Two more deaths of Bastrop County residents due to COVID-19 reported last week.
County health authority Dr. Desmar Walkes and the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) were notified by the Texas Department of State Health Services about the death of a woman in her 50s from the Elgin area, according to information from the OEM released on Wednesday, July 8. This was the seventh death in Bastrop County due to COVID-19.
The second death reported last week was a woman in her 50s from the unincorporated area of the 78602 zip code, near Bastrop, according to the weekly report from the Bastrop County OEM posted to Facebook on Friday afternoon.
“We’re in that critical time when so many people have it now, that they’re going to expose other people, and our medical care facilities are getting close to capacity,” County Judge Paul Pape said during Monday’s commissioners court meeting. “We’re going to have to be a little more careful as we go forward.”
On Monday evening, three more deaths were reported on the Bastrop County COVID-19 dashboard, bringing the total to 11.
Bastrop County offers grants for county businesses
Last Wednesday, Bastrop County opened applications for grants intended for small businesses within the county’s jurisdiction, according to a press release from the county.
In order to assist with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bastrop County received $250,000 in funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Some of this money was set aside for the Bastrop County COVID-19 CARES Small Business Grant Program.
These grants are available to businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and are located within Bastrop County but outside the city limits of Bastrop, Elgin or Smithville. The Elgin Economic Development Corporation, the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation and the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce are administering their own grant programs for businesses in their respective cities.
The grant program will help small businesses continue their operations, retain employees and implement adjustments to sanitize their business and promote social distancing. Applicants can request funds of up to $15,000 for costs incurred between March 27 and September 30.
The application deadline is July 31, giving applicants about three weeks to apply. Grants will be processed and funded in the order they are received until the funds budgeted by the county are exhausted. Decisions will be made by a committee based on guidelines approved by the Bastrop County Commissioners Court.
Business owners may apply online at bccaresgrant.org, or pick up an application at various locations around the county and either submit their application in person at the Bastrop County Judge’s office or by mail to Bastrop County Judge’s Office ATTN: CARES grant, 804 Pecan Street, Bastrop TX 78602. Applications can be picked up at the Bastrop County Courthouse Annex security desk, Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, Elgin Chamber of Commerce, Smithville Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Creek Annex Building, Elgin Annex Building or Smithville Annex Building. For any questions, email cares. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bastrop County COVID-19 cases near 700
As of Monday evening, Bastrop County has confirmed 690 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the county’s dashboard.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reports that 160 people have recovered from the illness in Bastrop County.
At the same time last week, the county’s total number of cases was 520, with 159 recoveries.
Early last week, Bastrop County’s case count saw a significant increase; the number of confirmed cases rose by 137 between Monday, July 6 and Wednesday, July 8. According to a post from the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management last Wednesday, this spike is not solely due to an overall increase in the number of cases. The steep increase was caused by the Texas Department of State Health Services entering a backlog of cases into their database.
According to data from DSHS available on Monday, 52 percent, or 341, of the cases are in females, while 48 percent, or 309, are in males. Twenty-nine cases are children nine years old or younger, 48 cases are people between 10 and 19 years old, 139 cases are people in their 20s, 129 cases are people in their 30s, 97 cases are people in their 40s, 99 cases are people in their 50s, 68 cases are people in their 60s, 21 cases are people in their 70s, and 20 ases are people 80 years or older.
Out of the three cities in Bastrop County, Elgin still has the highest number of cases with 147 confirmed cases; Bastrop has 34 cases, and Smithville has 15 cases. The remaining 454 cases are from residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county.
Broken down by zip code, Elgin’s region has a total of 247 cases in Bastrop County, with 100 cases from the unincorporated part of the 78621 zip code area. According to the City of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, the portion of the 78621 zip code in Travis County has 117 cases.
The unincorporated portion of the 78602 zip code, which is the area surrounding the city of Bastrop, has 106 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 140 cases.
The unincorporated portion of the 78957 zip code, which is the area surrounding the city of Smithville, has 24 cases, bringing the total for that entire zip code to 39.
The rest of the cases in the unincorporated regions of the county are found in the following zip codes:
- 78612 (Cedar Creek): 104 cases
- 78616 (Dale): 32 cases within Bastrop County
- 78617 (Del Valle): 55 cases within Bastrop County
- 78650 (McDade): seven cases
- 78659 (Paige): 16 cases
- 78662 (Red Rock): seven cases
- 78953 (Rosanky): three 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 County.
As of Monday morning, the MSA has 434 inpatients in the region’s hospitals, with 151 patients in the intensive care units (ICU) and 87 ventilators in use.
Last week, 446 people were in the hospital as inpatients due to COVID-19, 137 patients were in the ICU and 72 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 June 28 at data.cms.gov.
On June 28, one more resident at Elgin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was confirmed to have COVID-19 for a total of 34 residents. No additional residents had died of COVID-19 during the week ending in June 28; four residents had died due to COVID-19 in total, according to the CMS data. No additional staff members have tested positive during the weeks ending on June 21 and June 28.
CMS also shows data for Silver Pines Nursing Home, Bastrop Lost Pines Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Bastrop Nursing Center in Bastrop and Towers Nursing Home in Smithville. As of July 28, none of these nursing homes had confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents, but one staff member each at Towers Nursing Home and Bastrop Nursing Center had tested positive during the week ending on July 21, the data shows.