“That’s staggering growth," Peña said, adding: "This is going to make it very likely that if you don’t know somebody already that has tested positive, it’s happening soon.”
While the 78660 ZIP code does not only include Pflugerville, Peña said its spike is on trend with similarly increasing new case counts and hospitalizations happening in Travis County and throughout Texas. Echoing concerns raised by Gov. Greg Abbott and Travis County officials earlier this week, Peña said the city needs to carefully watch the coming days and take action if these COVID figures continue on their current trends.
Council Member Rudy Metayer referred to the increases as "staggering," adding residents need to be especially cognizant of the science behind wearing masks, frequently washing hands and social distancing. In the midst of the pandemic, Pflugerville's sales tax revenue increased by nearly 17% year over year in April—a much welcomed anomaly, he said, to its financial standing when compared to neighboring communities.
The fiscal health of the city, Metayer said, is imperative, adding residents' adherence to social distancing provisions plays directly into the financial longevity and withstanding of the city.
“The only way this works for all of us is to have voluntary compliance with what is being represented with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines," Metayer said.
Mayor Victor Gonzales said that as the data changes day to day, city staff will closely watch data within the city's jurisdiction. He said Pflugerville's mirroring of both Travis County and the state's direction is a commitment the city has and continues to make, adding he is willing to take additional measures if needed.
He added that the city's adjusted Fourth of July celebration, in consideration of social distancing measures, is a necessary step in still allowing city celebrations to continue. Looking toward the coming months and the fall, Gonzales said the status of future events, festivals and congregations need to be evaluated extremely carefully—especially, he said, if public disregard for safety measures persist.
“You would think [safety measures] would be common sense, but I am not surprised by what I see," Gonzales said.