Williamson County reports lack of tests, more hospital beds being made available

From lack of testing to making more hospital beds available, Williamson County gave an update on their battle with COVID-19 and their plans going forward

The number of cases continues to rise, totaling 63 on Thursday. “11 individuals are in intensive care, eight on a ventilator so people literally fighting for their life,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.

Gravell gave an update on how the county is facing the pandemic. “Candidly we’re closer to the start of this than even the middle of this,” said Gravell. While the county posts daily updated number of cases along with recoveries, one of the issues the judge said they are facing is something he told FOX 7 last week: a lack of tests.

RELATED: LIST: Confirmed coronavirus cases by county

“Before you get too optimistic, let me say this, we don’t have any test kits we don’t know what we don’t know,” said Gravell.

In total, the county has a little more than 100 tests which they are using for first responders and the elderly. Gravell continues to urge people to follow the stay at home order. “Would you guys please practice social distancing,” he said.

To fight the virus, Gravell said they are working to open up a space that can hold up to 1500 hospital beds should the need arise. “We can’t have that facility until it’s approved by the state of Texas we put in the formal request and are waiting for a response from them,” he said.

RELATED: Travis, Williamson Counties are under stay-at-home orders

They are also working together with local businesses to provide sanitation supplies to areas across the county as resources are limited. Gravell said COVID-19 may be the toughest threat the county has faced this generation. “If I can just be candid, the solution is not in Washington DC and I don’t even think the solution is in Austin Texas, I believe the solution is in the heart and in the homes of everyone in central Texas,” he said.

While the fight against COVID-19 continues, he is urging those who live in the county to unite, just not physically. “If you have a flag at your home and if you are physically able to, I challenge you to do this at sunrise with social distancing put your American flag up,” said judge Gravell.


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