WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX — Health officials on Sunday said 51 additional cases of new coronavirus cases have been identified in Williamson County — a diagnoses spike that's more than double the increase recorded on Thursday, when the biggest single-day jump in cases was recorded.
The updated numbers bring the total count of illness to 262, according to health officials. To date, six Williamson County residents have died of the scourge even as 136 have recovered. Seven people are currently hospitalized, officials added.
Williamson County and Cities Health District officials attributed the exponential jump in cases to a cluster of respiratory illness detected at an unidentified nursging home located in the county.
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The spike in illness over the past 24 hours prompted Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell to urge residents to practice physical distancing protocols in maintaining at least a six-foot distance between people during essential outings. Although Gravell made no mention of wearing protective face coverings, their use also is recommended as a means to mitigate potential spread of illness.
"My fellow Williamson County residents," Gravell began in his statement. "In the last 10 days we have seen an increase of 78 percent in new cases. Let us redouble our efforts in social distancing and kindness during these next days." In his statement, Gravell did not define what he meant in suggesting practicing "kindness" as a tactic in averting illness spread.
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Additional COVID-19 deaths and cases will be reported on the dashboard located at www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/dashboard.php that is updated daily at around noon. Cases in "Other cities in Williamson County" column are a combined total that include cities with populations below 20,000 and unincorporated Williamson to protect the privacy of residents, health officials noted.
Those with symptoms of respiratory illness — including cough, fever and shortness of breath —are strongly urged to contact your health care provider. However, health officials stress the importance of caling ahead before arriving at a clinic, urgent care or emergency department to avoid potential illness spread.