiratory illness were described generally as:
A man in his 50s.
A man in his 70s
A woman in her 70s.
A woman in her 80s.
A second woman in her 80s.
In response to an emailed question from Patch, Williamson County spokesperson Connie Odom confirmed the number of deaths reported Wednesday is the greatest number to occur in the county in a single day since the onset of illness.
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"Today, we learn the heartbreaking and somber news that five more residents have lost their fight to COVID-19," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said in a prepared statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and anyone else who is suffering due to this pandemic. The battle against this disease continues, which means we must remain vigilant and follow all preventative measures recommended by health officials to limit the spread of the virus. These steps are critical for our community, especially at this time when we are seeing the number of active cases growing rapidly each day.”
According to a statistical dashboard maintained by Williamson County and Cities Health District officials, the number of positive coronavirus cases since the onset of illness across the region has grown to 4,327. According to the dashboard, there are 1,113 active cases of the respiratory illness — for which there is no vaccine.
An estimated 3,153 patients across the county have recovered from the illness, according to the health district's dashboard. But now — amid the growing rates of illness and the continually changing permutations on how to measure illness recoveries — that figure is now in question, as a newly added notation on the dashboard indicates.
"Recoveries are not a reportable condition to Public Health, therefore, recovery data are not absolute and are to be used for estimating purposes only," a new note on the dashboard reads. "No trends or other inferences should be drawn from these data. The numbers posted represent a point in time snapshot and may fluctuate throughout the day. Deaths and recovered are included in the total positive cases. Hospital capacity data are only representative of the hospitals that have reported in the last 24 hours. These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time."
Health officials added they use HIPAA guidance from the Safe Harbor method to release information found in their report. Geographic units must contain more than 20,000 people in order to be individually listed, which is why health officials include an "other" category in ticking off the levels of illness concentrations in listing illness rates per Williamson County cities. Population estimates are used from www.census.gov last published date of July 1, 2018, health officials noted in their newly included dashboard disclaimer.
For more information on the latest COVID-19 cases count in Williamson County, visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) dashboard. The dashboard information is updated daily.
Those experiencing respiratory illness symptoms such as cough, fever and shortness of breath are urged to contact their health care providers. However, health officials stress the importance of calling ahead before arriving at a clinic, urgent care or emergency department to avoid potential spread.
See more information on the county's response to COVID-19.