The situation with regard to COVID-19 in Buda appears for the most part to be accelerating, according to the latest report from Mayor Lee Urbanovsky.
“January has started off kind of rough, in reality,” Urbanovsky said during the Jan. 19 City Council meeting. “Since Jan. 1 ... we have averaged 158 new cases a day. That’s for [Hays] County. For the city of Buda, in that same time frame, has gone from roughly 250 to 550 ... active cases.”
Urbanovsky said fatalities have gone up from 136 to 162 in that time frame.
“Our hospitals are over the 15% threshold,” he said. “We got as high as 19%, I think that was last Sunday ... then we’ve been bouncing around the 16% range since then.”
Buda must follow the current state restrictions imposed through Hays County, which went into effect Jan. 11 and are mandated by the area’s breach of the 15% hospitalization figure.
Under those guidelines, businesses in Trauma Services Area O, which includes all of Hays County and several others, with opening capacities of 75% were required to reduce capacity to 50%, and elective surgeries were put on hold, effective immediately.
Bars not operating as restaurants were also forced to close.
During his Jan. 19 update, Urbanovsky said he planned to update county officials on Buda’s situation Jan. 20 and stated Hays County is still waiting for an influx of COVID-19 vaccines since being designated a state vaccine hub Jan. 16.
In Buda, the Austin Regional Clinic, the Baylor Scott & White facility and the H-E-B grocery store will all be potential carriers of the vaccine at some point, Urbanovsky said, adding it is just a matter of when.
“The ‘at some point’ is the scary question mark,” he said. “The county is pushing and pushing and trying to get answers of when the [vaccine] rollout is, when the big push is coming. But I don’t think anybody has that information as of this moment, anyway.”
Congruent with the mayor’s assertion that county officials do not yet have adequate vaccine information, on Jan. 20, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra posted a Tweet that said simply, “FYI- no vaccines yet.”
FYI- no vaccines yet.
— Judge Ruben Becerra (@rubenbecerrasr) January 20, 2021
Urbanovsky ended his report on a positive note, stating that Hays County has been averaging 1,100 COVID-19 tests per day since Jan. 1.
“That’s good,” he said. “People are utilizing the testing facilities.”