COVID-19 Update
Governor Abbott announced this week that a new COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program recently launched for front line workers at some Texas small businesses. The program will help small businesses throughout the state conduct rapid tests on employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The pilot includes Chamber of Commerce organizations in regional hot spots, mainly in West Texas with plans to ramp up the program across the state. Click here to learn more.

There have been a total of 41,519 cumulative cases, which is up from 2,252 compared with the same time last week and 2,029 compared with the week before that. Here is a further breakdown of the numbers:

  • 3,091 this week
  • 2,507 last week
  • 2,559* week before last

LOCAL (78734, 78738, 78669 ZIP CODES)
  • 1,091 cumulative cases this week
  • 995 cumulative cases last week
  • 900* cumulative cases week before last

  • 243 this week
  • 219 last week
  • 218* week before last

  • 79 this week
  • 74 last week
  • 75* week before last

*means the totals do not include data from Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020 due to the Thanksgiving holiday

Click here to review the COVID-19 case dashboard, which includes an interactive map to see cases by your zip code. Click here for more details on hospitalizations.

Travis County is currently in Stage 4 on the risk-based guidelines. This level recommends businesses operate within a 25% to 50% capacity and those in a high-risk group limit gatherings to no more than two. Non-essential travel should also be avoided. Gatherings must still be no more than 10 individuals for other groups. Please continue to social/physical distance between individuals not in your household, and wash your hands regularly. Thank you for continuing to follow these guidelines during this unusual time.

Beware of Holiday Shopping Scams
The FBI is concerned there could be more potential victims of online holiday shopping scams this year due to the ongoing pandemic, with more people shopping online. There are particular issues to be aware of this time of year, including credit card fraud, non-delivery of products people have paid for and counterfeit items. According to the FBI's crime tracking database, non-payment or non-delivery scams cost people more than $196 million last year. Credit card fraud accounted for about $100 million in losses. One of the most important tips is to know who you are buying from, and do your research by verifying the company and checking out their reviews. Some other tips include:

  • Always check the website URL to make sure you're on a legitimate and secure site.
  • Never wire money to a seller.
  • Avoid paying for items with pre-paid gift cards, which happens when a seller asks you to send them a gift card number and PIN. In those cases, the scammer can steal the funds and never ship your item, making it difficult to get your money back.
  • Beware of phishing scams by avoiding clicking on unfamiliar links through email or text messages. If you click on a scammer's link, it could trick you into putting in personal identifying information that can be used against you, or potentially download dangerous malware on to your computer.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

For more safe holiday shopping advice, check out the FBI's latest podcast by clicking here.
Wildfire Prevention Advice & Projects
Even with the rains this morning, drought conditions continue in Central Texas with Travis County currently under a burn ban meaning outdoor burning is prohibited. It's important to make sure to take steps to protect your property from the potential for a fire. The City of Lakeway has several resources available on our website, including mitigation tactics, special videos and an opportunity to have a free home ignition zone assessment. Click here to learn more. If you're interested in receiving an assessment, contact Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Chris Rea at (512) 645-5840.

Additionally, Lake Travis Fire Rescue (LTFR) crews will continue wildfire mitigation work in Hamilton Greenbelt I starting next month. The project was approved by City Council and began in late 2019 to clear dead and downed brush and tree limbs in Hamilton Greenbelt I and Hamilton Greenbelt II. Wildfire mitigation work was delayed this year due to weather and a reduction of crew sizes during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 38% of the wildfire fuel reduction work has been completed in Hamilton Greenbelt I to date. It's anticipated the project for Hamilton Greenbelt I will be completed by August 2021, with continuation of cleanup efforts in Hamilton Greenbelt II throughout the remainder of the year. Click here to see the full presentation from this week's special City Council meeting.
NEW: Gingerbread House Decorating Competition

The Lakeway Parks & Recreation Department is launching a virtual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest starting next Monday. Gather your immediate household together to build a gingerbread house based on your personality and style. Then, take three photos from different angles and email your entry to Entries must be submitted by midnight on December 28 with winners announced on December 29. Click here for the details.
NEW: Tree Trimming Notification for PEC Customers

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) customers are being notified this month about a project to clear vegetation around electric lines, which will start in January. All customers whose trees may be trimmed for electric line clearance will receive a notice by letter or email in mid-December. Additionally, many of the trees under the power lines in the Hurst Creek Road Greenbelt will be trimmed or removed by PEC for truck access as well as wildfire safety. Click here for more information.
Nov. 20 - Jan. 3 @ DUSK