Williamson County adds 7 coronavirus-related deaths as case counts, hospitalizations continue to climb

See how COVID-19 is impacting Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
See how COVID-19 is impacting Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)

See how COVID-19 is impacting Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)

Williamson County reported 306 new coronavirus cases and seven new deaths Jan. 7, according to a Williamson County and Cities Health District report.

An additional backlog cases were also added to the count, bringing the total to 23,160. The total number of deaths is 221.

Due to the increase in cases, the WCCHD has asked that anyone who gathered or traveled during the holidays stay home for seven days, even if they receive a negative test for the coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive should isolate for 10 days to protect others from getting infected, it said.

The county also anticipates it will have to begin reducing businesses' permitted occupancy levels as early as Jan. 10 as the area’s hospitalization rate continues to climb.

“It has never been more crucial for us as a community to reduce the spread of this virus,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said in a Jan. 7 release. “We all must consistently follow the personal protective measures we have been emphasizing throughout the course of this pandemic.”

There are 163 patients hospitalized, with 60 patients in intensive care units and 35 on ventilators, in the county. The WCCHD also reported 20% of hospital beds, 8% of ICU beds and 54% of ventilators are available.

Counted deaths are of those who have COVID-19 listed as a direct cause of death on the death certificate. The total does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but died of an unrelated cause, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard. This method may delay reporting by weeks or even months due to paperwork, county health officials have said.

Williamson County continues to sit at the red level for coronavirus transmission risk. This is characterized by uncontrolled community spread, according to the WCCHD.

Of the total cases reported, 21,122 are estimated to have recovered, and there are an estimated 1,817 active cases. There are 2,924 total probable cases.

The current rolling seven-day positivity rate, or the rate at which tests for the coronavirus return positive, has dropped slightly to 15.96%.

Recoveries are not reported to the state’s contact tracing and data system; therefore, recovery information is not absolute and is to be used for estimating purposes only, according to the WCCHD website. No trends or other inferences should be drawn from this data, as the numbers posted represent a point-in-time snapshot and may fluctuate throughout the day, it said.

Total cases by cities of residence, including probable cases, according to the WCCHD, are as follows.

  • Austin: 1,724

  • Cedar Park: 2,291

  • Georgetown: 4,811

  • Hutto: 1,645

  • Leander: 1,755

  • Round Rock: 6,323

  • Other: 3,186

If the WCCHD is unable to confirm the city of residence after three attempts, the case is deemed “lost to follow-up” and is not included in the above count, officials said.

Here is a breakdown of deaths by city, according to the WCCHD.

  • Austin: 10

  • Cedar Park: 32

  • Georgetown: 48

  • Other: 41

  • Round Rock: 90

Officials said the county is not legally able to release the specific counts in cities with fewer than 20,000 residents. For more information, such as gender and age breakdowns, visit the county's dashboard.