COVID-19 Update
As we begin to enter the holiday season, it was announced yesterday that Travis County has now entered Stage 4 on the risk-based guidelines. The guideline sheet was recently revamped to make 30 hospitalizations on a seven-day rolling average in this region the new threshold to enter Stage 4 (instead of 40) mainly due to a lack of staffing for those running ICU beds. The current seven-day rolling average for hospitalizations is sitting at 34, which is up from 28 reported last week. There are currently 189 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Central Texas region, up from 143 reported last week. There are 64 in ICU treatment. It was indicated in the press conference yesterday that there is enough staffing to cover about 200 ICU beds in our region currently, so the guidelines were adjusted to take into account that information. Click here for more details on hospitalizations.

The elevated stage 4 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.

While cases and hospitalizations increased this past week, there is positive news on the horizon. Governor Abbott announced yesterday that there are therapies becoming available to help with treatment and two vaccines expected in December. The State has a plan in place for distribution once those vaccines become available. Click here to read more.

There have been a total of 35,616 cumulative COVID-19 cases reported in Travis County. That number is up by 1,656 compared to this time last week, 1,212 the week before that, and 805 the week before that one. It's estimated there are 2,216 active cases in the county, which is up from 1,585 reported last week. For the three zip codes associated with Lakeway (78734, 78738, 78669) there have been 837 cases identified to date, which is up by 77 compared to the same time last week, and 33 comparing with the week before that one. Click here to review the COVID-19 case dashboard, which includes an interactive map to see cases by your zip code.

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.

November City Council Meeting Wrap
The regular City Council meeting for November was this past Monday evening. Here are a few of the highlights:

FINANCIALS: The City of Lakeway is in good shape for the first month of the fiscal year, despite the ongoing pandemic. The financial numbers show both a favorable income (more money brought in than budgeted), and a favorable expenditure (less money spent than budgeted).

CHARTER AMENDMENTS: City Council voted unanimously to declare the results of the election related to the local charter amendments. Propositions A, B, C, F & G all passed, while propositions D & E failed. Watch the video below for more.

MAIN STREET: The creation of a Main Street extension made more headway at Monday's City Council meeting with councilmembers voting unanimously to approve an amendment to the Oaks at Lakeway PUD Ordinance that would have construction of Main Street (from Medical Drive to the western PUD boundary) commence March 15, 2021 and be completed no later than March 15, 2023. The additional Main Street extension to Lohman's Crossing Road would then be completed by a developer.

HIGHLANDS/ROUGH HOLLOW AGREEMENT: Councilmember Kumar gave a presentation on his sub-committees work related to revamping the Highlands (Rough Hollow) development agreement. It includes, among other items, implementing modern water quality standards, the protection of more trees, and expanded parkland. City Council will review the updated agreement, along with collect public comment before moving forward with a final vote. For the full presentation, watch the video below.

POLICE POLICIES: Councilmembers unanimously approved putting together a sub-committee to include councilmembers and staff, along with Chief Radford, to review the Lakeway Police Department policies, and make any recommendations for possible updates.

Click here to watch the full meeting.
Holiday Events Start This Evening
The Jingle Bell Express will begin this evening starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Activity Center (105 Cross Creek) with a special drive-thru to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. The event will go until 8:30 p.m. Expect some traffic along Lohman's Crossing Road and Lakeway Drive during the event. If you plan to visit, come early and be patient as cars will need to line up to be able to wind through the Activity Center parking lot.

After the drive-thru holiday visit, feel free to park in the shopping center or City Hall area at available parking spots to take a stroll through the first night of the Trail of Lights directly behind City Hall (1102 Lohman's Crossing Road). The trail will be lit every evening starting this evening through the beginning of January, so there is plenty of time to catch the display if you can't make it tonight. Please plan to limit groups to no more than 10, and wear a proper face covering when around others not in your group.

Finally, if you're in the giving spirit this weekend, the Lakeway Community Blood Drive will be hosting the last blood drive of 2020 at the Activity Center tomorrow. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Click here for details and information on how to be added to the short wait list.
NEW: Thanksgiving Gathering Advice

Thanksgiving will be a little different this year during the ongoing pandemic. The CDC has advice for gatherings this holiday season, especially in areas that are seeing a spike in cases. They include avoiding gathering in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces, having gatherings outdoors, and limiting attendees. Click here for more advice. Additionally, Lakeway MUD is encouraging residents to remember to trash grease this holiday season. Fats, oil, and grease tend to clog pipes, so avoid putting them down the drain. Click here for details. Finally, city offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26 & Friday, Nov. 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday. For non-emergencies, call the police department at (512) 261-2800. For emergencies, please call 9-1-1. Happy Thanksgiving from the City of Lakeway!
NEW: Little Free Library Celebration

A ribbon cutting is planned for Monday, December 21 at 2 p.m. for a new Little Free Library location just outside of the Lakeway Activity Center (105 Cross Creek). The 'library' is actually an old refurbished ice box from the Swim Center that was re-purposed to be able to hold books instead of ice cream sandwiches and popsicles. Residents will be able to visit the special refurbished popsicle box and go through a collection of donated books, pick one they like, and take it home to read. You'll also get a chance to drop off a book for others to enjoy. This service is free and will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are four Free Little Library locations throughout Lakeway, but the newest one is now in place at the Activity Center. Click here to learn more.
Friday, Nov. 20 @ 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 20 - Jan. 2 (DUSK)
Saturday, Nov. 21 @ 8 a.m.