COVID-19 Update: Cases & Hospitalizations Up This Week
Travis County extended the county-wide COVID-19 Order this week, now in effect through August 15. The Order notes that individuals over the age of 10 leaving their residence should wear a face covering over their nose and mouth. Additionally, people should not be in groups larger than 10 and should continue to maintain social distancing from those not in their household. While face coverings are not mandatory per the Governor's Order, both the Governor's Order and County Order encourage individuals to wear one in public in order to help limit the spread of the virus, while also maintaining proper social distancing guidelines.

Additionally, a Travis County supplemental Order was signed yesterday for businesses. All commercial entities in Travis County providing goods and services to the public must develop and implement a health and safety policy. The policy must outline at a minimum that all employees and visitors wear face coverings. Failure to develop and implement the policy by June 23, 2020 may result in a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation, according to the Order. Also, individuals at outdoor gatherings in excess of 500 people are required to wear face coverings, except as otherwise exempted under the Governor's Orders. Click here to review the Order, including a sample health and safety policy.

While there were no new updated State Orders about the re-opening of businesses announced this week, per the Governor's most recent Order, today amusement parks and carnivals are allowed to begin operation at 50% capacity for those counties with more than 1,000 cumulative cases, which does include Travis County.

Earlier this week, the Governor addressed the increased number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state. In the Central Texas area, it was noted that 28% of hospital beds are still available in the region. There were 910 total beds available according to the report, and a total of 1,449 hospital surge beds available in Central Texas if needed. At last update, there were 173 individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 in our five-county area, including Travis County.

Wednesday of this week saw the highest reported number of cases of COVID-19 in a single day, at 220 county-wide. Austin Public Health is in the process of updating their reporting dashboard, so we do not have updated numbers from yesterday to report. At the most recent update on Wednesday night, there have been a total of 4,991 cases in Travis County. That number is up by 753 compared to this same time last week ( please note: this number does not include one day's worth of data that would have normally been released last night ), 676 the week before that and 438 the week before that one. Click here for more details and to view the tracking tool ( which may still be in the process of updating ). The tracking tool includes an interactive map to see cases by your zip code.

Please continue to wash your hands regularly, practice social distancing, and while it's not mandatory to wear face coverings (except now for certain businesses), it's still strongly encouraged in public. Thank you for helping keep our community safe during this difficult and unusual time.




Small Business Grant Program Available
If you're a business affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, this could be your chance at some available grant money. Travis County (TCTX) Thrive is a new small business program offering grants of up to $40,000 to qualifying businesses that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A pre-application eligibility questionnaire is now available to fill out online. Deadline for small businesses to fill out the questionnaire is July 3. Eligible businesses must have been in business since March 1, 2019, have fewer than 25 full time employees and a maximum net revenue of $500,000 annually. some eligible expenses include rent, utility payments, supplier/vendor payments, sanitation supplies and payroll expenses. Click here to learn more. If you're a local small business, click here to fill out the pre-application questionnaire to see if you qualify.

Father's Day & The Official Kick Off Of Summer This Weekend
Father's Day is Sunday. Here are five ideas to celebrate dad, while practicing social/physical distancing:
  1. Go On A Bike Tour: Get your bikes or rent bikes and hit some local trails with your dad, or just take a walk/hike in one of our parks.
  2. Watch Sports Highlights: If your father is a sports junkie, find some famous moments in sporting history on YouTube and watch them together (even through video conference).
  3. Put On A Talent Show: Think about putting on a variety family show at home, or even through video conference, like a song/dance or comedy show.
  4. Host A Game Tournament: There are many games to play indoors, but you can also do virtual games like bingo, trivia, charades and scavenger hunts through video conference.
  5. Make A Handmade Gift: Make a simple DIY item that will be special for your dad.

Also, the official kickoff of Summer is tomorrow (June 20). Even though the heat and humidity have already arrived in Texas, we can expect even more hot weather in the coming months. Here are some tips to stay cool, while wearing a face covering:
 
  • Choose breathable material. Face coverings can be made from many different materials, but the easiest to breathe in tend to be made from natural, light colored, cotton material.
  • Stay home if you can. This will limit your time wearing a mask and you’ll avoid being around crowds on hot, humid days.
  • Stay out of the sun. Find shade when you can and don’t forget to take breaks to hydrate. Keep a bottle of water with you!
  • Have more than one mask. They can get sweaty and damp, and when this happens they are less effective at filtering out germs. Keep a couple of clean, dry masks with you to switch out when this happens.

NEW: COVID-19 Isolation Facility

Travis County has established a COVID-19 isolation facility, which provides free lodging and services to those with limited access to a safe way to self-isolate if they test positive, have symptoms or need to self-monitor. The facility offers lodging, meals, WiFi, hygiene products, and basic medical care. Security and a medical team are also on site. Click here for more details, or call (512) 810-7554 if you need to make lodging arrangements.
NEW: City of Lakeway Job Openings

The City of Lakeway is currently hiring for several positions. The City currently has openings for Director of Building & Development Services, Environmental Coordinator, Events Coordinator, IT Administrator, Police Telecommunicator and School Crossing Guards for the 2020/2021 school year. If you're interested, or know someone who may be interested, please visit the employment section of our website by clicking here .
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Today is Juneteenth, a Texas state holiday celebrated annually on the 19th of June to commemorate the announcement of federal orders by Union Army General Gordon Granger in the City of Galveston, Texas that all slaves in Texas were now free. Even though the announcement happened on June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed slaves almost two and a half years earlier. Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow. Click here to learn more about the history of Juneteenth.
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