In her weekly COVID-19 update via Facebook Live, Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox spent the most time explaining Gov. Greg Abbott’s new executive orders, which were issued last week.
Cox said GA 31 now allows hospitals to perform elective surgeries, effective immediately, as long as hospitals reserve 10% of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
Abbott’s GA 30 order is “much more extensive,” Cox said. The state will now use hospitalizations, instead of positive tests, as the primary metric for determining the pandemic’s effect on a community.
Under the new order, if an area’s hospitalizations are 15% or below the hospital’s capacity, the community expand capacity from 50% to 75% for retail, restaurants, office buildings, museums, libraries and gyms. Social distancing and sanitation rules remain the same.
Any gathering of 10 or more remains prohibited unless a mayor or judge allows it to occur.
Bars remain closed unless there is drive-thru, delivery or pickup service. If a bar legally shifts to become a restaurant, it can reopen.
People are also now able to visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Cox said.
Cox stated that businesses that will receive aid from Travis County will be announced next week. According to Cox, of the 47 eligible businesses in Lakeway, 16 have been deemed eligible, and 21 have been placed on the waiting list. The eligible businesses will be able to submit receipts to the county for reimbursement. Cox estimated the total for each business to be up to $40,000.
Cox also reminded voters that the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5 and that the city has seven proposed charter amendments on the ballot.
Cox said the start time for her weekly broadcast, which began after coronavirus began to take hold locally in March, will be changed next week. Due to school being back in session, she said, some residents are finding it difficult to view the 4 p.m. broadcast. The new time will be announced next week, she said.
Cox began her broadcast by remembering Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, who die Sept. 18.
“For 27 years, she wrote and pushed through groundbreaking legislature,” she said.