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Elgin library, rec center begin to reopen

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    This graph, released on Tuesday, September 29, shows the daily number of COVID-19 cases over the last two months. Image courtesy of Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management
  • Article Image Alt Text
    As of Wednesday morning, 1,832 cases have been reported in Bastrop County. View the dashboard at www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus.

The Elgin City Council heard an update on the city’s operations in light of COVID-19 during their meeting last Tuesday.

Instead of meeting exclusively virtually, the city council now meets either virtually or in-person on a case-by-case basis. The council held their first in-person meeting since going virtual on September 1, but the meeting is still livestreamed on YouTube. Other groups, such as the planning commission, are still meeting virtually, but want to return to in-person meetings, city manager Thomas Mattis said.

The Elgin Public Library has been closed to the public, but offers a sidewalk delivery program. Last week, the library reopened its computer stations and study rooms for people to use by appointment. Beginning on October 13, the library plans to reopen to the public with a maximum of 25 patrons allowed in the building at one time, Mattis said.

The Elgin Recreation Center is now fully open, but only with reservations.

“Those are both small steps forward that we’re taking to getting back to where we were,” Mattis said. “If things continue along the same pattern they are, we’ll begin to think about fully reopening in the next 30 days or so, if we’re all comfortable with that.”

The municipal court is also getting ready to try and start a modified opening, Mattis said.

“We’re gently moving that way; at the same time, this is always, as it has been from the beginning, about public confidence and public safety,” he said. “We don’t have a magic wand, and we welcome input and suggestions from the council and people about where we head on this.”

COVID-19 cases: 152 active, 1,637 recovered

As of Monday afternoon, Bastrop County has confirmed a total of 1,818 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the county’s dashboard.

So far, 1,637 people have recovered from the illness in Bastrop County, leaving 152 active cases.

At the same time last week, the county’s total number of cases was 1,789, with 1,578 recoveries and 183 active cases.

The dashboard reports one more COVID-19 fatality, bringing the number of deaths in Bastrop County due to the illness to 29.

According to the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management’s weekly update last Tuesday, the county’s two community testing sites in Bastrop and Elgin performed 121 between September 15 and September 21. The positivity rate for tests conducted at these sites increased to 8.6% last week.

“This increase was not unexpected with the Labor Day holiday and schools reopening and sports starting back,” last week’s post said. Let’s all continue to do our part to keep these numbers down. Wearing masks is making a difference!”

For more information about receiving a test at one of these county testing sites, visit www.bastropcountycovid19.org or call 512-972-5560.

For the latest update, posted each Tuesday, visit @BastropCountyOEM on Facebook.

According to the City of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, found at www.austintexas.gov/covid19, the portion of the 78621 zip code in Travis County has reported 204 cases so far.

The City of Austin dashboard also includes information about hospitalized patients in the five-county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), in addition to the case numbers for Austin and Travis County. The MSA includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson County.

As of Monday afternoon, the MSA has 84 inpatients in the region’s hospitals, with 24 patients in the intensive care units (ICU) and 16 ventilators in use.

Last week, 79 people were in the hospital as inpatients due to COVID-19, 26 patients were in the ICU and 15 ventilators were in use.

In May, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began gathering and reporting data from nursing homes about the number of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 in residents and staff. As of Monday, data was available through the week ending on September 13 at data.cms.gov.

Since August 2, the Elgin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has reported no new confirmed COVID-19 cases or deaths among residents or staff members. A total of 36 residents and 17 staff members have been confirmed with COVID-19 over the 17 weeks of data reported so far, and six residents have died due to the virus.

In early September, Elgin ISD launched a school district dashboard of daily reported COVID-19 cases by campus, found online at www.elginisd.net/ Page/6358. On September 21, one staff member at Elgin High School, Phoenix High School or Early College High School tested positive for COVID-19. This is the third case at Elgin ISD in September; previously, one case in a staff member at Elgin Elementary School was reported on September 2, while another case in a staff member at Elgin High School, Phoenix High School or Early College High School was reported on September 16.