7:50 PM Jul 29, 2020 CDT

Williamson County sees highest number of new daily coronavirus cases in past 11 days July 29

The WCCHD also reported 22% of hospital beds, 11% of ICU beds and 68% of ventilators are available.

Williamson County and Cities Health District issues statement on school reopenings

Health District officials said remote or virtual learning carries the least risk for the spread of COVID-19 due to reduced social contact.

First probable case of West Nile Virus in two years confirmed in Travis County

This is the first time a resident in Travis County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus since 2018. Williamson County has not had a human case since 2017.

Texas' freestanding emergency centers ask state for flexibility during coronavirus pandemic

The requested changes would help freestanding emergency centers relieve overcrowding at hospitals and reduce the cost of coronavirus testing at their facilities, according to the Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers.

After serving over 190K meals, Leander ISD drive-thru program ends July 31

Leander ISD’s free meal drive-thru program—quickly created to address student nutrition with minimal contact after the coronavirus suddenly closed schools in March—will conclude July 31.

Texas Dept. of State Health Services now using death certificates to count COVID-19 fatalities

This change standardizes death reporting across the state but will cause the number of deaths on the Williamson County dashboard to be out of sync with the Texas DSHS count until the WCCHD fully transitions to the DSHS reporting method, which will happen later this week.

American Federation of Teachers releases resolution supporting 'safety strikes' as 2020-21 school year approaches

According to AFT President Randi Weingarten, the ability for schools to reopen safely hinges on the federal government as state budgets continue to get slashed amid the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo rescheduled to 2021

Previously scheduled for Oct. 22-24, 2020, the fair and rodeo will debut Oct. 21-23, 2021.

Some breweries may qualify to operate as restaurants under new TABC guidelines

Some breweries across the state may now reopen as restaurants after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission released new guidelines on how restaurants may calculate their alcohol sales receipts.

Attorney General Ken Paxton: Decision to close schools lies with school districts, not health officials

The Texas Education Agency said July 28 it will follow the guidance laid out by Attorney General Ken Paxton and will not allow schools to close in-person instruction based solely on a blanket order from a local health authority.

Deadline extended for program providing grocery help for Texas families

Families have until Aug. 21 to apply for the program that provides a one-time payment of $285 per child to help those who lost access to free and reduced-priced meals when schools closed.

New Chaparral Ice location to open Aug. 1 in Cedar Park with free skating

Chaparral Ice—the anchor tenant of The Crossover sports/retail complex in Cedar Park—plans to open Aug. 1

'Things are different this year': Amid COVID-19, Williamson County tees up fiscal year 2020-21 budget cycle

“I appreciate the fact that we have a lot of question marks in the future, and I think we need to be smart about that and we need to be prudent about that," Commissioner Valerie Covey said.

Cedar Park road projects see mixed funding outcomes

While some projects are moving forward with city-county agreements, others are delayed with deferred funding. The 183A Toll frontage roads are one critical project going forward.

My Steel Magnolia in Leander creates warm, friendly space for shoppers

My Steel Magnolia, which reaches its one-year anniversary July 29, sells clothing with inclusive sizing, a broad gift selection and a cannabidiol product line.

Austin moves forward with phased-in Project Connect plan, including $300 million to prevent displacement

Austin City Council could officially call the election sometime between Aug. 12 and 14 to put Project Connect on the fall ballot.

OVER THE WEEKEND: Williamson County adds 163 coronavirus cases, 9 deaths

Of the total cases, 4,680 have recovered, and there are 587 active cases.

Cedar Park City Council calls special meeting to discuss Council Member Kelly

Cedar Park City Council will discuss violations from Council Member Tim Kelly at a July 30 meeting.

Gov. Greg Abbott waives grade promotion requirement for STAAR testing for middle school students

While students will still receive an A-F rating, the test will no longer determine whether they can graduate.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission to post COVID-19 cases, deaths from nursing homes, assisted living centers

The data will be from state-supported living centers, state hospitals, and state-licensed nursing and assisted living facilities.