On Friday, the Bastrop County Health Authority announced the third confirmed death in Bastrop County as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The individual was a 62-year-old man from Elgin, according to Friday’s press release from the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management. The two previous people who died from COVID-19 were a 58-year-old man from Elgin, reported on April 6, and a 56-year-old man from an unincorporated area of the county, reported on April 17.
“Know that the prayers of Bastrop County are with this family as they mourn their loss,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, the health authority for Bastrop County, in the statement. “We strongly recommend that all Bastrop County residents, workers, students and visitors take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19.
“As you know, we are gradually reopening our cities in accordance with Governor (Greg) Abbott’s recommendations and are slowly resuming our normal lives,” Walkes’ statement continued. “I think it is the right time to do this; however, as we move from crisis mode to sustained mitigation and management, we cannot become complacent. A strong economy is important, so reopening is necessary, but it is important we take on the personal responsibility to keep our families and loved ones safe by practicing social distancing, choosing to wear face coverings in public, and washing our hands often. Until we have a vaccine, we must learn to live with the threat of this disease and manage its spread through these simple actions.”
At the time of Friday’s announcement, Bastrop County had just hit 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 85 people had recovered. See below for the latest numbers.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to this gentleman’s family, friends and community,” said Christine Files, deputy director of the Office of Emergency Management and the director of the county’s Emergency Operations Center. “We are nowhere near the end of this crisis. It is important that we come together as neighbors and choose to change our behaviors for the public good.”
The statement encourages people to protect themselves and others by taking these preventative actions:
- Observe social distancing recommendations, especially in large gatherings
- Limit unnecessary trips
- Use face coverings, especially when social distancing is not an option
- Wash hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces
Emergency management official updates commissioners
During a regular meeting of the Bastrop County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, May 27, emergency management deputy director Christine Files provided an update on the county’s emergency operations center.
May 27 was the 72nd day of the county’s response to COVID-19, Files began. As of that day, the county’s COVID-19 testing site had performed 1,036 tests. The prevalence study conducted in late April, the testing done at nursing homes, and the mobile testing sites brought to Elgin and Smithville in early May bring the total tests done by the county to 1,493. More places in the county are offering tests for both the virus and antibodies, Files said, so the number of tests being performed at the county’s testing site are beginning to decline.
The county’s COVID-19 hotline, which provides general information about COVID-19, continues to stay busy, Files said; the call center had answered a total of 1,525 calls by last Tuesday. The hotline can be reached at 512-303-4300 and is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
On May 11, Governor Abbott directed state agencies to test all residents and staff in Texas nursing homes. Files said they should hear more information about this testing that day, and the testing should take place in about two weeks.
Files also shared information about the severe weather in the area over Memorial Day weekend. She said Bastrop County experienced only a couple of downed trees and no flooded roads.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate,” Files said.
She added that, if the storms on Saturday had occurred five miles further east, the situation in Bastrop County could have been different.
“Thankfully that did not occur, but we were ready for it if it would have,” she said.
Bastrop County reports 211 cases, with over a third recovered
As of Monday at noon, Bastrop County has confirmed 211 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the county’s dashboard.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reports that 85 people have recovered from the illness in Bastrop County.
Last Monday, the county’s total number of cases was 173, with 53 recoveries.
According to data from DSHS, 52 percent, or 104, of the cases are in females, while 48 percent, or 102, are in males. Eight cases are children nine years old or younger, 12 cases are people between 10 and 19 years old, 33 cases are people in their 20s, 46 cases are people in their 30s, 36 cases are people in their 40s, 39 cases are people in their 50s, 28 cases are people in their 60s, five cases are people in their 70s, and four cases are people 80 years or older.
Out of the three cities in Bastrop County, Elgin still has the highest number of cases with 63 confirmed cases; Bastrop has five cases, and Smithville has nine cases. The remaining 134 cases are from residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county.
Broken down by zip code, Elgin’s region has a total of 90 cases in Bastrop County, with 27 cases from the unincorporated part of the 78621 zip code area. According to the City of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, the 78621 zip code has an additional 29 cases in Travis County.
The unincorporated portion of the 78602 zip code, which is the area surrounding the city of Bastrop, has 27 cases. This area includes the Camp Swift and Lake Bastrop regions. Including the cases within the city limits, the 78602 zip code has a total of 32 cases.
The unincorporated portion of the 78957 zip code, which is the area surrounding the city of Smithville, has eight cases, bringing the total for that entire zip code to 17.
The rest of the cases in the unincorporated regions of the county are found in the following zip codes:
- 78612 (Cedar Creek): 34 cases
- 78616 (Dale): ten cases within Bastrop County
- 78617 (Del Valle): 21 cases within Bastrop County
- 78650 (McDade): three cases
- 78659 (Paige): four cases
See the latest numbers at www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus.
The city of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, found at www.austintexas.gov/covid19, 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 counties.
As of Monday morning, the MSA has 83 inpatients in the region’s hospitals, with 35 patients in the intensive care units (ICU) and 18 ventilators in use.
Last week, 90 people were in the hospital as inpatients due to COVID-19, 42 patients were in the ICU and 25 ventilators were in use.