Update: Statement given from Baylor Scott & White Health on the status of vaccinations
Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox told her constituents during a video address Dec. 17 that her sister’s fiance is currently in a hospital ICU battling COVID-19.
She said she was passing on this personal information as an appeal for people to continue practicing safe behaviors as the numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Texas and in Travis County.
“COVID-19 is not a hoax,” she said. “I want you to know that it’s real, and you don’t know how it’s going to affect you.”
She said her sister’s fiance has been in the hospital for 12 days. Her sister also contracted the virus but has experienced mild symptoms, such as headache and nasal congestion.
“We don’t know when he’s coming out of the ICU, and I don’t want that to happen to any other family,” she said. “So please wear a mask. Please socially distance. It’s real. It’s not a hoax.”
More than 9,500 Texans were known to be hospitalized with the virus as of Dec. 16, the highest number recorded since late July.
As of the afternoon of Dec. 17, Austin Public Health reported 309 area hospitalizations with 96 people in intensive care units.
In a presentation earlier this week to the Travis County Commissioners Court, Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin-Travis County health authority, said active coronavirus cases are up by 45% since Dec. 1, and hospitalizations and ICU admissions are up by 28% and 13%, respectively.
The region around Lakeway has seen a total of 1,200 cases as of Dec. 17, Cox said.
Cox also said Austin and Travis County extended orders requiring face coverings, social distancing, limited gatherings and other safety measures through Feb. 16.
Those orders, which were initially set to expire Dec. 15, also limit social gatherings of people outside the same household to 10 people or fewer. However, Cox said people tend to relax their precautions in their own home, which can lead to cases of COVID-19 transmission among family members.
“So I really just encourage you to be very careful and limit who you interact with over this holiday season,” she said.
Cox opened her video address by discussing the arrival to the local area of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Lakeway is scheduled to receive a shipment of the vaccine this week, she said. Vaccinations are being prioritized based on risk for contracting the virus that causes COVID-19.
Baylor Scott & White Health system reports that its front-line health workers in Round Rock are now receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, and updates are pending for its location in Lakeway.