UPDATED: Cities of Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto close public facilities to curb spread of coronavirus

Here are what local institutions are doing about the coronavirus. (Rendering courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Here are what local institutions are doing about the coronavirus. (Rendering courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Here are what local institutions are doing about the coronavirus. (Rendering courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Local governments announced the week of March 16 an array of preventative measures in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, including temporary closures of city facilities, changes in trash collection services and more.

Pflugerville

Pflugerville announced in a March 17 news release it has restricted public access to Pflugerville City Hall, Pflugerville Justice Center and Pflugerville Development Services to assist with social distancing practices, effective March 18. The facilities will remained closed through March 31, per the release.

  • UPDATE: City of Pflugerville staff are now accepting customer calls between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 512-990-6100. Residents can also utilize the city's online chat service at www.pflugervilletx.gov/virus.

  • UPDATE: Bulk trash pickup has been limited, with waste and recyclables limited to only items within carts, city staff confirmed March 26. Pflugerville's curbside limb and brush chipping has been temporarily suspended due to city staff scaling back operations as a result of COVID-19. Pflugerville's Building Inspections staff have made temporary changes to its service calls, with activities performed outside set to continue. These continued services include reconnection of utility service for gas, electric or water, solar inspections and swimming pool inspections. Suspended inspections include mechanical and HVAC change outs, hot water heaters and residential remodels or additions. Planning and Engineering applications for zoning, subdivision, construction plans and site development are now accepted online.

  • UPDATE: Travis County issued a stay in place order on March 24, effective at 11:59 p.m. The order aims to limit travel, activity and business functions to only essential services and ask all non-essential workers to stay home and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. There have been no confirmed cases in Pflugerville as of March 24, but all entities within Travis County are asked to stay home and practice social distancing—maintaining six feet between you and other people—when outside of one's residence.

  • UPDATE: Pflugerville announced in a March 22 news release it has closed all playscapes, pavilions and sport courts within city parks until further notice to enhance social distancing measures. The city trails system will remain open for use "within the current permitted constraints of social and physical distancing, up to 10 people," per the release.

  • UPDATE: Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales issued a Declaration of Public Health Emergency on March 19 amid the coronavirus pandemic, as announced in a March 19 city news release. The declaration will remain in place for up to seven days, with Pflugerville City Council having the option to extend its timespan, per the release. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pflugerville, but the declaration allows the city to receive state and federal assistance in its disaster recovery efforts, per the release.

  • UPDATE: Beginning March 23 the city’s solid waste service provider will temporarily limit residential trash and recycling collection. Waste Collection will only pick up items within bins, and will temporarily suspend residential bulk and brush collection services, per a March 19 announcement. Any bags or bundles placed outside of carts will not be collected. These changes in service are anticipated to last through May 1.

  • UPDATE: Pflugerville City Hall and the Utility Billing Lobby is closed. However, customer service is available online. Per the latest Travis County order, utility cutoffs or charged late fees on water, sewer or garbage bills will not be administered through May 1.

  • UPDATE: The Pflugerville Animal Welfare Services is temporarily closed through at least March 31. PAWS will still care for animals in the shelter, and for loose animals found with services needed, city staff ask that residents call 512-990-7387.

  • UPDATE: The Pflugerville Recreation Center is temporarily closed through at least March 31. All activities, meetings and programs at the Pflugerville Recreation Center are canceled for the foreseeable future, and the center's facilities have been closed. Reservations for parks and related facilities are canceled through May 1.

  • UPDATE: The Pflugerville Public Library is temporarily closed through at least March 31. Pflugerville Public Library patrons may hold on to borrowed items through April 13 and reserves will be held through April 20.

  • UPDATE: The Pflugerville Municipal Court is temporarily closed through at least March 31. Municipal Court hearings, cases and services have been suspended indefinitely, per the release.


Pflugerville Community Development Corp. also announced in a March 16 news release to its business partners that its office would be closed to the public until further notice. PCDC personnel will work from home and will continue conducting its work through email, video and conference calls, per the release.

For additional information from the city regarding coronavirus, click here.

Round Rock


The city of Round Rock will temporarily close several public facilities, Mayor Craig Morgan announced March 16.

  • UPDATE: Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell issued a "Stay Home Stay Safe" order for all Williamson County residents, effective at 11:59 p.m. March 24 through 11:59 p.m. on April 13. As part of the order, all non-essential businesses are required to close, leaving hospitals, fire departments, law enforcement and essential businesses—grocery stores, carryout and delivery restaurants along with pharmacies, to name a few—open for operations. As of noon on March 24, there are 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Williamson County, with three in Round Rock.

  • UPDATE: The Round Rock Public Library temporarily closed March 17. The outside book drop remains open at this time.

  • UPDATE: The Allen R. Baca Center for Senior and Community Activities temporarily closed March 18. This closure also includes the suspension of meal service at the Baca Center. According to the release, the meal service providers that operate out of the Baca Center are coordinating options for alternative pickup or delivery for clients.

  • UPDATE: The Clay Madsen Recreation Center temporarily closed March 18.

  • UPDATE: The Round Rock Sports Center and Round Rock Multipurpose Complex temporarily closed March 18.

  • UPDATE: All lobbies of all city facilities temporarily closed to walk-in traffic on March 19. Some business may continue to be conducted in city facilities on a limited, appointment-only basis, according to a March 18 announcement.


“We believe the changes we are taking today strike the difficult balance between maintaining basic operations while lessening the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus,” Morgan said in the release. “As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, I want our citizens to know we take this public health threat seriously and are taking appropriate actions."

Utility disconnects for non-payments are suspended until April 6, according to the announcement, although bills will remain payable. At this time, residents can pay utility bills at the lobby in City Hall; however, residents are encouraged to pay bills online, over the phone or at a city-operated 24-hour deposit box.

“This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and we will remain vigilant as we deal with this challenging issue," Morgan said. "Please continue to do what you can to keep yourself and your family healthy, and we’ll do what we can do as your local government to help responsibly prevent the spread of infection.”

The city is prepared to issue a local disaster declaration, Morgan said, should local effects of the virus unfold.

For additional information from the city regarding coronavirus, click here.

Hutto

The city of Hutto issued a declaration of disaster on March 16 in order to "take additional steps to prepare for, respond and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COV-19) to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Hutto," as announced in a March 16 news release.

  • UPDATE: The city of Hutto announced March 24 that all park pavilions, sport courts, drinking fountains and public restrooms are closed until further notice, as written in a March 24 Facebook post. Open spaces within the parks, trail systems and fishing at Hutto Lake Park are still open for public use.

  • UPDATE: Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell issued a "Stay Home Stay Safe" order for all Williamson County residents, effective at 11:59 p.m. March 24 through 11:59 p.m. on April 13. As part of the order, all non-essential businesses are required to close, leaving hospitals, fire departments, law enforcement and essential businesses—grocery stores, carryout and delivery restaurants along with pharmacies, to name a few—open for operations. As of noon on March 24, there are 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Williamson County.

  • UPDATE: City Hall is closed indefinitely, per a March 18 announcement. At this time, business with city staff will be conducted by email or phone at 512-759-4033.

  • UPDATE: The Hutto Public Library is closed through the end of March.

  • UPDATE: Hutto City Council will still host its regularly scheduled meeting on March 19, via livestream. Public comments can be submitted to city staff by emailing comments@huttotx.gov.

By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.


MOST RECENT

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.

Take a look at how coronavirus impacted Williamson County this week. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Take a look at how coronavirus impacted Williamson County this week

The county reported 596 total cases on May 29.

The Williamson County small-business grant program has issued more than $18.5 million as of May 29. (Ali Linan/Community Impact)
Williamson County small-business grant program issues more than $18.5 million

The program has aided more than 1,600 local businesses.

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported eight new cases of coronavirus May 29, bringing the county total to 596. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
1 death and 8 new confirmed cases of coronavirus reported May 29 in Williamson County

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported the total number of cases at 596.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
New school schedules and a road opening: Latest news from Central Texas

Read the latest news from Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of the Central Texas area.

Alongside its staples such as Hawaiian Shave Ice and gourmet sodas, Urban Sips   Sweets has added salted caramels and frosted sugar cookies to its 2020 menu. (Courtesy Urban Sips   Sweets)
Urban Sips + Sweets in Hutto to reopen May 30 for summer season, featuring new menu items

Alongside its staples such as Hawaiian Shave Ice and gourmet sodas, Urban Sips + Sweets has added salted caramels and frosted sugar cookies to its 2020 menu.

The city-owned water park reopened May 30 for its summer 2020 season, complete with social distancing-friendly safety measures. (Courtesy Rock'N River Waterpark)
6 activities and events to do in Round Rock, Pflugerville from May 30-June 6

From splashing around in Round Rock’s water park to attending a virtual history lesson on the Women’s Suffrage Movement, here are 6 things to do and see from May 30-June 6.

"With summer camp 2020 canceled, summer camp 2021 will be the best one yet," Recreation Program Coordinator Daulton Mobley said. (Courtesy Pflugerville Parks and Recreation)
Pflugerville's Summer Pfun Camp 2020 canceled due to coronavirus concerns

"With summer camp 2020 canceled, summer camp 2021 will be the best one yet," Recreation Program Coordinator Daulton Mobley said.

A photo of the Travis County headquarters sign
Austin Public Health officials say they plan to increase support to Latino community, where coronavirus hospitalizations are up

As of May 26, 76 Hispanic individuals in Travis County were hospitalized with COVID-19, representing around 78% of all hospitalizations.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Travis County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
92nd coronavirus death reported in Travis County

Active hospitalizations in the metropolitan area dropped from 97 to 88 over the past 24 hours.

DATA: Parents, students, staff share feedback on Round Rock ISD online learning

Should schools reopen in the fall, 63% of parents who responded to the survey said they would be comfortable with their children returning to campus.