Winter Storm Cleanup, COVID-19 hospitalizations noted by Lakeway mayor

As of March 4, Austin and Travis County COVID-19 dashboard shows area hospitalizations declining since a winter peak. Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox said it is currently unknown what effect vaccinations will have on the continued rate of decline in area hospitalizations. (Screenshot courtesy city of Austin/Travis County)
As of March 4, Austin and Travis County COVID-19 dashboard shows area hospitalizations declining since a winter peak. Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox said it is currently unknown what effect vaccinations will have on the continued rate of decline in area hospitalizations. (Screenshot courtesy city of Austin/Travis County)

As of March 4, Austin and Travis County COVID-19 dashboard shows area hospitalizations declining since a winter peak. Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox said it is currently unknown what effect vaccinations will have on the continued rate of decline in area hospitalizations. (Screenshot courtesy city of Austin/Travis County)

As of March 4, more than 16,300 Texas residents have applied for and received nearly $46.6 million in federal aid, according to an online report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The funds are for individuals to use for emergency repairs to their homes after the record-setting winter storm that covered much of the state in ice and snow in mid-February.

The FEMA website also reports the recovery effort in Texas continues and that those with damages to homes and property should seek out information at www.disasterassistance.gov.

Recovery from the storm also was the lead topic of Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox’s Facebook video update March 4. She said residents should visit the city’s website at www.lakeway-tx.gov to learn about city permits for repairs, how to avoid scams when working with contractors, and the need to help the Texas Division of Emergency Management survey damage across the state.

“I’m hopeful most everyone made it through OK,” she said. “We are now in the recovery phase of this. ... I hope you are well on your way to recovery, and we are here to help.”


During her video address, Cox also addressed the latest hospitalization numbers due to COVID-19. While showing those on the video call an online dashboard from Travis County, she said it took about two months in summer 2020 to climb down from a high of about 490 area hospitalizations to a low point in late September. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 began to climb once again in the fall and winter.

Currently, the state is moving down from January’s high of about 620 hospitalizations, according to Travis County data.

“If nothing is different, then I would expect in about two months from now, we will hit a low again in our community,” she said. “What we don’t know is the effect of the vaccine.”

The week of March 1, local vaccine providers were allotted 46,540 first-round doses.

Cox said residents should note recent developments as more people receive the vaccine in Texas. School teachers becoming eligible to be vaccinated, the large vaccination events planned for the Circuit of the Americas, a streamlined process for signing up with Austin Public Health, and the increasing availability of the vaccine at area pharmacies were all cited by Cox as notable developments.
By Greg Perliski

Editor, Lake Travis/Westlake & Northwest Austin

Greg joined Community Impact as an editor in November 2020. In the communities he covers, Greg reports on local government, transportation, real estate development and business. He has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. Greg earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.