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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Free Covid-19 Testing
COVID-19 VACCINE

Bastrop County COVID-19 Impact

HOTLINES

For State Vaccination HUBs-

GetTheVaccine.dshs.texas.gov or 

Call 833-832-7067

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 COVID-19 Medical Hotline

 

Call 833-978-0649

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For Emergencies

Call 9-1-1

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Food Assistance/Deliveries for Families in quarantine from COVID-19 and for Seniors

Families who are in quarantine due to COVID positive family members. Age 65 or older needing assistance getting food. Provide your name, address and phone number.

Call Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry at 512-303-0033

Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM  (Closed for lunch)

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Bluebonnet Trails 24/7 Crisis Hotline

If you or a loved one may be experiencing a mental crisis,

please call the 24-hour crisis hotline.

Call 1-800-841-1255

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CLICK TO VOLUNTEER

to answer information hotline

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CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER

Bastrop County Emergency Medical Professional

  

ABOUT COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

  

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, through contact or from droplets spread through the air. That is why CDC says to wash hands often, sanitize your frequently touched items, and stay 6-feet away from other people (social distancing)

Bastrop County Local Governments are working together to prevent, prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against COVID-19. Please do your part and stay home as much as possible.

PREVENTION

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus by staying home. The rest of the precautions are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Wear a face covering in public when social distancing cannot be maintained.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.


**Minimizing exposure is especially important for people who are 65 or older or who have an underlying health condition like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer. People in those groups have a higher risk of developing severe disease if they do get COVID-19, and the safest thing for them during an outbreak will be to stay home as much as possible and minimize close contact with other people. To get ready, they should talk to their doctor about getting additional prescription medications and have enough household items and groceries on hand to stay home as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • 1.1.1         Where can I get information or ask questions?

    See Bastrop County Coronavirus Information page

    https://www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus

    1.1.2         THE DASHBOARD

    The “dashboard,” with current counts which are updated once a week on Monday evening, is also on this page. To see more information, please click on the link directly underneath the dashboard.

    Please note that the dashboard has changed due to changes in information received from the Department of State Health Services ( DSHS). For daily updates, please see the DSHS dashboard Section 1.1.2B   TRENDS IN TEXAS AND INDIVIDUAL COUNTIES.

    Information is received by the Health Authority from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and sent to be updated on the dashboard. Due to HIPAA laws, the people who post the information do not know any more information.

    Any changes to information on the dashboard is at the request of the Health Authority.

    1.1.2A   DASHBOARD DEFINITIONS

    *Confirmed Cases – Active, contagious infections detected by molecular tests. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the only way to determine active cases.
    *Probable Cases – Probable cases are counted in three different ways: 
    1. Active contagious infection detected by antigen tests. 
    2. Has the clinical symptoms and has been exposed. 
    3. Meets a vital records criteria such as cause of death or contributing to death.
    Fatalities – Death certificate lists as significant cause of death or underlying cause of death.
    Active Cases – these are estimated based on the number of people who are still considered contagious
    Recovered Cases – these are estimated based on the number of people who after having been confirmed with COVID-19 have received a negative test or reached the 14 day quarantine mark.
    The Department of State Health Services created the “What is a Probable COVID-19 Case?” video regarding definitions on the dashboard. Click here to view. 

    1.1.2B  TRENDS IN TEXAS AND INDIVIDUAL COUNTIES

    See the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) DASHBOARD. 

    1.1.2C  HOSPITALIZATIONS, ICU ADMISSIONS AND VENTILATOR USE

    The State is broken up into 22 Trauma Service Areas (TSA), labeled A through V, and is overseen by the DSHS. Our Central Texas area is TSA O, and includes 11 counties:  San Saba, Llano, Burnet, Blanco, Williamson, Travis, Hays, Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, and Fayette. The TSA hospital bed, ICU bed, and ventilator availability can be found in the DSHS dashboard. 

    1.1.3 WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF INFORMATION IN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?

    The answers compiled in Frequently Asked Questions is from various sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The White House, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Texas Supreme Court, the Office of Governor Abbott, Bastrop County Health Authority, Bastrop County, the Office of Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape, the City of Bastrop, the City of Elgin, the City of Smithville, Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, Elgin Chamber of Commerce, Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce, , Bastrop ISD, Elgin ISD, McDade ISD, and Smithville ISD. 

    This information changes rapidly in response to decisions made by the above entities.

    All information is meant to help Bastrop County citizens have a better understanding of COVID-19, precautions to take for health and safety, and how related regulations affect them. 

    1.2         How can I help?

    1.2.1  TO STAFF THE PHONES for the Bastrop County COVID-19 HOTLINE:

    Direct Link:  https://www.bcltrt.org/volunteer-form

    1.2.2   FOR THOSE WITH MEDICAL SKILLS:

    Direct Link:  https://bastropcountyconnects.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=509270

    Or go to www.bastropcares.org.

    • In right column, click on “Click Here To Get Connected!” button
    • Click on “VOLUNTEER NOW” button.
    • Click on “Bastrop County Emergency Medical Professional Volunteer Registration - CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)” and sign up.

    1.2.3   FOR THOSE WANTING TO HELP DRIVE FOOD TO SENIORS AROUND THE COUNTY:

    Direct Link:  https://bastropcountyconnects.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=510731

    Or go to www.bastropcares.org.

    • In right column, click on “Click Here To Get Connected!” button
    • Click on “VOLUNTEER NOW” button.
    • Click on:“Bastrop County Senior Home Delivery - CORONAVIRUS COVID-19” and sign up.

    1.2.4   WHAT CAN I DO DAILY TO KEEP TEXAS OPEN?

    Wash your hands
    Social distance at least 6 feet from others
    Wear a face covering around others not in your household
    Stay home when you are sick
    Stay home while waiting for test results or 14 days after being exposed

    1.3         What is COVID-19?

    About COVID-19

    https://www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus

    ·      To learn more, go online to:                 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

     1.4         WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

    The COVID-19 coronavirus is formally known as SARS-CoV-2.

    Coronavirus patients can experience a diversity of issues – from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms generally appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Patients may be most infectious in the days before they began showing symptoms, studies show.

    Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the list of possible symptoms to include the following:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of Breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills, repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • New loss of taste or smell

    This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19. Visit the CDC website

    1.5  WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

    1.5.1   I THINK I HAVE COVID-19, BUT I HAVEN’T SEEN A DOCTOR. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

    Stay home when you are sick or think you are sick.
    Do not go to the store or out in public. 
    Try to isolate yourself from your family members.
    *If this is an emergency, such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, or other severe symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately. If possible, notify the operator that you think you have COVID-19 and put on a face covering before medical help arrives. 
    Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit.
    If you have symptoms but no doctor,

    Sign up online for free COVID-19 testing here or call 512-972-5560. Bastrop County is now part of the Austin Public Health portal for registration of local testing with two locations – one in Bastrop and one in Elgin. You will need to create a free account. For full details, see Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY? 

    For fast 1-hour test results (Rapid Test) Please wait at least 4 days from exposure to get tested. 
    o Physicians Premiere ER at 512-321-0911 to set an appointment time. There is a cost to this test, but they do take insurance. Please wait at least 4 days from exposure before seeking test. Patients with symptoms will be prioritized over those without.

    o FastMed Urgent Care at 512-332-2273 to set an appointment time. There is a cost to this test, but they do take insurance. Patients with symptoms will be prioritized over those without. Click Here to set up an appointment. 


    o CVS Pharmacy at 512-308-0234 Appointment required. Can set by calling or going online. Limited supplies. Click Here to set up an appointment. 

     

    1.5.2     MY DOCTOR TOLD ME HE THINKS I HAVE COVID-19, BUT I HAVEN’T GOTTEN A TEST. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

    • Go to your residence and stay there. You are now under mandated self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days or until a medical doctor releases you.
    • Everyone who lives in your household is also under a mandatory minimum 14-day self-isolation period as well.
    • You and other members in your household are forbidden to go to work, school, daycare, social or religious gatherings, shopping or any other community function, until released by a Medical Doctor.
    • All Bastrop County residents may get tested for free.  See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    1.6         What are Best Practices to avoid COVID-19?

    The best way to protect yourself and your family is to take the following preventive actions to avoid exposure:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people not in your household.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Wear a face covering when out in public or around people not in your household.

    1.7         How can I reach the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management?

    For more information and official updates:

    ·        Website

    https://www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus

    ·        Facebook

    o  Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management

    ·        Twitter

    o   @BastropCntyOEM

    1.8         HOW DO I FIND OUT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE SICK?

    See Section 1.1   Bastrop County Coronavirus page and Dashboard.

     

     

     

     

  • 2.1         WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?

    Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding gathering in groups larger than 10, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.

    2.1.1 WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL DISTANCING?

    • Staying home, unless for work or essential errands such as grocery shopping, is also a way to practice social distancing.
    • Using curbside services for groceries, and limiting the number of times and hours you go out in public are other examples of social distancing.
    • Do not get into a vehicle with someone who is not from your household, nor allow any non-household member into your vehicle. Inside a vehicle is a small, enclosed space, and there isn’t enough room for social distancing.
    • Do not ride on the same golf cart unless it’s with a member of your household.
    • Do not take group photos unless you are wearing a mask.
    • Do not go to events that allow a large number of people in a small space.
       

    With the reopening of businesses and activities, we want to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

    2.1.2   I’M OVER AGE 65, AND I’M CONCERNED ABOUT GOING OUT IN PUBLIC. WHAT DO I DO?

    The Governor has released Special Guidance for Texas Over 65. People 65 years or older, especially people 65 years or older with medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, are at a higher risk for getting very sick or dying from COVID-19.

    People age 65 and older can get a free vaccination by registering online. See Section 10.0 THE VACCINE.

    Every Texan is part of the solution. Strictly adhere to all CDC guidelines, as well as all recommendations in “Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas,” April 27, 2020.

    • Stay home if you can.
    • Minimize face-to-face contact with others.
    • Avoid young children.
    • If someone is assisting you, you and your family members or caretaker should wear cloth face masks. Remember a family member or caretaker can give you the virus even if they don’t appear to have symptoms.
    • Try grocery or restaurant delivery, mail order prescriptions, and phone appointments with your doctor. Call the Bastrop County Local Governments hotline at 512-303-4300 if you need help with essentials.
    • If you must go out, wear a cloth face mask, and stay six feet away from others.
    • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
    • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils with others.
    • If you have mild symptoms (difficulty breathing, or a rapidly worsening cough or fever), call your healthcare provider. If symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1.
    • Check in regularly with neighbors, friends, and family by calling, texting, emailing, video chatting, or even writing letters.
    • Walking, gardening, digital books, games, and online religious services are great ways to stay active and connected.

    Please read the SPECIAL GUIDANCE FOR TEXANS OVER 65  

    2.2 SHOULD I WEAR A MASK (FACE COVERING)? 

    Yes, though the State of Texas no longer mandates masks, the CDC, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Bastrop County Health Authority all ask that people continue to follow good health practices including wearing a face covering.
    Businesses and Events also have a right to require their employees, customers, and attendees to continue to wear face coverings. Please wear a mask when asked.

    PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN THE UNITED STATES:  Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations, per federal mandate.

    STATEWIDE: See Executive Order GA-29 here.
    Everyone, barring few exceptions, must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when in Bastrop County in the general public, in businesses, and in outdoor spaces when you can’t maintain social distancing measures, following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order GA 29, which remains effective until rescinded.

    Please note that a face covering is not a replacement for at least six feet of social distancing; it is an added safety measure when in public spaces or businesses, such as in grocery, convenience and retail stores, OR whenever you cannot guarantee social distancing outdoors. It is always best to have face covering with you just in case.

    BASTROP COUNTY:  County of Bastrop requires a face covering over nose and mouth in county facilities.

    CITY OF BASTROPThe City of Bastrop will follow CDC health and safety guidelines in all city buildings and on city property. The City Council strongly encourages every citizen to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in public, especially when unable to socially distance from others.

    CITY OF ELGIN:  All persons ten years and older shall wear a face covering inside commercial entity or other buildings where difficult to keep six foot distance from others or working in close proximity, and outside with a group of people where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other persons in a group. The requirement to wear face coverings does not apply to the following situations: When exercising or engaging in physical activity; when in a building that requires security surveillance or screening, such as banks; while consuming food or drink; when doing so poses a greater mental or physical health safety or security risk; when outside with a group of only members of a single household, and when other mitigation strategy such as plexiglass provides adequate separation. City ordinance expires March 23, 2021.

    ELGIN ISD:  The school district will continue to follow their COVID Safety Plan which includes face coverings on school campuses.


    CITY OF SMITHVILLE:  
    Inside Smithville city limits, a face covering that covers mouth and nose is recommended for anyone age 10 and older in all businesses and city facilities, and where social distancing cannot consistently be upheld.

    SMITHVILLE ISD:  The school district will continue to follow their COVID Safety Plan which includes face coverings on school campuses.

    2.2.1   WHILE IN MY CAR?

    No, as long as it is only you and your household members in the vehicle. However, we encourage the use of face coverings when social distancing cannot be properly maintained, such as at a drive thru or when talking to someone who is standing outside your car. 

    It is best to not mix non-household members in a vehicle since it is impossible to social distance and it is an enclosed space. If you are required to ride with non-household members, all parties should wear a face covering.

    2.2.2 WHILE EXERCISING?

    No. You do not have to wear a face covering while actively exercising, both in a building and in public spaces. However, you do need one when you stop or take a breather. It is best to have one on hand. Please note that the gym may limit capacity or require face coverings in their building.

    2.2.3   WHILE ON MY PRIVATE PROPERTY?

    No, you do not need to wear a face covering.

    2.2.4   WHAT IF I AM JOGGING OR BIKING OR WALKING WITH MY FAMILY IN A RURAL AREA?

    If you are in an area where you can easily practice social distancing, you do not need a face cover while exercising. Please note that because you have no control over the actions of others, please have a face covering on hand to use if someone else gets near you or your family. This is a health and safety measure.

    2.2.5   DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AT A DOCTOR’S OFFICE?

    You might. Before you go, contact the doctor’s office to ask their policy. Each business may make the decision regarding face coverings. 

    2.2.6  HOW DO I REPORT SOMEONE NOT WEARING A MASK?
    Please do not call 9-1-1. This is NOT an emergency. 
    Do your part by wearing a “face covering”, encourage others to do so, AND stay at least 6 feet apart from others. This is a health and safety measure, not a punishment.

    2.2.7   CAN SOMEONE FINED OR JAILED FOR NON-COMPLIANCE?

    No.

    2.2.8     WHAT CAN I DO AS A STORE OWNER?

    2.2.8A    CAN I REFUSE SERVICE TO SOMEONE WITHOUT A FACE COVERING?

    Yes, you can refuse to serve someone who doesn’t wear a “face covering” in your business.  Please have a sign(s) prominently posted stating your policy. 

    2.2.8B    I’VE SEEN SIGNS AT OTHER STORES SAYING “FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED.” WHERE CAN I GET ONE?
    Contact the hotline at 512-303-4300 or a local Chamber of Commerce in Bastrop, Elgin or Smithville for “Face Coverings Required” and “Face Coverings Recommended” signs. The Chambers are helping all businesses – members or not – with signs, and answering questions on best practices, financial information, and more.

    2.2.8C      DO MY CUSTOMERS HAVE TO WEAR MASKS?

    That depends. Each business owner or event planner may make their own decisions regarding the requirement of face masks. Please read the entire Section 2.2 SHOULD I WEAR A MASK (FACE COVERING)?

    2.3 CAN MORE THAN 10 PEOPLE GATHER IF THEY ARE IN THE SAME FAMILY?
    Yes. The State of Texas and Bastrop County no longer mandate this issue.  However, close contact with non-household members is discouraged – in other words, people who don’t live at the same address. Gathering in crowds larger than 10 people is also discouraged where you cannot maintain social distancing. Face coverings are also strongly recommended as a health measure.

    2.4         WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOUSEHOLD AND A FAMILY?

    A household is a group of people who live in the same residence (same address). Family members who live at a different address are not part of your household.

    2.5         HOW DO I KNOW IF I WAS EXPOSED?

    You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

    • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19.
    • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19.
    • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for several minutes.
    • Being in direct contact with droplets from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

    2.6        WHERE DO I CALL TO REPORT AN INFECTIOUS PERSON?

    There is no authority to report suspicion of infection.  Practice social distancing and avoid contacts with the individual you feel may be sick.

    2.7         CAN I GET COVID-19 FROM:

    2.7.1 MY PETS?

    There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Cats can spread the disease to other cats but there have been no reports of transmission to humans.

    However, according to the CDC, the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals, cats and dogs, in some situations. If there is a sick person in your household, someone else should take care of the pet, and the sick person should have no contact with the pet. Treat your pet as you would any other household member – do not let the pet interact with people or animals outside your household. More information is on the CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html

    2.7.2        MOSQUITOES OR TICKS?

    To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks, according to the CDC. The main way that COVID-19 is spread is through person to person contact.

    2.7.3    FREQUENTLY TOUCHED OBJECTS?

    Studies done have been varied on how long COVID-19 stays on a surface. Guidelines are to wash your hands for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face, and sanitize frequently touched surfaces. Go beyond just wiping down your counters. Think of your car keys, your car handle, your cell phone, doorknobs, your tv’s remote control, and objects on your workstation like keyboard and mouse.

    2.8         WHAT HAPPENS IF WE HAVE A RESURGENCE OF ILLNESS?

    2.8.1   GOVERNOR ABBOTT’S STRIKE FORCE TO OPEN TEXAS

    Governor Abbott has issued Executive Orders on reopening of services as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID- 19 disaster. The Governor created the
    Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas to study and make recommendations on safely and strategically restarting and revitalizing all aspects of the Lone Star State—work, school, entertainment, and culture. 

    2.8.2     GOVERNOR’S RIGHT TO CLOSE REOPENED SERVICES

    Starting March 10, 2021, the governor no longer will mandate closures of businesses and has opened up all businesses to 100% capacity. However, if hospitalizations rise in an area of the state, County Judges have a say.
    If a TSA area has over 15% hospital capacity from COVID-19 patients, then the County Judges in that TSA area may impose limits on capacity in businesses of up to 50%. More about TSAs can be found in Section 1.1.2C HOSPITAL BEDS, ICU BEDS AND VENTILATOR AVAILABILITY.

    2.8.3    SURGE RESPONSE TEAMS

    Surge Response Teams will serve nursing homes, prisons, packing pants, and other facilities that experience flare ups of COVID-19 by providing personal protective equipment, testing supplies, onsite staffing, and assessment assistance. These teams will also work with local officials to establish health and social distancing standards to contain these flare ups. Several Surge Response Teams have already been deployed to locations across the state. These teams are led by TDEM and HHSC and include representatives from the Texas Military Department, DSHS, the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force, and BCFS Health and Human Services.

    2.9         WHAT ARE THE CDC GUIDELINES TO PREVENT GETTING SICK? WHEN DO I HAVE TO FOLLOW THEM?

    In Executive Order GA-34, Governor Abbott urges Texans to continue to follow DSHS health guidelines, which closely align with CDC guidelines:
    Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
    Wear a cloth face covering in public and during large gatherings.
    Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
    Stay six feet apart from others.
    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from others and minimizing physical contact. 
    DSHS website:  https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/#prevent 
    CDC website:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/

     
  • 3.1         HOW MANY CONFIRMED CASES IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    See Section 1.1   Bastrop County Coronavirus page and Dashboard

    3.2         WHAT TOWN OR PART OF THE COUNTY IS THE AFFECTED PERSON FROM?

    This information is only available to healthcare professionals, First Responders, and state and national medical reporting agencies. HIPAA Laws apply.  Information is posted on our Dashboard as it becomes available from the Texas Department of State Health Services. See Section 1.1   Bastrop County Coronavirus page and Dashboard.

    3.3         WHERE HAS THE COVID-19 POSITIVE PERSON BEEN LATELY?  HOW CAN I KNOW IF I’VE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THEM?

    With limited resources, the Texas Department of State Health Services may investigate the recent travel habits of the affected person and notify people who have been in contact with the person sick with COVID-19.

    3.4 IS SELF-QUARANTINE REQUIRED FOR THOSE WHO TRAVELED FROM HIGH RISK AREAS?

    Quarantine is no longer required. All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. 
    THE CDC HAS ISSUED AN ALERT on high COVID cases and asks that people delay their travel. Please check the CDC website HERE for current travel guidelines and any alert changes.

    The CDC currently discourages all non-essential international travel. If you did travel or plan to travel out of the United States, please see the current travel guidelines on the CDC website.  
    The  the CDC recommends that you stay home, monitor your health, and practice social distancing for 14 days after you return from travel. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.

    3.5  WHAT DOES “SELF-QUARANTINE” OR “SELF-ISOLATE” MEAN?
    Do not go to work or school,  avoid all public places for 14 days from the onset of symptoms, and try to stay away from household members by staying in a separate room if possible.
    See Section 1.5  WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

    3.6 WHAT DOES COVID-19 “TRAVEL RELATED” MEAN?

    The person most likely contracted COVID-19 through travel such as being in a high risk country, on a cruise ship, or in a high risk area in the United States.

    3.7         WHAT IS “COMMUNITY SPREAD”?

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    3.8         IS IT OKAY TO DONATE BLOOD?

    YES, with precautions.

    Donated blood is a lifesaving, essential part of caring for patients, and blood centers are open and in urgent need of donations. CDC encourages people who are well to continue to donate blood if they are able, even if they are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19.

    CDC is supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs 6 feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices, and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time.

    3.9         CAN I ATTEND A FUNERAL?

    Please contact the funeral home to find out how they are conducting services and if you can attend.  Each funeral home has the right to limit attendance and require face coverings.

    3.10     CAN I HAVE SURGERY?

    Yes. Please contact your surgeon and doctor’s office regarding their requirements.

     


     

     

  • 4.1         IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    Yes, there is a designated drive-up site for taking specimens for Bastrop County residents. However, this is not a open-access testing site; you must make an appointment first. You can register to be tested  in one of three ways:
    With a referral from a healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will set up the appointment time, and later give you your results.

    Bastrop County is now partnering with the Austin Public Health system for testing registration, either online or by phone.

    ONLINE: Sign up online for free COVID-19 testing on the Bastrop County Coronavirus page.  bastropcountycovid19.org  To register online at any time, you will need a unique email address for each person testing; one email for one person. Google and Yahoo are just two services which can provide free email addresses. Remember your email and password because you will check back for results using the online portal. 
    o BY PHONE: Make the appointment by phone at 512-972-5560, but you will need to call back for your test results. Call registration times are Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm; and on Saturday from 9am – 1 pm.
    Available appointment times in Bastrop County are Monday through Friday:
     

    St. David’s Emergency Center, Bastrop, 7am-7pm.

    o For more information, click Frequently Asked Questions for the Austin Public Testing sites

    4.2         WHY CAN’T I JUST DRIVE UP AND GET SCREENED?

    4.2.1 WHO SHOULD GET TESTED?

    The CDC recommends testing or the following people:
    People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
    People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Please wait at least 4 days before testing for a more accurate result.
    People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
    Not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

    4.2.2      CAN I GET TESTED NEARBY WITHOUT AN ORDER?

    Bastrop County residents can get tested free in Bastrop County without a doctor’s referral through the online portal. See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?  

    The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has a list of drive-thru test sites listed throughout the state, which have various criteria for testing. Some of the screening locations are in nearby Travis County. Visit https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/testing.aspx for more information.
    If you need help locating another testing site that does not require a doctor’s referral, insurance, or symptoms or if you need help regarding the site, call the hotline at 512-303-4300.

    4.2.3   MY DOCTOR SAID I NEEDED TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19 BEFORE A MEDICAL PROCEDURE. CAN I GET THAT DONE AT THE BASTROP COUNTY TESTING SITE?

    Yes. See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    4.2.4   ONE OF MY EMPLOYEES HAS COVID-19. CAN I GET ALL OF MY EMPLOYEES TESTED HERE?

    Yes. See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    4.2.5    MY EMPLOYER IS REQUIRING A TEST SO I CAN GO BACK TO WORK. CAN I GET IT HERE?

    Yes. See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    4.3        I FEEL SICK. DO I NEED TO GET TESTED NOW?

    If you feel sick or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (See Section 1.4 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?), go home or stay home. Do not go out in public unless it is for pre-arranged medical care or emergency care.

    Please get tested for COVID-19. See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    If you are experiencing life threatening symptoms, please call 911; or call ahead to an emergency room, in order for medical personnel to prepare for your arrival.

    4.4         IS MY NEIGHBORHOOD SAFE, IF YOU ARE DOING TESTING HERE?

    Lab tests are not being done at the Bastrop County site. Nasal or throat swabs are being collected, labelled, and sent to a lab in another county for testing.

    4.5         HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY TEST RESULTS?

    Labs are working as quickly as possible. Results should be ready in 3-5 days. 

    4.6         WHAT IS PREVALENCE TESTING?

    Prevalence testing is random sampling of people who do not appear to be sick. Some will be healthy, but some may harbor COVID-19 without showing symptoms, also known as “asymptomatic.” The Health Authority will be conducting random sampling on April 23-24 of people around the county with a mobile lab help determine the percentage of people who may have COVID-19 but who are not showing symptoms.

      

     


     


     


     

     

  • 5.1         WHAT DOES THE PRESIDENT’S MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION MEAN FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS?

    President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.

    The President’s action makes Federal funding available for Crisis Counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of Texas. Federal funding is also available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Texas impacted by COVID-19.

    5.2         HAS THE STATE OF TEXAS DECLARED A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER?

    Yes. The Texas Department of State Health Services determined that, as of March 19th, 2020, COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. 

    On March 10, 2021, Governor Abbott lifted all mandates with Executive Order GA-34, while encouraging people to continue to follow DSHS health and safety guidelines such as social distancing and wearing face coverings, and allowing businesses and other entities to require them.

    5.3         WHAT ACTION HAS GOVERNOR ABBOTT TAKEN IN RESPONSE TO THE DECLARATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER?

    5.3.1 GOVERNOR ABBOTT’S WEBSITE:

    See https://gov.texas.gov/coronavirus

    5.3.2 PHASES TO REOPEN TEXAS:

     See https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas

    5.3.3 TEXANS HELPING TEXANS: GOVERNOR’S REPORT TO REOPEN TEXAS 
     
    The document expands on Phase 1 to Reopen Texas and GA 18. Please note that the checklists in the report are obsolete, but they can be found at https://open.texas.gov/.
    • Individual responsibilities
    • Special Guidance for Texans over Age 65
    • Long-term Care Mitigation Plan
    • Testing actions
    • DSHS Statewide Contract Tracing Program
    • Steps to Open Businesses
    • Minimum standard health protocols for individuals, customers, outdoor sports participants, all employers, retailers, restaurants, movie theaters,  libraries and museums, churches/places of worship. For links to checklist pdfs, see Section 5.23 WHERE CAN I FIND THE GOVERNOR’S CHECKLISTS ON REOPENING?

    5.4         WHAT ACTION HAS COUNTY JUDGE PAPE TAKEN IN RESPONSE TO THE DECLARATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    See https://www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus

    5.5         DOES THIS MEAN ALL BUSINESSES IN BASTROP COUNTY MUST SHUT DOWN?

    As of March 10, 2021, with the issuance of Governor Abbott’s GA-34, all businesses may reopen 100%. Essential services were never closed or limited, and other businesses were reopened in increments based on the pandemic’s case counts and hospitalizations.

    5.6         WHAT ARE “ESSENTIAL” BUSINESSES?

    5.6.1  Essential Services

    Essential Services are as defined in the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0.  Government and judicial services are Essential Services.  This document is available at: www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices

    5.6.2 Reopened Businesses

    For individuals, customers, businesses and organizations, the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas has created easy to follow checklists for health and safety so that we can continue to flatten the curve on COVID-19.  Before going out, please click on the relevant links at Section 5.23  WHERE CAN I FIND THE GOVERNOR’S CHECKLIST ON REOPENING – THE MINIMUM STANDARD HEALTH PROTOCOLS?

    5.6.2A   I AM AN EMPLOYEE OF A RETAIL BUSINESS RE-OPENING. WHAT SHOULD I DO TO KEEP MYSELF AND OUR CUSTOMERS SAFE?

    • All employees should be trained on environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
    • All employees should be screened before coming into the business for new or worsening cough; shortness of breath; sore throat; loss of taste or smell; feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit; or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Anyemployee who meets any of these criteria should be sent home.
    • Upon entering the business, employees should wash or sanitize hands.
    • All employees should wear face coverings.
    • Employees should maintain at least 6 feet separation from one another.
    • Employees should wash or sanitize their hands after each interaction with a customer, and whenever possible, must disinfect any item that came into contact with the customer.

    Information from Texas Department of State Health Services. 

    5.6.2B   I AM A CUSTOMER. HOW DO I PURCHASE AND OBTAIN GOODS FROM A RETAIL STORE THAT HAS JUST RE-OPENED?

    All stores may open at 100% capacity for in-store shopping starting Wednesday, March 10, 2021, per Governor Abbott’s GA-34. 
    However, pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep, is still encouraged, especially for those over age 65 or at risk individuals. The customer should wash or sanitize hands before and after every transaction. 

    5.6.2C   HOW DO I SHOP IF I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE IN CROWDS?

    You can continue to use the options stores set in place before in-store shopping was available. Those age 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions are encouraged to shop remotely. Call the store to see if they still follow the procedures below.
    Retail to-go (curbside):
    All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available. 
    Purchased items should be delivered by the employee to the backseat or trunk of the customer’s vehicle whenever possible to minimize physical contact with the customer. 

    Retail delivery to customer’s doorstep: 
    All payments over the phone or internet if possible, and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available. 
    Purchased items should be delivered by an employee or third-party carrier and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The employee or third-party carrier may not enter the customer’s house or business. 

    Retail delivery by mail: 
    All payments over the phone or internet. 
    Purchased items should be delivered by mail without customer contact. 

    Home Delivery of essential goods and prescriptions
    Contact the COVID-19 INFORMATION HOTLINE at 512-303-4300 for assistance.

     

    5.6.3      CAN I OPEN AN OUTDOOR MARKET or SIDEWALK SHOPPING?

    Yes. Please be mindful of setting up to allow 6 feet of social distancing, per DSHS recommendations. 

    5.6.4 WHAT BUSINESSES HAVE REOPENED?

    Governor Greg Abbott has issued an Executive Order (GA-34) increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent.
    This executive order rescinds most of the Governor's earlier Executive Orders related to COVID-19. Effective Wednesday, March 10, 2021, all businesses of any type may open to 100% capacity. Additionally, this order ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas, though it encourages people to continue to follow DSHS guidelines including wearing masks and social distancing. Businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols including mask requirements at their own discretion.
    If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a County Judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose criminal penalties for not following COVID-19 orders nor may penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask. If restrictions are imposed at a County level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity.

    5.7         WHAT HEALTH MEASURES DO BUSINESSES NEED TO TAKE?

    Businesses are encouraged to continue to take health safety measures per DSHS and the local health authority:
    Daily monitoring of the health of each employee
    General sanitation
    Social Distancing measures that keep customers 6 feet apart
    Continue to follow good health measures, such as social distancing and asking your customers to wear face coverings per DSHS recommendations.
    Designate an employee on each shift to active monitor and enforce these protocols

     

    5.8 WHY ARE THESE RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    These restrictions on the movement of people and promotion of health measures such as social distancing and wearing face coverings are meant to strengthen and safeguard our communities by curbing the spread of the virus.  These coming weeks are critical in the fight against COVID-19.  As Texans, we must act responsibly to protect ourselves and our neighbors. 

    5.9         DOES ANY OFFICIAL ORDER REQUIRE THAT WE CLOSE ALL CITY AND COUNTY OPERATIONS?

    No. 

    5.10 ARE RESTAURANTS OPEN FOR DINE-IN?

    Yes.

    5.11       ARE BARS OPEN FOR DINE-IN?

    See Section 5.6.4D REOPENED SERVICES ON MAY 22

    5.12       WILL GROCERY STORES SHUT DOWN?

    No, grocery stores are open. Local grocery stores are here to serve our communities and will not be closing. Their warehouses are full, and deliveries are arriving regularly. 

    Please remember to practice social distancing and we encourage you to wear a face covering.

    Some stores may mandate face mask use and have the right to ask those who do not comply to wear one or leave the premises.

    When possible, send only one person from your family to purchase your weekly groceries. 

    It is imperative we remember to be kind, only take what you need, and leave some for your neighbors.  

    5.13 WHEN WILL THE TRANSFER STATIONS OPEN?

    Bastrop County Transfer Station, 600 Coolwater Dr., Bastrop, reopened November 17, 2020. Please be advised that fees have changed, and they no longer accept concrete, bricks, rocks, masonry units or similar materials. Other transfer stations around the county are privately owned; we do not control their operating hours.

    5.14 ARE DAYCARES OPEN?

    Yes. All daycares are reopened. These include YMCA and Boys & Girls Club type care.

    5.14.1   DAYCARE FACILITY GUIDELINES

    Guidelines are decided upon by the Daycare facility. Please contact them for any guidelines.

    5.14.2   FACE COVERINGS AT DAYCARES

    After further review of the CDC’s guidance specifically addressing childcare and child daycare, Bastrop County Judge sees no recommendation for face coverings on children in these programs. Therefore, Bastrop County COVID19 Order #1A does NOT require face coverings for children in daycare or childcare.  Teachers, administrators, directors, parents and guardians of children in such programs should review the CDC details on daycares and preschools in the link below, and follow the recommendations.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html

    5.15       ARE CHURCHES OPEN FOR SERVICES?

    Yes.

    5.15.1   WORSHIP RIGHTS UNDER U.S. CONSTITUTION AND TEXAS CONSTITUTION

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I of the Texas Constitution protect the right of Texans to worship and freely exercise their religion according to the dictates of their own consciences. In addition, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) provides additional protections to faith communities, and government must ensure that it complies with RFRA when it acts, even during a disaster. Thus, when state or local governments issue orders prohibiting people from providing or obtaining certain services, they must ensure that these orders do not violate these constitutional and statutory rights.

    5.15.2   ALTERNATE WAYS OF WORSHIPING REMOTELY

    Though church services are important, it is encouraged to hold remote services to keep your congregation social distanced and healthy. Some churches are looking at alternate ways to hold services, such as on Facebook Live or with drive-up services in a parking lot using the car radio. Check with your church to see in what creative ways they are holding services to keep people safe.

    5.15.3   GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW IF IN PERSON

    If you attend a house of worship, each household should sit at least six feet apart on all sides from other households, and people must wear a face covering.

    Other guidelines to follow include:

    • Instruct sick employees, volunteers, and guests to stay home;

    • Practice social distancing by maintaining appropriate distance between people, that means no hugging non-household members;

    • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, using your elbow to cover coughs, and not touching your face;

    • Implement environmental cleanliness and sanitation practices; and

    • Clean and disinfect work areas frequently. 

    When conducting services, houses of worship may consider implementing the following practices:

    • Encourage all attendees who are 65 and above to stay home and watch the services online, or provide a “senior service” exclusively for attendees 65 and above to attend in person.

    • Ask all attendees who have an underlying at-risk health condition to stay home and watch the services online.

    • Equip ushers and greeters with gloves and masks.

    • Consider keeping child care closed, unless the house of worship can comply with CDC guidelines for child care facilities.

    • Ensure all attendees sanitize their hands and put on a mask before entering the building.

    Ensure attendees sit with their family unit, use social distancing between each unit, and, if necessary, add more service times to facilitate distancing.

    • Clergy should dismiss attendees by family unit, maintaining social distancing.

    • Staff should sanitize seats and frequently touched surfaces between services.

    • Consider refraining from passing collection plates and instead provide a central collection box in the building or encourage online giving.

    • Consider how the sacraments can be administered without attendees having to touch the same surfaces and objects. 

    5.16       WHAT DO I DO IF MY CAR REGISTRATION IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE?

    The Bastrop County Tax Office is open by drive through and in the lobby. However, customers must wear a face covering in the building and have their temperature taken in the lobby if they go inside for assistance.  The Bastrop County Tax Office employees are still working on your behalf and are available by the following means:

    5.17       CAN I GET MY HAIR OR NAILS DONE?

    Yes. 

    5.18       SHOULD I BE WORKING FROM HOME?

    Yes, if feasible, working from home is encouraged.  Please talk to your owner or manager.

    5.19       CAN I FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT IF I QUIT BECAUSE I’M AFRAID OF GETTING THE VIRUS?

    No. Unemployment benefits are only for those who have been laid off or fired from their jobs. 
    However, the Governor’s Executive Order does make exceptions for people who refuse rehire based on specific reason which are reviewed on a case to case basis.  See Texas Workforce Commission:  https://www.twc.texas.gov/texas-workforce-commission-issues-guidance-unemployment-claimants

    5.20       I FEEL SICK, BUT MY DOCTOR DOESN’T THINK I NEED TO BE TESTED. MY BOSS WANTS A NOTE OR I’LL BE FIRED. WHAT DO I DO?

    Bastrop County residents may get tested for free. See Section 4.1 IS THERE A TESTING SITE IN BASTROP COUNTY?
    Your employer may not require a doctor’s note for your sick absence. However, because you are symptomatic, you should self-quarantine for 14 day or until released by a medical doctor.

    Your entire household should also self-quarantine for 14 days. You and other members in your household are forbidden to go to work, school, daycare, social or religious gatherings, shopping or any other community function, until released by a Medical Doctor or receive your negative test result.

    5.21       CAN I GET NEW TIRES ON MY CAR OR GET OTHER MAINTENANCE DONE?

    If a business is open, you may buy their products/services but many are taking appointments rather than walk-ins to maintain social distancing guidelines. Please call ahead to see if they are taking customers and when you should go, and any other guidelines.

    5.22      WHERE CAN I FIND THE GOVERNOR’S CHECKLIST ON REOPENING – THE MINIMUM STANDARD HEALTH PROTOCOLS?

    In Governor Abbott’s “Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas,” there are several checklists provided to assist individuals, businesses, and churches with the minimum standard health protocols. Entire list of PDF documents is at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas

    The entire report, “Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas,” is posted on the OEM’s page under RECOVERY:  https://www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus

     

    5.23 CAN I THROW A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR MY CHILD?

    Yes, however keeping the event small, social distancing of 6 feet even between children, hand washing and face coverings are recommended if people not in the same household are in attendance. 
    Do not let the child blow out candles on a cake – airborne droplets are the easiest way COVID-19 is spread. 
    Do not have a buffet of food or utensils set out. 
    Have one person wearing gloves serve each person all food and drink. 
    Do not let children use playground equipment since it cannot be sanitized between children playing on it.
    Those age 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions are advised to not attend.
    Since it is difficult to keep excited children separated, hosting a virtual birthday party with his friends, with only in-person attendance for those in your household, would be better to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

      

    5.24   CAN I VISIT MY MOM IN THE NURSING HOME?

    Yes, with restrictions. The Governor announced new visitation guidance for eligible nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice effective Wednesday, March 10, 2020 in GA-34.
    These entities should follow guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission regarding visitations. Please contact your nursing home for their visitation guidelines. 

    If you are feeling sick, please do not visit. These restrictions are to keep the most vulnerable of our population safe.

    5.24.A NURSING HOMES

    Yes, with restrictions. The Governor announced new visitation guidance for eligible nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice effective Thursday, September 24th. Wednesday, March 10, 2020 in GA-34.
    These entities should follow guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission regarding visitations. Please contact your nursing home for their visitation guidelines.
    If you are feeling sick, please do not visit. These restrictions are to keep the most vulnerable of our population safe.

     

    5.24.B ASSISTED LIVING AND LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

    Yes, with restrictions. The Governor announced new visitation guidance for eligible nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice effective Thursday, September 24th. Wednesday, March 10, 2020 in GA-34.
    These entities should follow guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission regarding visitations. Please contact your nursing home for their visitation guidelines.
    If you are feeling sick, please do not visit. These restrictions are to keep the most vulnerable of our population safe.

     

     

  • 6.1         IS THERE HELP FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES?

    For specific business questions or to find out ways businesses are being helped, please call the local Chambers of Commerce:

    6.2         ARE THERE ANY PLACES THAT CAN ASSIST WITH RENT AND UTILITIES?

    Bastrop County Cares is updating their resource list daily at www.bastropcares.org

    You may also call the hotline at 512-303-4300 for assistance in getting a referral to the correct organization. 

    6.3 CAN I BE EVICTED IF I CAN’T PAY MY RENT OR MORTGAGE?

    RENTERS
    Landowners can start eviction proceedings on renters for nonpayment of rent since the Texas Supreme Court moratorium has expired.
    However, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act included a 120-day moratorium on eviction filings on renters in homes covered by federally backed mortgages, and a landlord would still need to give a 30-day notice before residents must vacate the property, effectively stopping an eviction until Aug. 23. Renters can check to see if their address is included at the National Low Income Housing Coalition. 

    https://nlihc.org/federal-moratoriums

    PROPERTY OWNERS
    Those concerned about their mortgages should contact their lender.

    6.4         WHAT ABOUT THE FEDERAL STIMULUS CHECKS?  WHEN WILL I GET MY NEXT CHECK?

    Information about the Economic Impact Payments is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

    6.5         WHERE CAN I GET HELP FOR FOOD?

    6.5.1   For a list of food services

     Includes mobile services, provided by charitable organizations in Bastrop County, to go: https://www.bastropcares.org/charitable-food

    Volunteers are standing by. We do not want anyone going hungry.

    6.5.2   Senior Food Assistance program

    • Age 65 and older
    • Call 512-303-4300 to sign up
    • You will need to provide your name, address and phone number

    6.5.3   HEB-FAVOR program in Bastrop and Elgin areas

    • Age 60 and older
    • Can place orders for same-day delivery.
    • Within 8 miles of HEB store
    • Seniors can order in the Favor App, online or via phone.
    • For full details, visit https://favordelivery.com/

    6.5.4   HEB Curbside for Seniors – Volunteer Pickup and Delivery

    • Age 65 and older
    • Seniors will forward the confirmation email generated by HEB to curbsidebastrop@gmail.com (including their delivery address, contact phone # and name on the order).
    • Volunteers will pick up your HEB Curbside order and deliver to your front porch
    • County-wide service
    • Call 512-303-4300 to sign up.

    6.6         I AM SO STRESSED OUT ABOUT EVERYTHING. WHAT DO I DO?

    There are several numbers you can call, and one you can text, to discuss whatever is bothering you. The website for Bastrop County Cares, which has quite a few local resources, is also listed.

    • Bluebonnet Trails Community Services 24-hour Crisis Hotline
      • 1-800-841-1255
    • Family Crisis Center
      • For those experiencing the following:
        • stress, emotional challenges or anxiety due to the current crisis
        • stalking, sexual violence, or dating/domestic violence
      • 833-986-1919
    • U.S. Crisis Textline
      • Text TX to 741741
    • Texas COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
      • 1-800-985-5990
    • Request counseling on Bluebonnet Trails website
  • 7.1        PUBLIC SCHOOL INSTRUCTION

    The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has published the SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance which addresses on campus and virtual instruction, administrative activities, Non-UIL extracurricular sports and activities, other non-virtual activities and visits by parents and the general public. 
    All of TEA’s orders and recommendations are HERE.  
    School districts may also have other requirements. Some schools are starting virtually, some are giving parents the option to choose in-classroom attendance or virtual learning, and some are only having students without internet access learning in-classroom. Please check with your school district regarding updates on current requirements and guidelines. 
    1. Bastrop ISD - Monday, Aug. 24, 2020   
    2. Elgin ISD – Monday, Aug. 24, 2020    
    3. McDade ISD – Monday, Aug. 17, 2020  
    4. Smithville ISD – Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020  

    7.1A WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL SPORTS AND OTHER EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?

    Some sports, band, cheerleading training and other similar school sponsored events are permitted by the TEA. Please see Section 7.1 above with the SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance. Each school district has flexibility in determining these activities beyond TEA’s guidance plan using social distancing. Please check with your student’s school district for more information.

     

  • Please be sure your children and families practice social distancing and other healthy habits. 

    Masks are required on all public transportation per federal mandate. See Section 2.2 SHOULD I WEAR A MASK (FACE COVERING)?
    Before traveling, please visit the CDC website regarding travel and restrictions.  

    8.1 ARE PARKS, RIVERS AND LAKES OPEN IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    Most parks are open. Please check to see if they have any restrictions or guidelines in place.

    8.1.1 STATE PARKS  - BASTROP STATE PARK AND BUESCHER STATE PARK

    Most state parks are fully open as of March 10, 2021. 
    State parks have been very busy over the last year. We strongly encourage you to make day pass and camping reservations before you visit to guarantee entry. Reserve them online or by calling (512) 389-8900.  

    Learn how to stay healthy when you visit: 
    Try to maintain at least a six-foot distance from people not in your group.
    We highly recommend face coverings inside state buildings, including restrooms, and when you can’t maintain a safe social distance.
    Check back HERE for updates.  

    8.1.2 BASTROP COUNTY PARKS

    Stoney Point, Cedar Creek, and the Nature Park on the Colorado River are open to the public. 

    We strongly recommend following DSHS, CDC and the local health authority’s guidelines regarding social distancing and masks when that’s not possible.

    8.1.3 CITY OF BASTROP PARKS

    The City of Bastrop has opened all parks and leisure areas.

    8.1.4   CITY OF ELGIN PARKS

    All parks in Elgin are open.

    The parks department asks that people stay off playground equipment, wear face coverings, maintain proper social distancing, and not gather in groups.

    The Elgin Recreation Center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon by appointment only. Reserve online at www.exgintx.com

    8.1.5   CITY OF SMITHVILLE PARKS

    All city parks and outdoor facilities are open. 

    8.1.6 LCRA PARKS IN BASTROP COUNTY

     All LCRA Parks (McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Lake Bastrop North Shore, and Lake Bastrop South Shore) have resumed normal operations. All visitors are required to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in the parks.

    8.2   CAN I STILL WALK MY DOG OR DO OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES?

    Yes.

    8.3   IS THERE A CURFEW IN BASTROP COUNTY?

    No, there is not a statewide or countywide curfew. A city – Bastrop, Elgin and Smithville – might have imposed a curfew for other reasons. You would need to check on their websites or call their city halls to see if they have a curfew.

    8.4         IS IT OKAY TO TRAVEL?

    Please be sure your children and families practice social distancing and other healthy habits. Remember, it’s best to stay home to limit exposure to others.

    8.4.1  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is discouraging non-essential travel. See the CDC Travel Guidelines.   

    8.4.2 Masks are required on all public transportation per federal mandate. See Section 2.2 SHOULD I WEAR A MASK (FACE COVERING)? 

    8.4.3 All governor’s orders requiring travel restrictions and travel-related quarantining are void per Executive Order GA 24. See Section 3.4 IS SELF-QUARANTINE REQUIRED FOR THOSE WHO FLEW FROM HIGH RISK AREAS?”

    8.4.4  If you choose to travel between cities and counties in Texas, states or countries, please check on the restrictions placed on those locations along your route and at your destination, including any stay-at-home orders, quarantine requirements and the like. If you have traveled through or to a high risk area, you may be required to quarantine when you get back to Texas.

    8.5 WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD I TAKE AT A GAS PUMP?

    Wear gloves (kitchen, gardening, ranching, etc.) or use a plastic bag while pumping gas. Please leave the disposable gloves for our First Responders and Nurses. They must have them to keep us safe.
    Wipe down gas pump handle and payment keypad with a disinfectant wipe.
    Sanitize your hands and vehicle door handle.
    Pay by debit or credit card rather than cash.

     

    8.6        WHAT GROUP OUTDOOR SPORTS CAN I ENJOY?

    There are no restrictions on sports. Remember that it’s best to play sports that have social distancing.


  • 9.1 ARE COURTS IN BASTROP COUNTY GOING TO BE IN SESSION? 

    All Jury Trials for the 423rd District Court for weeks beginning March 23, April 20, May 18 and June 15, are cancelled and will be rescheduled. Criminal cases set for April 15 and May 4 will also be rescheduled. 

    9.2         WHAT ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY?

    9.2.1    FAMILY LAW POSSESSION ORDERS

    All possession orders shall continue to be subject to the applicable, previously published school calendar. (21st and 335th Judicial District Court, State of Texas, Bastrop, Burleson, Lee and Washington Counties, March 20, 2020)

    For purposes of determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the existing trial court order shall control in all instances. Possession of and access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-in-place order or other order restricting movement issued by a governmental entity. Order expires May 8, 2020. (Supreme Court of Texas, Misc. Docket No. 20-9050, Seventh Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster)

    9.2.2   STANDING ORDER REGARDING PARENT-CHILD VISITATION IN ALL CHILD PROTECTION CASES IN BASTROP COUNTY

    The 2nd EXTENDED STANDING ORDER REGARDING PARENT-CHILD VISITATION IN ALL CHILD PROTECTION CASES IN BASTROP COUNTY, signed by Judge Benton Eskew, County Court at Law, expired on May 31, 2020.
    Please contact the court or the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) for more direction.

     
  • 10.1  WHO’S GETTING THE VACCINE?

    The Texas Department of Health Services unveiled their plan on vaccine distribution and vaccination eligibility. Private providers have signed up with the state to vaccinate people and have begun vaccinations in the state, including in Bastrop County. 

    **Please note that the government of Bastrop County is not providing vaccines nor setting eligibility schedules (the State of Texas is), but we are currently trying to help you locate the private providers (See Section 10.5) and answer any COVID-19 related questions at our hotline 512-303-4300. 

    COUNTY INITIATIVE IN PROGRESS TO VACCINATE GREATER NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN REGION:  County healthcare partners are also currently working to be approved as a Vaccination Hub for Bastrop County and surrounding counties in order to obtain more vaccines and increase the numbers of vaccinations.  See Section 10.6  VACCINATIONS THROUGH THE BASTROP EAST REGIONAL HUB.

    Vaccine supply remains limited, but more vaccine will be delivered to providers each week. 

    PHASE 1A GROUP
    Health care workers should contact their employer for vaccination details.

    Hospital staff
    Long-term care staff
    Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers
    Home health workers, including hospice care
    Residents of long-term care facilities (contact your care facility for vaccination details)
    Outpatient care staff who interact with sick patients
    Free-standing emergency clinic staff who provide direct care in emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics
    Community pharmacy employees who provide clinical services
    Public health and emergency staff who administer COVID-19 tests and vaccines
    Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to the deceased with COVID-19
    School nurses

    PHASE 1B GROUP 
    You are also eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine from some locations. Phase 1B recipients include:
    People 65 years of age and older
    People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
    o Cancer
    o Chronic kidney disease
    o COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    o Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
    o Solid organ transplantation
    o Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
    o Pregnancy
    o Sickle cell disease
    o Type 2 diabetes mellitus

    With the federal directive, the following education and child care personnel are now eligible to be vaccinated in Texas:
    Those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools;
    Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers); and
    Those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.

    Phase 1C GROUP (starts March 15, 2021)
    People 50 to 64 years of age

     

    10.2   I’M ELIGIBLE FOR THE VACCINE SO WHAT DO I DO NOW?

    PHASE 1A:  If you are a healthcare worker, contact your employer for more information. If you are a long-term care resident, contact your caretaker.


    PHASE 1B:  Please see Section 10.5 WHERE CAN I GET VACCINATED? for the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations map and more information to see if and where you might be able to get a vaccine. Please call the provider for verification. Your ability to get a vaccine will depend on vaccine availability at your provider’s office, clinic or facility. 


    10.3  I AM NOT IN THE PHASE 1 GROUP. WHEN CAN I GET VACCINATED?

    Spring 2021 is the best estimate of when vaccine will be available for the general public, but that may change depending on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available. The Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) is considering what criteria could be used for later stages of vaccine distribution.

     

    10.4  WHAT IS THE EXPERT VACCINE ALLOCATION PANEL (EVAP)?

    The State of Texas appointed a team of subject-matter experts into the COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) to develop vaccine allocation/eligibility strategies as recommendations to the Texas Commissioner of Health. The panel will develop and apply guiding principles in their recommendations. Some of these principles may include equitable distribution across urban and rural communities, and considerations of application of ACIP guidance for vulnerable populations. The guiding principles are under development. 

     

    10.5  WHERE CAN I GET VACCINATED?

    For those currently eligible for vaccination, visit the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations MAP to see if and where you might be able to get a vaccine around the state. Please call the provider for verification or check their websites for more details on getting vaccinated. Your ability to get a vaccine will depend on vaccine availability at your provider’s office, clinic or facility. 

     

    10.6   VACCINATIONS THROUGH THE BASTROP EAST REGIONAL HUB

    An “east of Austin” region-wide initiative is in progress to certify the area as a regional hub for vaccinations in order to obtain more vaccines and vaccinate a greater number of people in a shorter period of time. People are asked to apply now to be on a waiting list. People will be contacted via text when they are eligible per state requirements and vaccines are available. To be placed on the COVID-19 vaccine waiting list, go to the online application at COVAC.INFO or call 866-268-2289.

     

    10.7   HOW DOES THE VACCINE WORK?

    Check out the information in Vaccine FAQs PDF created by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This document includes answers regarding the basics of the vaccine, state planning and distribution, decision on who to immunize first, getting vaccinated, safety, and more.

    You can also read more about Texas’ COVID-19 Vaccination Information on the DSHS website where much of this information was found.

     

     

     

PUBLIC NOTICE LINKS

Statement from Judge Pape regarding Pre-Registration for COVID-10 Vaccination 1/19/2021

Statement from Judge Pape regarding Restrictions Imposed on Some Bastrop County Businesses 1/11/2021

Bastrop County Two Day Walk-up Testing Site in Cedar Creek 8/26/2020

Joint Statement of Bastrop County Health Authority and Independent School District Superintendents on Schools Reopening 8/19/2020

Bastrop County Community Testing Site Expands to Second Location 8/3/2020

Bastrop County Health Authority Receives COVID-19 Fatality Update from DSHS 7/30/2020

Rescinding Health Authority Order of Control Measures for In-Person School Campus Instruction 7/29/2020

Statement regarding Order of Control Measures for In-Person School Campus Instruction 7/24/2020

Order of Control Measures for In-Person School Campus Instruction 7/21/2020

Bastrop County update on CARES Small Business Grant Program 7/8/2020

Bastrop County Update on COVID-19 Testing 7/3/2020

Statement from Bastrop County Health Authority and President of the Bastrop/ Lee County Medical Society 6/26/2020

Bastrop County Update on COVID-19 6/25/2020

Bastrop County Update on COVID-19 6/10/2020

Bastrop County Update on COVID-19 5/29/2020

Bastrop County Update on Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing Results 5/11/2020

Bastrop County Update on Random COVID-19 Testing Results 5/1/2020

Directive #3 of Bastrop County COVID-19 Order #1A 4/27/2020

Directive #2 of Bastrop County COVID-19 Order #1A  4/20/2020

Bastrop County Local Governments Update 4/17/2020

Bastrop County Update 4/8/2020

Bastrop County COVID-19 Order #1 A

Bastrop County Local Governments Update 4/6/2020

Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-14

Bastrop County COVID-19 ORDER #1

Bastrop County Local Governments Update 03-28-2020

Bastrop County Local Governments Update 03-25-2020

Bastrop County Local Governments Joint Statement Regarding COVID-19 Test Center 03-24-2020

Declaration of Disaster (First Amended) Consented by Commissioners Court 03-23-2020

Bastrop County Local Governments Update 03-21-2020

Joint Statement of Bastrop County Local Governments 03-20-20

Bastrop County Local Governments Update 03-19-2020

Declaration of Disaster 03-16-2020

Bastrop County Update on COVID-19

Letter from Judge Pape RE: COVID-19 03-12-2020

 

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