Roundup: Find March 30-April 5 coronavirus updates for the Cedar Park, Leander area here

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Note: Check back for updates related to the coronavirus that are impacting Cedar Park and Leander.

Update: 8:55 a.m. April 3

The city of Leander has created a webpage listing Leander restaurants and what services are being offered, according to a news release.

Community Impact Newspaper has created a restaurant and retail map for Cedar Park and Leander.

Update: 2:45 p.m., April 1

Yard waste pickup for Leander customers will resume as of April 1, according to the city of Leander. Regular trash and recycling pickup will continue as normal.

Yard waste collection was suspended on March 23 to minimize COVID-19 exposure risk for customers and employees, according to a public statement from Al Clawson Disposal Inc. The suspension was expected to last four weeks.

Up to five bags may be left outside the waste container, and bags should not weigh more than 35 pounds, according to the city.

Update: 12:50 p.m. April 1

Rock & Rolls Sushi Lounge, at 1850 S. Lakeline Blvd., Ste. 201, in Cedar Park, is giving away free sack lunches to local children, according to general manager Bobby Joe Hernandez.

The giveaways will take place at noon Tuesday-Friday until lunches run out.

Leander ISD on weekdays continues to provide free breakfast and lunch pickups at four campuses.

Rock & Rolls is also offering curbside takeout from a select menu from 1-8 p.m., according to Hernandez. For more information, call the restaurant at 512-649-2222.

Update: 2:40 p.m., March 31

In a new executive order, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that Texas public schools remain closed through May 4, he said during a 2 p.m. press conference.

Update: 1:15 p.m., March 31

Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24-hour statewide mental health support line for Texans undergoing stress or anxiety as a result of coronavirus concerns, according to a news release.

Operated by the Harris Center for Mental Health and the state's Intellectual and Developmental Disability office, the support line offers confidential counseling at no cost to pcallers.

Available everyday, the toll-free line is 833-986-1919.

Update: 9:35 a.m., March 31

Leander City Council will meet by teleconference on April 2 to discuss Leander business grants, the Horizon Lake development and capital improvement projects.

City council may create a COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program, which benefits Leander businesses affected financially by coronavirus. The program would aid with personnel costs, rent, utilities and other costs.

According to the program’s draft ordinance, businesses with gross receipts below $150,000 in the prior year would receive a $1,500 grant, and businesses with greater gross receipts would receive $3,000.

The city’s total funds available in the program is $208,000, which comes from the Old Town Grant Program.

Each business must meet all guidelines within the ordinance and apply by Sept. 30 or before all funding has been used.

Also during the April 2 meeting, city council will choose to approve the zoning ordinance and developer agreement for the Horizon Lake Planned Unit Development/Transit Oriented Development.

A public hearing for 7.35 acres near West Broade Street and Hero Way West will not occur as the applicant withdrew the zoning request. According to the applicant's withdrawal letter, 153 signed neighborhood petitions were submitted to the city, and 151 were against the zoning changes.

City staff will also present an update on Fiscal Year 2020 Capital Improvement Projects.

Update: 2 p.m., March 30

On March 26, Leander Mayor Troy Hill ordered the city to reduce regulations for business signs and broaden local critical infrastructure construction to include residential and commercial development.

These changes will be effective through April 18. Signs will not require a local permit during this time if in compliance with the order, according to a March 16 release.

According to the Leander order, signs that advertise an essential business, as defined in the Travis County and Williamson County stay-at-home orders, must be located in the right of way, not exceed 3 feet in height, must be temporary, must be at least 5 feet from street pavement and follow additional conditions in the order.

"These actions should allow more flexibility in the promotion of essential business services, especially for our restaurants," Hill said in the release. "But we also have to do more. I am considering a variety of other actions as well."

Leander City Council will meet April 2, and additional actions will be considered.
By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in Feb. 2020. She covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils.
By Brian Perdue
Brian Perdue is the editor of the Cedar Park-Leander edition of Community Impact Newspaper. A native of Virginia's Appalachian Mountains, he has been a journalist since 1992, living and working in Virginia, Washington D.C., Hawaii's Big Island, Southern California and Florida before moving to Austin in 2019.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.


COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
88 new coronavirus cases in Travis County on June 1 set single-day high

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro.

Richard Rhodes, the president and CEO of Austin Community College, said June 1 that the district is prioritizing the hiring of a new chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
Austin Community College prioritizing hiring equity officer despite ongoing hiring freeze

The district brought up the hiring during a discussion about protests and demonstrations that have taken place over the past weekend.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

Williamson County reported 34 additional cases between May 30 and June 1. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
OVER THE WEEKEND: 34 new cases of coronavirus, additional death reported in Williamson County

Currently, 10 patients are hospitalized, and four are in intensive care, per the report.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster in Texas on May 31, while various city officials and law enforcment responded to protests and violence over the weekend.

A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)
Group of 16 Travis County mayors signs letter requesting $23M in county COVID-19 relief funds

City leaders in Travis County, from Bee Cave to manor, have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting more than $23 million in federal coronavirus relief funds be released to 21 municipalities as soon as possible.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the Texas Capitol on Sunday, May 31, to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell speaks on George Floyd, Austin protests

“I think like everyone else, I was horrified [by Floyd’s] death," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

Leander ISD is holding an online survey so LISD stakeholders may “share ideas, concerns, and thoughts regarding our starting school” Aug. 13. (Community Impact staff)
Leander ISD online survey seeks feedback from families regarding August reopening

Leander ISD is holding an online survey so LISD stakeholders may “share ideas, concerns, and thoughts regarding our starting school” Aug. 13.

There have been 1,168 coronavirus recoveries in the county since mid-March, and active cases in Travis County are estimate at 2,011. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Weekend update: Austin metro coronavirus hospitalizations drop to lowest level since April 28

There have been 1,168 coronavirus recoveries in the county since mid-March, and active cases in Travis County are estimate at 2,011.

Candidates in the Senate District 14 special election responded to Community Impact Newspaper's questions about their campaigns to fill the vacant seat in the Texas Senate. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Senate District 14 candidates discuss the issues ahead of July 14 election

There are six candidates running in the special election to fill the seat of former Sen. Kirk Watson through 2022.

Travis County judge pushes back against attorney general's reprimand of stay-at-home order

Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe responded to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's warning that county coronavirus orders conflicted with the state's.

Hill Country Community Ministries' Thrift Store reaches first anniversary in Leander

The thrift store supports Hill Country Community Ministries, a local food pantry and resource center that serves parts of Williamson and Travis counties.