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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the source of the virus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people.

This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.

How does the virus spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. 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.

What are the symptoms and how does the virus transfer/spread from person to person?

People with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

  • Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), either. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

What can I do to protect myself or my family?

  •   Wear a face covering when you are in public places
  • §  Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.  This is especially important after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • §  Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available. Should contain at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they are dry.
  • §  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • §  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social distancing – put approximately 6 feet between you and other people.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Stay out of crowded places when possible.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Immediately throw away used tissues, and then wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Including doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, tablets, toilets, sinks etc.

Can you get COVID-19 from your pet or can your pet get COVID-19?

While the COVID-19 virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person in across the world. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/prepare/animals.html

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

What do I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Your healthcare provider and public health staff will evaluate whether you can be cared for at home. If it is determined that you do not need to be hospitalized and can be isolated at home, you will be monitored by staff from your local or state health department. Whether or not you are ill, you should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid sharing household items such as dishes, cups, and even towels with other people, and clean all frequently touched counters and tabletops.

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Can I consider any travel?

Follow  CDC travel restrictions at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Texas travel restrictions can be found here.

How many people have been tested positive in Williamson County?

For Updated number of cases visit: http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/dashboard.php

Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the county?

Williamson County has a contract with Family Emergency Room to provide COVID-19 testing services. Residents can count on drive-thru style testing at the two Family Emergency Room locations in Cedar Park, one located on Whitestone Boulevard and the other on Lakeline Boulevard, and at their Round Rock facility on A.W. Grimes Boulevard. For more information or to schedule an appointment to get tested visit https://familyhospitalsystems.com/covid-19/. The Williamson County and Cities Health District is also conducting COVID-19 testing. For details on locations and to schedule an appointment visit http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/testing.php.

Jury Duty

The Williamson County Justice Center, 405 MLK, Georgetown, remains open for required judicial activities. Any person entering the building will have their temperature taken, as well as the normal screening. Jury trials have been canceled until further notice. You can view specific information on judicial activities by visiting https://www.wilco.org/Elected-Officials/District-Courts.

How is WCSO handling calls for service?

  • Emergency/Life-Threatening calls or “In Progress” calls for service will be handled in the same manner as always and will not change.
  • Non-Emergency/Routine calls for service will be handled over the telephone, if possible. If a deputy is required, our communications staff have been directed to ask if anyone in the household is exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Deputies will try to maintain a “social distance” out of concern and respect for the community.
  • Fingerprinting services for civilians have been suspended until further notice.
  • The Sheriff’s Citizens Academy has been postponed until further notice.
  • The Sheriff’s Junior Academies for the summer are under review.
  • The Sheriff’s Self Defense Classes are postponed until further notice.
  • The Sheriff’s Community Services programs are postponed until further notice.
  • All volunteer services have been suspended until further notice.
  • All 68A (Vehicle Inspections) have been suspended until further notice.
  • Visitors coming into the Secure Area of the Sheriff’s Office will be restricted.
  • Community members are encouraged to call-in where possible instead of coming to the Sheriff’s Office.

Williamson County Jail Information

  • Enhanced medical screening will continue for prisoners and will be extended to Peace Officers, Attorneys and all staff entering the facility.
  • Medical Staff will assess all incoming arrestees specifically for COVID-19 in the Sally Port. If the arrestee is showing symptoms of the virus, the arresting officer will be redirected to take the arrestee to a hospital. The arrestee will not be accepted in the jail until he/she has been cleared by a doctor.
  • Pursuant to a recommendation from Texas Commission on Jail Standards, all face-to-face visits for inmates have been canceled until further notice except for attorney visits.
  • Access to the Jail will be limited to persons with a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

Expired Car Registration

For information on motor vehicles and registration please visit https://www.wilco.org/taxoffice.

Food Bank Information: Individuals for TRUE need of food and supplies

Here are the organizations that we are aware of that are offering food pantries. To find a list of additional resources by zip code, go to our Community Resources web page

The Caring Place Georgetown 

2000 Railroad Ave. Georgetown, TX 78626  

512-943-0700 

Tuesdays and Thursdays 

10 a.m. - noon 

RR Serving Center 

1099 E Main St Round Rock, TX 78664  

512-244-2431 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  

Hill Country Community Ministries 

1005 Lacy Dr. Leander, TX 78641  

512-259-0360 

Monday – Friday  

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Need mental heath assistance?

In Williamson County, please reach out to one of the following resources for mental health assistance.

  • Bluebonnet Trails Crisis Hotline 1-800-844-1255.
  • Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 833-986-1919
  • ​Mobile Outreach Team Dispatch Line 512-864-8277
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

CDC Tips for Stress/Anxiety - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managingstress-anxiety.html

Can I go to the County owned or funded parks?

Yes. At this time, Williamson County owned or funded parks are open to the public during regular hours for exercise and outdoor activity as long as the Social Distancing Requirements are followed. Please follow the Williamson County website and social media for any updates on access to County owned or funded parks. For information regarding public access to non-County parks owned or operated by other jurisdictions, please contact those jurisdictions directly.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves, or a friend or family member who has disabilities?

Yes. Please follow all health and safety guidelines such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least six feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue. Please note that this activity should be limited to essential care only.

What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?

Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support, as well as social service groups, food banks and area churches. They are permitted to pick up and deliver any of your necessities. You can also order food and other supplies and have them delivered to your Residence.

Other available resources include:

Meals on Wheels for Williamson and Burnet Counties (meal delivery for seniors) https://www.mealsonwheels-williamsonburnet.org/ Telephone: 512.763.1400 x 2004

Where can I go for more information?

For information on the county’s COVID-19 response, please visit https://www.wilco.org/coronavirus. The Texas Department of State Health Services is updating information as the pandemic evolves in the state, for the latest on policies and procedures visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/. The Williamson County and Cities Health District has a plethora of data including a dashboard with information on COVID-19 cases in the county which can be found here http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/dashboard.php.

What are the changes to what healthcare procedures are now allowed?

Please check with your healthcare provider regarding specific procedures that you are considering.

Can we hold weddings, funerals, memorials and burials?

For the latest information on state policies regarding events and Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Orders please visit https://gov.texas.gov/coronavirus-executive-orders.

Information in Spanish - Información en español

Para mantenerse al tanto de toda la información con respecto al Coronavirus en español, visite esta página web.

How can I get assistance with rent or utilities?

Williamson County is working with three area non-profits in order to provide rent and utility assistance to individuals due to COVID-19 as part of Wilco Forward Phase III.

Each agency will handle the application and vetting process in their service areas, along with the issuing of the checks directly to the landlord, property management company, or utility company. The following are the service areas for each entity.

·        Round Rock Area Serving Center: Round Rock, Austin (within Williamson County), Brushy Creek/Fern Bluff MUD, Hutto areas outside of Georgetown ISD

·        The Caring Place: Georgetown, Andice, Bartlett, Florence, Granger, Jarrell, Jonah, Schwertner, Walburg, Weir, Hutto areas within Georgetown ISD

·        The Salvation Army: Cedar Park, Coupland, Leander, Liberty Hill, Taylor, Thrall, and all other areas of Williamson County not served by the other two agencies

Read more about the program on our website.