#Covid-19 Community Response

June 9 2020

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Of the 441 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hays County, 203 are still active, and 233 patients have recovered.
  • 4,358 county residents’ test results have been negative.
  • The Wimberley area has one new confirmed case; five active cases, seven patients have recovered.

Hays County Tax Assessor offices here in Wimberley and elsewhere in the county are open for business.

The Wimberley Village Store across from Ozona Bank is now receiving donated items.  The drop-off hours are from 11 to 2 Tuesday through Saturday.  The store has not reopened for shopping yet but is developing protocols for a safe reopening in the coming weeks.  For the protection of volunteers, the store is asking those bringing donations to please wear face masks and remain in their cars for volunteers to unload donated items.

University of Texas Interim President Jay Hartzell announced yesterday that all UT students, faculty and staff must wear face masks in class and inside campus buildings when they return to school this fall.

The Wimberley ISD Athletic Department begins strength and conditioning camps on June 8 for high schoolers and on June 15 for junior high athletes.  Register online at the appropriate school’s athletic department site.  The following protocols will be in place:

  • All students must bring a face covering.
  • Parents should check students for symptoms before each day of the camp.
  • Student temperatures will be checked outside the building before entering.
  • Arrival times will be scheduled in clusters, and students will remain with those clusters throughout their activities.
  • There will be no water stations.  Students must bring their own water bottles, and water bottles will not be shared.
  • There will be no more than two students at each weight room station.  The weight room floor will be taped to establish physical distancing boundaries.
  • Students will be required to wear a face covering when they are spotting for another student.
  • All equipment will be sanitized following use.
  • For activities on the field, students will be spaced at least five yards apart.

June 5, 2020

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Of the 389 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hays County, 164 are still active, and 220 patients have recovered.
  • 4,188 county residents’ test results have been negative.
  • The Wimberley area has four active cases, seven patients have recovered.

Phase three of Governor Abbott’s reopening program is effective immediately.  All businesses in the state can operate at up to 50 percent capacity.  All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols.  Restaurants can expand their maximum table size from six to 10 persons.  On June 12, restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75 percent.  

Texans who exhaust their unemployment benefits will receive another 13-week extension, according to the state’s unemployment agency.  The latest extension will kick in the week ending July 4.  Normally unemployment benefits are available for 26 weeks, but the March federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) gave people who had exhausted their benefits 13 additional weeks of aid for a total of 39 weeks.

In an email to Wimberley ISD parents, Superintendent Dwain York said that plans are moving forward to reopen all campuses on August 19.  The district will continue to follow guidance from state, county and local health officials and the Texas Education Agency.  Registration for returning and new students is available on the WISD website.  Home study materials and assistance from teachers are available by contacting the various campuses Monday through Friday between 7:30 and 4:30.

Pedernales Electric Cooperative has announced a rate reduction that is expected to save members more than $6 million a year.  The new rate took effect June 1 and results in a monthly savings of $1.25 for 1,250 kilowatt hours of use.

The City of Dripping Springs will open Founders Pool on June 29 with additional safety measures, including a reservation system for pool use.  There are four blocks of time each day for which reservations may be made.  Pool patrons can make reservations and get more information about pool rules and restrictions at the city’s website.


June 4, 2020

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Of the 385 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hays County, 168 are still active, and 212 patients have recovered.
  • 4,167 county residents’ test results have been negative.
  • The Wimberley area has four active cases, seven patients have recovered.

New coronavirus cases in Central Texas have trended steadily upward in the weeks after reopenings of some local businesses, but local health officials say the actual number of infections could be seven to eight times higher than statistics show.  Hays county health officials are seeing about 15 new cases each day.  Stay home, stay safe.

Texas Health and Human Services is reminding long-term care providers to review their emergency preparedness and response plans and make updates, if necessary, ahead of a busy hurricane season forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Long-term care providers include nursing and assisted living facilities, hospices, and group homes.  These preparations are even more crucial as these facilities also deal with the uncertainties of the on-going health disaster.

Dormitories will reopen to University of Texas students for the fall semester, and Recreational sports and university unions will reopen later in the summer.  Fall semester students can choose remote-only learning, however, not all classes will be available in this format.  In-person classes will be limited to 40 percent capacity.

US air travel is down almost 90 percent from a year ago.  Hawaii’s tourist hotels are empty, and deserted Las Vegas casinos are counting the days to reopening.  Few sectors of the economy have suffered as much devastation from the coronavirus as the travel business.  Economists and company leaders say it will take years to regenerate the $1.1 trillion the industry produced last year, potentially leaving many airlines, hotels, rental car companies and restaurants in peril.


June 1, 2020

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Of the 335 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hays County, 147 are still active, and 184 have recovered.
  • 3,762 county residents’ test results have been negative.
  • The Wimberley area has five active cases, six have recovered.

Public health officials continue to learn more about the coronavirus that has gripped the world in a pandemic.  In early March, the word was that the recovery time from COVID-19 is 10-14 days.  With much more data, they now say that the average time from onset of the virus to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately two weeks and is three to six weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.

Central Texas foster care leaders worry that economic hardships and public health concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic are affecting children in the foster care system.  Despite nonprofits and recruiting agencies moving their recruiting efforts online, leaders believe people’s worries about their own family’s health and safety are keeping them from actually following through with the fostering process.

The state’s two major university systems have announced plans for the fall semester.  Students at Texas A&M System campuses may be assigned which days they will go to class and which days they will stay home and follow class online.  If there are 50 people in a class, for example, half of them will attend class on Tuesday while the other half follows online.  On Thursday, the students will swap places.  On University of Texas System campuses, on-campus classes will run from August to Thanksgiving and then continue remotely to limit student travel.

IN OTHER NEWS

A 103-year-old Massachusetts woman who recovered from COVID-19 celebrated with her favorite drink—a beer.  When Janis Stejna’s (STAY-nuh) tested positive for the coronavirus in late April, her family was told to expect the worst.  On May 8, she tested negative and was symptom-free.  The nurses came into her room that day, and she said, “I’m not sick anymore.  Get the hell out.”

If you’re planning to travel in Texas in the next few months, here are some things you can expect.

Book day passes in advance: Texas state parks and many other attractions are requiring visitors to buy day passes in advance wo that they can limit capacity and enforce physical distancing.  Check websites and plan ahead before you travel.

The hotel experience will be different: Hotels will continue to reopen, but there may be limitations on what’s available.  Expect limited overnight capacity, physical distancing while dining, contact-free services and the elimination of many buffets.  Most hotels have flexible reservation policies, at least through the end of the year.

Deals are available: Many hotels, theme parks and other attractions are offering “buy now, visit later” discounts.  If there is somewhere you know you’ll want to visit eventually, check the website for purchase-now options.


May 29

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County has 146 active COVID-19 cases(17 new cases from 110 new test results Thursday), 165 have recovered.
  • 3,714 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has four active cases, six have recovered.

There have been reports that Texas is one of four states including serology testing (for antibodies indicating the people have had COVID-19) in their data.  Hays county only includes swab testing for active infection in its counts.  Combining the two test results in one total could provide an inaccurate picture of where and when the virus spread.  The combination also could overstate the state’s ability to test and track active infections, a key consideration as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Hays County has applied for a federal grant to buy a citizen reporting system that will allow residents to report non-emergency incidents online to limit person-to-person contact during the pandemic.  The system will be integrated with the county’s existing records management software.

Texas State University is putting idled 3D printers to work producing swabs for COVID-19 tests.  Currently, the primary bottleneck to increasing testing capabilities across the US is the lack of testing swab availability.  Texas State is partnering with the College of Pharmacy at UT with the goal of producing 50,000 test swabs a day for three months.

Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs has issued guidelines to improve the safety or polling places, voters and election workers.  Voters are advised to bring their own pen to sign documents as well as hand sanitizer to disinfect after voting and interacting with poll workers or other voters.  Face coverings are also recommended as is maintaining a 6-foot separation from others.  The suggestions are intended to set minimum standards to protect health during in-person voting, with stricter protocols allowed if required by local needs.

State Representative Erin Zwiener has donated face masks to Alexis Pointe Senior Living Center and to the Wimberley Crisis Bread Basket.  The bulk masks for Alexis Pointe are for their staff, and the packets of masks to the Crisis Bread Basked are for families picking up food.  Each packet also contained information about how masks help protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19 and how to get help applying for unemployment insurance.

IN OTHER NEWS

This summer’s youth reading programs at the Wimberley Village Library will be online only but will include some hands-on elements that can be done at home.  Parents can register their children now for the programs which begin June 1.  Each Monday, a take-home packet will be available for pickup at the library.  It will contain essentials needed for the week’s project.  Each participant also will receive an email with a video component.  Story time for children ages five and under will be offered, including at-home activities.  The Science Club for ages 5-12 will include a science experiment each week.  The Art Club for ages 5-12 includes videos and art projects.  Register at www.wimberleylibrary.org.

If you’ve driven into Woodcreek recently, you might think that someone forgot to take down the Christmas decorations.  The white reindeer, normally only out around Christmas, have made an appearance at the city’s entrance on Ranch Road 12 wearing masks to remind everyone to be safe when you are out of the house.


May 28

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s has 129 active COVID-19 cases, 165 have recovered.
  • 3,621 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has four active cases, six have recovered.

Wimberley’s low-water crossings of the Blanco River at County Road 1492, Hidden Valley and Little Arkansas remain closed.  The Wayside Drive crossing west of Wimberley, known as Slime Bridge also remains closed. 

With the governor’s most recent proclamation Wednesday, here’s a list of what’s opening Friday and Sunday.  All openings have restrictions on numbers of patrons and physical distancing, and some require reservations.  Call or check online before you show up.  Beginning Friday, water parks, driver education programs and food-court dining areas within shopping malls can open.  Starting Sunday, adult recreational sports programs can resume, but games and similar competitions may not begin until June 15.

Hiking and biking trails in Wimberley parks are open, but users are urged to maintain physical distancing, wear masks and avoid larger groups.  Other park facilities, including carousels, playscapes, swings, restrooms and kiosks remain closed.

As more and more businesses reopen their doors during the pandemic, doctors advise that social interactions need to be small, controlled and preferably outside.  People who are 65 and older, are immune compromised, or have other chronic medical conditions need to think twice about going into various situations.  Use good judgement and avoid large crowds and smaller spaces with more people, wear a mask and maintain at least six feet of physical distance between you and people you don’t live with.

IN OTHER NEWS

A drive-by happy birthday celebration for Wimberley World War II veteran George Newman is set for Friday morning.  Newman, a Deer Creek resident, will celebrate his 99th birthday Friday.  Participants in the drive-by will gather in the old Baptist Church parking lot adjacent to the Wimberley Cemetery at 9:45.  


6:00 a.m., May 26

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s has 109 active COVID-19 cases, 158 have recovered.
  • 3,307 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has four active cases, six have recovered.

The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce tells us that the United States Chamber of Commerce offers many resources for businesses to utilize while in the process of re-opening.  These helpful resources for local businesses are available at uschamber.com/coronavirus.

Governor Greg Abbott has ordered county and municipal jails to suspend in-person visitations for inmates in light of the coronavirus pandemic.  The order does not apply to attorneys visiting clients or to clergy members.

Hertz, one of the world’s largest car rental companies has filed for bankruptcy.  The pandemic dealt the company a rapid, sudden and dramatic blow.  Sales dried up in March as much of the world started to shelter at home.  Airports, where Hertz, and its competitor Avis earn most of their revenue, turned into ghost towns.

President Trump has further limited travel from the world’s coronavirus hotspots by denying entry to foreigners coming from Brazil.  Travel is already banned for certain travelers from China, Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iran.

Officials in Matamoros are tightening checks on travelers coming from Texas, saying they fear US visitors may be helping feed a spike in COVID-19 cases in the region across the Rio Grande from Brownsville.  Municipal and state officials along with Mexico’s National Guard have set up checkpoints at three border crossing.  Only one person is allowed per vehicle, and people must prove that they have essential business, such as work or medical care.  At least 180 people were turned back at a single checkpoint Saturday.

IN OTHER NEWS

All three low water crossings of the Blanco River in Wimberley remain closed.  River Road is closed between Wayside Drive and Leach Lane due to water and debris over the road.  The county is set to begin clearing the road as soon as the water recedes.

Guests at Abundance Retreat on Mill Race Lane were evacuated Monday due to the rising waters of Cypress Creek.  They were temporarily sheltered in the Wimberley Community Center.  They returned to their lodging when the waters receded without reaching any buildings on the property.

When high school athletes report for strength and conditioning workouts on June 8, they must adhere to UIL guidelines issued to help combat the coronavirus.  The 17 guidelines can be found at uiltexas.org.

The Southeastern Conference has announced that member schools are allowed to have athletes back on campus for voluntary workouts starting on June 8 under strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution.  The conference says it is moving forward with fall sports as scheduled.

Several veterans groups and Workforce solutions Rural Capital Area have joined together to host a veterans virtual career expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.  Veterans and spouses can register to virtually connect with recruiters from local companies from Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano and Williamson counties—and take part in free virtual career-enhancement workshops.  Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area’s website has registration information.


6:00 a.m., May 21

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s has 92 active COVID-19 cases, 155 have recovered. (This increase of 11 active cases over yesterday reflects an increase of 425 test results)
  • 2,629 county residents have tested negative—a jump of 400 over yesterday.
  • The Wimberley area has three active cases, six have recovered.

Starting Friday, the City of San Marcos will reopen riverfront parks to active recreation seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Park visitors will still have to continue preventive measures such as maintaining physical distancing, washing hands and wearing masks or face coverings.

The El Paso Independent School District has joined other Texas cities and counties in offering free COVID-19 testing without requiring that those being tested display symptoms or have a doctor’s referral.  The EPISD plans to test all students and employees.

A Catholic church in Houston has closed its doors after five of its leaders tested positive for COVID-19, including two priests who had helped celebrate public masses that had resumed earlier this month.

More than 100 research teams are working on vaccines for the coronavirus with early results offering hope that one will be released in record time—perhaps sometime next year.  But finding a safe, effective vaccine is just part of the puzzle: It also has to be produced and distributed.  Manufacturing vaccines is very complex, and no single company will be able to meet the global demand.  And along with vaccines, we’ll also need all of the necessary supplies, like syringes, vials and bandages; shortages of any of them could create a bottleneck, too.

IN OTHER NEWS

The University Interscholastic League yesterday announced that it is working with state officials to allow schools to begin limited summer strength and conditioning and marching band activities on June 8.  As soon as the details of the plan are finalized, UIL will release them to schools to allow time to plan and prepare for bringing students back to campus for these purposes.

While the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated bankruptcies for department stores like J.C. Penney, Walmart saw its revenue grow by nearly $11 million.   With increased demand for grocery pickup and delivery services, online sales grew 74 percent.  The retailer also said that Sam’s Club total sales increased 12 percent while online sales grew 40 percent.

The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study has found.  But with life and heat-trapping gas levels inching back toward normal, the brief pollution break will likely be “a drop in the ocean” when it comes to climate change, scientists said.


5:30 a.m., May 19

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s has 80 active COVID-19 cases, 152 have recovered.
  • 2,215 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has four active cases, five have recovered.

Governor Greg Abbott announced the second phase of the state’s recovery plan.  Childcare centers, massage and personal care centers and youth clubs can open immediately.  Rodeos and equestrian events, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, bars, and aquariums and natural caverns can open on Friday, May 22.  Restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50 percent on Friday.  Zoos can open on May 29.  Youth camps, youth sports and some professional sports without in-person spectators can open on May 31.  All of these openings are with restrictions on physical distancing and percentages of total capacity.

Certain counties experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases will have their beginning date of Phase II delayed until May 29.  These counties include El Paso, Randall, Potter, Moore and Deaf Smith.

The state has given public schools the option to provide in-person summer school classes so long as they follow physical distancing practices and health protocols laid out by the Department of State Health Services.  These classes may begin as soon as June 1.

The Texas Supreme Court has ordered that evictions and debt collection proceedings can resume this week.  The order does not apply to certain tenants who are protected through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, including renters in homes covered by federally backed mortgages.

The USDA has extended nationwide waivers giving child nutrition program operators the flexibility find creative ways to continue to feed children throughout the summer while promoting physical distancing and keeping families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus has depressed US home sales, just as it has nearly every economic sector.  Perhaps surprisingly, though, prices have remained fairly steady.  Still, prospects for the housing industry will remain bleak until the outbreak subsides.

IN OTHER NEWS

With its bankruptcy filing last week, J.C. Penney is likely to begin closing some of its 800-plus stores soon, which could create major problems for already struggling malls.  Department store chains account for about 30 percent of the total mall square footage in the country, providing rent and increasing foot traffic.

The first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus.  The findings are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting in March.  Though encouraging, the findings do not prove that the vaccine works.  Only larger, longer studies can determine whether it can prevent the virus.  If those trials go well, a vaccine could become available by the end of the year.


5:30 a.m., May 15

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 219
    • 144 patients have recovered
  • 2078 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had nine confirmed cases with one death.  Four of those patients have recovered.
  • The most recent data of new reported positive cases shows that Hays County may have reached its peak during the first couple of weeks in April.

The Texas National Guard has activated specially trained disinfection teams to support those in nursing homes and to help limit the spread of COVID-19.  Six teams already have been mobilized and sent to facilities across the state with more coming online.

The TEA has launched free, optional end-of-year assessments that school systems and parents can administer to show what their students have learned and where they can improve their knowledge and understanding of key subject matter heading into the next academic year.

A new statewide pilot program allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to buy groceries online at participating stores for curbside pickup or delivery starting May 20.  More information at SNAP website.

Governor Greg Abbott has waived license renewal late fees for state-issued occupational licenses.  This waiver includes barbers, cosmetologists, electricians, speech-language pathologists and dyslexia therapists among others.

Nearly three million people filed new unemployment claims in the US last week, bringing the total to more than 36 million for the last two months.

As more people lose jobs and face the threat of not being able to feed themselves, livestock farmers are dealing with a very different problem:  too many animals for processing plants to handle, now that many of the country’s largest plants have been shut down by virus outbreaks.

FEATURES

The news about the coronavirus has gotten better over the past month.  While the number of positive tests for the virus increases daily, the percentage of positives, a much more reliable measure, is dropping.  We’re testing more, and more tests result in more confirmed cases.  On April 14, Hays County had 103 cases confirmed from 722 tests, or 14 percent.  Today, there are 218 confirmed cases from 2,423 tests, less than nine percent.  

The University of Texas will hold a virtual graduation ceremony for its spring commencement on May 23.  Texas State University, which had moved its spring commencement to August, has now canceled that ceremony.

American drivers are returning to the road more than at any time since mid-March according to data gathered from smartphones and other GPS-enabled devices.  Activity during the week ending May 8 was 60 percent higher than the lowest point since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Hospitals are turning to online swap meets to match hospitals that need equipment and supplies with those that have extras.  These collaborations fill gaps until supplies from regular distributors arrive.

As more virus research has emerged, the outdoors looks like a pretty safe place to be.  It still brings risks, but they are fairly small.  One study of 1245 coronavirus cases across China found that only two came from outdoors transmission.  Wear masks when you go and be careful about getting close to other people or touching surfaces.


5:30 a.m., May 13Hays

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

Hays County its third death linked to COVID-19.  The 60-year-old San Marcos resident was hospitalized for three weeks and ultimately died of complications lined to the illness.

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 214
    • 142 patients have recovered (66 percent)
  • 2026 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had nine confirmed cases with one death.  Four of those patients have recovered.

Leaders of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response painted a grim picture on Tuesday of the months ahead, warning a Senate panel that the US does not yet have control over the pandemic and lacks crucial capabilities to contain a surge in cases that could arise if the nation moves too quickly to reopen the economy.

While Germany was on lockdown last month, each person there with the coronavirus was infecting fewer than one other person on average.  Now, that number, which is closely tracked by scientists, has risen to about 1.1.  We should expect more flare-ups like Germany’s as the world moves toward reopening.  The much-feared second wave of infection may not wait until fall, and instead may become a storm of wavelets breaking unpredictably across the country.

Texas has acquired and is deploying tens of thousands of COVID-19 oral fluid tests to state prisons this week.  About 1,500 of the new self-administered tests have already been completed, according to a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  The TDCJ has 12 strike teams that are being trained to begin further testing this week.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter to Travis County and the City of Austin, warning that some requirements in the city and county’s stay at home orders are unlawful and must change to meet the state’s most recent order.  Those requirements include restrictions on houses of worships and essential services such as contract tracing measures at restaurants, penalties for not wearing masks and shelter-in-place demands.  Paxton said that city and county orders failed to differentiate between recommendations and mandates.

Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home orders have been extended through July.  County officials said that they hoped to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months, but without widely available testing for the coronavirus or rapid home kits that would allow people to test themselves daily, it is unlikely that the social distancing directives and stay-at-home orders would be completely erased.

Major League Baseball owners have approved the start of the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans.  The plan also expands the designated hitter to the National League for 2020.  The plan must be approved by the players union.

PUBLIC INTEREST

The US Air Force flight demonstration team, the Thunderbirds will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with flights over San Antonio and Austin Wednesday.  The planned flight paths will begin near Leander at 2:40 p.m. and head through Cedar Park, Georgetown and Round Rock before looping through Pflugerville and central Austin.  They then will head west toward Lakeway before going south over Buda and ending between Kyle and San Marcos at 3:40. Bad weather could delay the flight.

Flags nationwide will be displayed at have staff Friday in observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day.  This is an observance that pays tribute to peace officers who have died or who have been disabled in the line of duty.  It is observed on May 15th each year.

The IRS may have mailed thousands of coronavirus stimulus checks to people who have breathed their last.  While the agency would like the money back, tax experts say that there is nothing in the law that requires the return.  Whether the checks must be returned may be a matter of personal conscience.


5:30 a.m., May 8

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 199
    • 122 patients have recovered   
  • 1819 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had eight confirmed cases.  Three of those patients have recovered.

Two free COVID-19 testing locations will be available in Hays County on Sunday, May 10.  One location will be in Wimberley, the other in Dripping Springs with testing at both sites from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Specific site locations will be shared with those who register, go through a health screening and receive an appointment.    On Saturday, May 9, 24 hours prior to the test sites opening, the county will provide the website and call number for registration.  KWVH will broadcast the information as soon as it is available.

Texas has one of the lowest per-capita death rates in the country from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.  New York and New Jersey lead in the statistics with 126 and 89 deaths per 100,000 people respectively.  Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming have the lowest rate with 1 death per 100,000.  Texas has experienced 3 deaths per 100,000 people.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has received a $3 million emergency grant for Aging and Disability Resource Centers from the federal government.  This emergency grant will ensure that aging and disabled Texans can continue receiving vital services during the COVID-19 crisis.  ADRCs are key points of access to services such as transportation to medical appointments, meal delivery, help with housework, daily grooming and respite care for caregivers.  Contact the ADRC serving Hays County at 512-916-6045.

Governor Greg Abbott has banned the jailing of anybody in the state who defied his orders to shut businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Texas Supreme court quickly upheld the governor’s order.

Central Texas emergency room statistics indicate that people are putting off care for normal ailments out of fear of going to the ER because of the coronavirus.  These ailments include some serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.  Doctors are seeing fewer of these cases with no explanation.  In fact, cardiologists say that viral infections increase the risk and danger from strokes and heart attacks.  They emphasize that ERs are safe places and people should not stay home when they should be seeking medical help.

As Europe and the US loosen their lockdowns against the coronavirus, health experts are expressing growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections that could force governments to clamp back down.

With another 3.2 million new claims last week, one-fifth of the American labor force has filed for unemployment since mid-March.

Epidemiologists around the US report that Latinos are contracting the coronavirus at higher rates than the population as a whole.  Public Health officials believe it may be because many Latinos work in low-paying jobs on the front lines and lack access to health care.  They also tend to have higher than average rates of diabetes and other underlying conditions that increase their vulnerability.

A new study in New York City found that nearly everyone who has had the coronavirus—even those who experienced only mild symptoms—make antibodies at levels that may confer future protection against the disease.  Scientists don’t yet know for certain whether the antibodies confer immunity.  But if they do, the new study suggests that nearly everyone who recovers from COVID-19 will have immunity.

PUBLIC INTEREST

Clorox says retail shelves will not be fully stocked with its popular wipes and other disinfectant cleaners used to combat COVID-19 until this summer.  Manufacturers like Clorox were not prepared for skyrocketing demand in a sleep sector with reliably steady sales that usually fluctuate only during flu season.

What’s open?  What’s not?  Wedding venues and reception halls can resume operations immediately, with certain limits.  Hair and nail salons, barbershops, tanning salons and public swimming pools can reopen today, with occupancy and social distancing limits.  On May 18, limited openings will be allowed for gyms and exercise classes, manufacturers and offices.  Retail stores, malls, restaurants, movie theaters, libraries and museums can reopen with occupancy and social distancing limits.  Parks and beaches are open with limits on the size of groups of people.  Bars, massage businesses, bowling alleys, video arcades, tattoo and piercing studios, amusement parks, water parks and sexually oriented businesses cannot yet reopen.

All 14 campuses of the University of Texas System will return to in-person activities in the fall.  The UT System joins the Texas A&M System, the Texas State University System, Texas Tech, Baylor and Austin Community College in returning to the classrooms.  All of these institutions, however, have said that some online classes may continue.


5:30 a.m., May 7

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 195
    • 117 patients have recovered   
    • There has been one coronavirus-related fatality
  • Eight county residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1776 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had seven confirmed cases.  Three of those patients have recovered.

Two free COVID-19 testing locations will be available in Hays County on Sunday, May 10.  One location will be in Wimberley, the other in Dripping Springs with testing at both sites from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Based on the protocols for this program, specific site locations will be shared with those who register, go through a health screening and receive an appointment.  Individuals must be screened in advance and can only be tested if they receive an appointment.  On Saturday, May 9, 24 hours prior to the test sites opening, the county will provide the website and call number for registration.  KWVH will broadcast the information as soon as it is available.

Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Texas come from nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  New numbers from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission show 395 nursing home and assisted living facility residents have died from the virus; 45 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state.

The number of children afflicted with a mysterious illness—most likely connected to COVID-19—is growing.  There are now at least 50 reported cases in New York State and several more across the US and in Europe.  The symptoms include fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea; though none of the children have died, some have needed a ventilator to help them breathe.  The condition suggests that, contrary to early hopes, children will not be spared all of the virus’ most serious effects.

A bar owner and armed protesters were arrested in Odessa, Texas after the bar reopened despite state orders to remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.  More than 20 people participated in the protest.  Six men who had loaded assault rifles were also arrested for possessing firearms on a licensed property—firearms are not permitted in Texas bars.

A Dallas salon owner will spend a week in jail after she was found in contempt of court for violating a court order to close her salon during the coronavirus pandemic.  In addition to the jail time, she was fined at least $3,500 for continuing to operate her business in violation of a temporary restraining order.  She reopened the salon despite that order and tore up a cease-and-desist order.  Also in Dallas, a bar and a tanning salon were fined $1,000 each for violating emergency orders. 

Construction workers in Central Texas have emerged as a top group among people infected by the coronavirus, along with health care and grocery store employees who have worked throughout the pandemic.  Though precise numbers are not available for how many people in those industries have been infected, public health officials have seen numerous clusters of cases involving such workers.

PUBLIC INTEREST

AGE of Central Texas and the National Alliance on Mental Illness are offering a free virtual course for older adults about how to deal with isolation.  The course will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, and it will be recorded for later online access.  RSVP at tinyurl.com/may-7-seminar.

Delta is now blocking seating on all of its flights and capping seating at 50 percent in first class and 60 percent in the main cabin.  All middle seats and select window and aisle seats will be blocked from passengers through June 30.  While Delta is the first major US airline to reduce cabin capacity, almost all airlines now require passengers to wear face covering masks.

Peloton, the company that makes a $2,000 exercise bike, has seen its stock soar 86 percent since mid-March.


5:30 a.m., May 6

COVID-19 Update

NEWS

Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 183
    • 115 patients have recovered   
    • There has been one coronavirus-related fatality
  • Seven county residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1761 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had seven confirmed cases.  Three of those patients have recovered.

Many antibody tests — used to determine whether people have been exposed to the coronavirus—have yielded unreliable results. In response, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday it was giving companies that sell the tests 10 days to prove their products work or pull them from the market.

Governor Greg Abbott will allow hair and nail salons in Texas to reopen Friday and gyms on May 18, moving more quickly than expected to further restart the Texas economy.  The businesses must follow certain rules such as hair stylists only being able to work with one customer at a time, while gyms can only reopen at 25 percent capacity, and their showers and locker rooms must remain closed for now.

State officials are looking for solutions to physical distancing inside traditional bars and pubs.  There is no timeline set for when these establishments will be allowed to reopen.

For a fourth straight day the number of Texans having recovered from the coronavirus has outpaced new infections.  One of the most important metrics that Governor Greg Abbott is looking at when deciding how to reopen the state is the positive test rate—the percentage of people who test positive for the infection.  With more testing being done, the raw number of positive cases is expected to rise, but the percentage of positive cases is going down.

Noncompliance with social distancing in Gallup, New Mexico, a virus hot spot, prompted Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to seal off and lock down the whole city using the state’s riot control law.

French doctors say they have discovered that a patient treated in late December had the coronavirus, suggesting that the virus appeared in Europe nearly a month early than previously understood.  That was days before Chinese authorities first reported the new illness to the World Health Organization, weeks before the Chinese acknowledged that human-to-human transmission of the virus was possible and nearly a month before the first report of an infection in Europe.

PUBLIC INTEREST

Costco has limited sales of fresh meat, apparently in response to potential meat shortages stemming from virus outbreaks among slaughterhouse workers.  Each customer can buy only three fresh beef, pork or poultry products.  Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, has also limited meat purchases as has the H-E-B chain in Texas.

The San Marcos Premium Outlets have reopened along with other Simon Properties locations throughout Central Texas.  The property management company has launched a nationwide initiative to host food banks, clothing donations, COVID-19 mobile testing and blood drives as part of an outreach to 1,300 health providers, government agencies and non-profits.

Social-distance snitching is on the rise with citizen informants reporting other people’s violations of physical distancing edicts or stay-at-home orders.  Tips from the public have prompted officials to issue citations and have helped shutter nonessential businesses like dog groomers and massage parlors that defied closure orders.  The vigilantism has also taken the form of anonymous public shaming, like scolding fliers left on cars or posters rebuking people who go maskless.


5:30 a.m. May 4

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

*    Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 168
    • 100 patients have recovered.  
    • There has been one coronavirus-related fatality
  • Five county residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1667 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had six confirmed cases.  Two of those patients have recovered.

*    The coronavirus death count may be greater than previously thought.  Texas recorded its first COVID-19-related death in March, but the state’s deaths from January through March were nearly 1,500 higher than the average for that period for the previous six years.  Because there was very little testing in that period, public health officials say that it is entirely likely that there were COVID-19-related deaths during that period.

*    Harbor Freight, a nationwide tool retailer, is donating its entire supply of protective equipment to hospitals with 24-hour emergency rooms in communities where their stores are located.  Harbor Freight stores in our area are in Austin and New Braunfels.

*    July 14 is Bastille Day.  It is also primary election runoff day in Hays County.  The runoff, originally scheduled for May was postponed until July 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic.  More Hays County residents will be able to vote by mail. Voters who are 65 or older, those who are disabled, those who will be out of the county on election day and those who are in jail are eligible for requesting an absentee ballot.  Applications for mail-in ballots are available at hayscountytx.com/departments/ballots.

*    Texas State University will resume in-person classes for the second summer session on July 6.  Other members of the Texas State University System including Lamar, Sam Houston State and Sul Ross will resume classes in the fall.  The Texas A&M System, Baylor, Texas Tech and Austin Community College also will resume in-person classes in the fall.

PUBLIC INTEREST

*    HEB has limited meat purchases to two pounds of ground beef and two other meat products per purchase.  It has lifted restrictions on paper products. Brookshire brothers has not imposed a restriction on meat purchases but retains a two-item limit on some paper products.  A check of both supermarkets Sunday showed no shortages of products that have recently been absent from the shelves.

*    Some Wimberley churches are returning to in-person worship services.  St. Mary Catholic Church will resume its daily and weekend mass schedule Tuesday.  Every other pew will be blocked off, parish members are asked to maintain physical distance between family groups and collection baskets will be at the rear of the church.  At this time, KWVH is not aware of other church’s plans.

*    Austin Community College launches drive-up Wi-Fi service at its Highland, Round Rock and Riverside campuses.  Students and employees can log in using their ACC ID in campus parking lots.


2 p.m., April 30

COVID-19 Update

(* Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

* Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 165
    • 93 patients have recovered.  
    • There has been one coronavirus-related fatality
  • Five county residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1603 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had six confirmed cases.  To date, none of the Wimberley cases have tested negative or have cleared symptoms.

* The City of Wimberley and the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce have collaborated to provide information to help businesses compute their maximum customer occupancy.  They also have developed a sign explaining the restrictions that can be placed in business’ doors or windows.  The calculation is available at citywimberley.com.  For more information call City Administrator Shawn Cox at 737-239-0155 or email him at scox@cityofwimberley.com.

* Initial results have shown that the experimental drug remdesivir can speed recovery in patients infected with the coronavirus.  In a federal trial, the time to recovery averaged 11 days among those who received the drug and 15 days for those who got a placebo.  While the improvement doesn’t seem like a 100 percent knockout, it is a very important prove of concept because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.

* Global greenhouse gas emissions are on track to fall nearly eight percent this year, the largest drop ever recorded according to the International Energy Agency.  The group attributes this to lock downs and people sheltering in place around the world.

* The US gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services output, fell at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the worst such drop since 2008.  Economists expect the current quarter will bring a scale of contraction unseen since the Great Depression: 30 percent or more.

PUBLIC INTEREST

* Mazda, McDonald’s offer free services, food for first responders and healthcare workers.  Mazda North American Operations announced it will provide free standard oil changes and enhanced cleaning services on healthcare workers cars, not just Mazdas.  McDonald’s is offering free meals for first responders and healthcare workers through May 5.

As Wimberley business owners navigate the state’s new rules for opening on May 1, we tried to find out what the local business climate will be like.  After an informal KWVH survey of random businesses, we find that there is no easy answer.  Some will be open under the new rules, others are planning to take it easy and get back into the water a little at a time and some are going to continue with curbside pickup for now.  Our best advice is to check a business’ website or Facebook page or call to find out what a particular business is planning.  Please support our local businesses.

Wimberley Gardeners on the Go.  Earlier this week, reported on this group of local gardeners who are looking for fellow gardeners who want to donate their surplus produce as well as for drivers to pick up the produce once a week and deliver it to the Crisis Bread Basket.  We are rerunning it because we now have a link to their site where gardeners and volunteer drivers can sign up.  kwvh.org/garden


5:30 a.m., April 29

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

*    Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 160
    • 78 patients have recovered.  
    • There has been one coronavirus-related fatality
  • Five county residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1562 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had six confirmed cases.

*    Hays County and Live Oak Health Partners have partnered to offer free COVID-19 testing for residents with symptoms who are uninsured, underinsured or indigent beginning Wednesday, April 29.  Those persons who cannot afford to pay for testing can begin the screening process by calling the COVID-19 hotline (512-393-5525) Live Oak’s Community Clinic then will contact the individual to discuss whether the screening indicates a test should be given and if it is, to schedule an appointment.

*    Governor Abbott has said that he wants barber shops and hair salons to be able to open soon but that planners are still determining the best strategy for those types of businesses.

*    The governor’s task force on reopening the state is working as quickly as possible to determine ways to open summer camps safely.

*    Under the state’s latest executive order, Phase 2 of the reopening of businesses is set to begin no sooner than May 18.  Phase 2’s initiation will depend on a minimum of two weeks of data to confirm that there is no “flare-up” of COVID-19.  Phase 2 will allow more businesses to reopen with fewer restrictions and for businesses to expand their occupancy to 50 percent.

*    Airbnb, the home-sharing service, has established a cleaning protocol with the goal of reassuring both rental property hosts and their guests are confident that the best and safest practices for cleaning and disinfecting are being followed.  Airbnb has more than 40 listings in the Wimberley area.

The Department of State Health Services has developed health protocols for retail facilities.  Business owners should regularly and frequently clean and disinfect any regularly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, chairs and restrooms.  Disinfect any items that come into contact with customers. Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant readily available to employees and customers.  Place readily visible signage at the retailer to remind everyone of best hygiene practices.

PUBLIC INTEREST

*    The Wimberley Village Library will begin providing front porch pick up service on Monday, May 4.  Library patrons with valid library accounts may reserve materials online at wimberleylibrary.org.  Available materials will be ready for porch pick up the following business day after 1 p.m.  The library remains closed to the public.

Texas State University has expanded its free tuition program to potentially include thousands of incoming freshmen.  Starting this fall, students whose family adjusted gross income is $50,000 or less, will qualify for the Bobcat Promise, which pays tuition and mandatory fees.  The AGI previously was set at $35,000. This is in addition to the funding and grant programs under the Bobcat Cares program.

Texas State University’s Bobcat Cares program will provide $30 million in funds directly to currently enrolled and eligible students with COVID-19 related expenses, emergency grants to all students enrolled in summer courses, pro-rated refunds of certain spring semester charges and a new scholarship to cover fees and tuition for the fall 2020 semester. txstate.edu/cares


4:00 p.m., April 27

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

  • Hays County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 155
    • 77 patients have recovered.  
    • There has been one coronavirus-related fatality
  • Five county residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1539 county residents have tested negative.
  • The Wimberley area has had six confirmed cases.

*    Governor Greg Abbott will allow the current stay at home order expire on April 30.  Retail stores, restaurants, movies and malls can reopen on May 1 as long as they maintain no more than 25 percent occupancy.  Museums and libraries also will be able to reopen if they follow the 25 percent occupancy rules and to not reopen interactive features.  Governor Abbott emphasized that this order only allows businesses to reopen and doesn’t require them to. Before moving on to an even broader lifting of restrictions, the governor said that there must be two weeks of data showing that the virus is continuing to be contained.

*    Other relaxed restrictions include the return to work or all licensed physicians and the resumption of outdoor sports like golf and tennis with no more than four participants that are maintaining physical distancing.

*    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added six more symptoms for COVID-19 to the three initially identified.  It is now known that the disease can hit one patient very differently from another.  The original three symptoms were fever, cough and shortness of breath. To those, the following have been added: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste of smell.  Not everyone who is infected will have them all, and some people won’t have any. The only sure way to know if you have the virus is to get tested.

*    Researchers at Oxford University in England have developed a promising vaccine to ward off the coronavirus that seems to work on lab animals and is ready to test effectiveness on humans, if regulators approve.  Scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana got very good results when they tried the Oxford vaccine on lab animals.

PUBLIC INTEREST

*    The Barnabas Connection, recognizing that not all area residents have access to the internet, has established a help line.  If you know of anyone who needs help but doesn’t have internet access, please ask them to call the help line at 512-842-9674.

*    Local gardener Greg Webb has a great idea for his fellow gardeners.  Greg suggests that since almost all gardeners have a few extra vegetables, why not share them with the Crisis Bread Basket?  Gardeners can sign up, and once a week their donated vegetables would be picked up by volunteer drivers for delivery to the Crisis Bread Basket.  To participate as a gardener or as a driver, sign up at the following link or on the Wimberley Valley Radio website. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b4aa8a723a3ff2-wimberley

*    Teachers can create unique lesson plans using Newspapers in Education.  Teachers register for free access to the e-edition of newspapers, including the Austin American-Statesman, plus additional resources and activities for teachers through the N-I-E website.  Sign up for free and login at nieonline.com/Austin.

*    Texas State University’s Bobcat Cares program will provide $30 million in funds directly to currently enrolled and eligible students with COVID-19 related expenses, emergency grants to all students enrolled in summer courses, pro-rated refunds of certain spring semester charges and a new scholarship to cover fees and tuition for the fall 2020 semester. txstate.edu/cares


5:30 a.m., April 27

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wimberley area to date remains at six.

  • Hays County’s total to date is 149
  • 71 have recovered.  
  • One coronavirus-related fatality
  • Four Hays County residents remain hospitalized.
  • 1501 county residents have tested negative.

*    Wimberley’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6441 has cancelled the annual rodeo scheduled for July second, third and fourth this year.  This is the first time since 1946 that Wimberley will not have its VFW July 4 rodeo. Post leaders made the decision out of a concern for the safety for rodeo fans and contestants as well as for the economic burden that some in the community are experiencing.  Regular activities such as meetings, bingo and hall rentals will not resume until post leadership deems it safe to do so.

*    Texas’ coronavirus “hot spots,” at least as much as the disease’s spread has been detected are in rural counties.  Moore County, north of Amarillo, is number one with 8.53 cases per 1,000 residents. Harris County has 1.16 cases per thousand residents as does New York City.  Hays County has 0.7 confirmed cases per 1,000.

*    One out of five New York City residents tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, according to preliminary results from random tests of 3,000 people.  This raises the prospect that many New Yorkers—as many as 2.7 million—who never knew they had been infected have already had the virus and survived.  Accurate antibody testing is critical for determining if the pandemic has slowed enough to begin restarting the economy.

*    Native tribes that rely on income from casinos are particularly hard hit by stay home orders.  Unlike states and local governments, tribal jurisdictions are unable to collect taxes and instead many rely on casino income to pay for everything from police departments to public health programs.

PUBLIC INTEREST

The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg normally is a great field trip for students.  This year they can visit the museum virtually through its YouTube channel.  Each week, it posts “Nimitz Minitz” videos for kids in elementary and middle school.  For those middle school age and older, it posts “Highlights and Insights of the Pacific War” videos.

The Everywhere Book Fest this year will be an online literary festival for young people, featuring more than 95 authors and illustrators.  The free sessions launch May 1-2. Information and the full schedule are at everywherebookfest.com.


5:30 a.m., April 24

COVID-19 Update

(* Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wimberley area to date remains at six.

  • Hays County’s total to date is 147
  • 71 have recovered.  
  • One coronavirus-related fatality
  • Four Hays County residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 1,141 county residents have tested negative for the virus.

* Governor Greg Abbot’s latest directive concerning religious services states tht houses of worship should conduct as many activities as possible remotely, and should follow federal guidelines when providing services in person.  That means maintaining a physical distance of six feet and no more than 10 people in a confined space.

* The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has given the green light to Texas allowing the transfer of state prisoners to other prison facilities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

* The Wimberley Fire Department is doing its best to lift area children’s spirit while they are shut in at home.  If parents or friends request it, fire fighters will drive their equipment by children’s homes on their birthdays with sirens blaring.  As long as they don’t have to be out on a call they will show up to help brighten birthdays.  

* The Wimberley Youth Sports Association says that although its soccer season ended early and softball has been cancelled, its baseball season is on hold.  They are watching what happens next and will keep those signed up for baseball informed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a hard line against giving cash-short states more federal aid in future emergency pandemic relief legislation, saying that those suffering steep shortfalls amid the coronavirus crisis should instead consider bankruptcy.

The number of childhood immunizations has fallen sharply during the pandemic, putting millions at risk for measles, whooping cough and other life-threatening illnesses.

Many of those who have filed for unemployment benefits are set to receive more money than they would have typically been paid in their jobs, thanks to the additional $600 a week set aside in the federal stimulus package.

PUBLIC SERVICE

The Texas Workforce Commission has a new website for jobseekers and employers looking for workers.  The site, workintexas.com, lists nearly 500,000 job openings across the state and allows users to search by ZIP code.

Help prevent COVID-19 when ordering and accepting delivery of food.  Order and pay online or by phone, have the delivery person leave the items in a safe spot outside your home, and wash your hands after bringing the items indoors.

The Wimberley Crisis Bread Basket has a Spanish-speaking volunteer available to assist clients and food bank workers during Thursday distribution.  Contact-free distributions are Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m., and Thursdays, 2:30-4 p.m.  Home delivery is available.

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


Noon, April 23

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

NEWS

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wimberley area to date remains at six.

  • Hays County’s total to date is 147
  • 65 have recovered.  
  • One coronavirus-related fatality
  • Four Hays County residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 885 county residents have tested negative for the virus.

*    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a hard line against giving cash-short states more federal aid in future emergency pandemic relief legislation, saying that those suffering steep shortfalls amid the coronavirus crisis should instead consider bankruptcy.

*    The number of childhood immunizations has fallen sharply during the pandemic, putting millions at risk for measles, whooping cough and other life-threatening illnesses.

*    Many of those who have filed for unemployment benefits are set to receive more money than they would have typically been paid in their jobs, thanks to the additional $600 a week set aside in the federal stimulus package.

*    Retail businesses may now open for sales.  Customers may purchase items for pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep, but may not enter the premises.

California officials have linked a death in early February to the coronavirus.  The case suggests that the virus was in California as early as January, weeks ahead of the timeline originally plotted.

Two cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus—the first pets in the US.  Testing positive does not mean the cants have the same illness that people have, nor does it mean that pets can pass the illness to people.

The Texas Workforce Commission launched a new website for jobseekers and employers looking for workers.  The site, workintexas.com, lists nearly 500,000 job openings across the state and allows users to search by ZIP code.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Help prevent COVID-19 when ordering and accepting deliver of food.  Order and pay online or by phone, have the delivery person leave the items in a safe spot outside your home, and wash your hands after bringing the items indoors.

The Wimberley Crisis Bread Basket has a Spanish-speaking volunteer available to assist clients and food bank workers during Thursday distribution.  Contact-free distributions are Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m., and Thursdays, 2:30-4 p.m. Home delivery is available.

The Leaning Pear is having a crawfish boil Saturday, April 25.  Orders include corn and potatoes, and you can place your order online now for pickup on Saturday.

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 23

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wimberley area to date remains at six.

  • Hays County’s total to date is 143
  • 65 have recovered.  
  • One coronavirus-related fatality
  • Four Hays County residents are currently hospitalized.
  • 816 county residents have tested negative for the virus.

*    California officials have linked a death in early February to the coronavirus.  The case suggests that the virus was in California as early as January, weeks ahead of the timeline originally plotted.

*    Two cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus—the first pets in the US.  Testing positive does not mean the cants have the same illness that people have, nor does it mean that pets can pass the illness to people.

*    Help prevent COVID-19 when ordering and accepting deliver of food.  Order and pay online or by phone, have the delivery person leave the items in a safe spot outside your home, and wash your hands after bringing the items indoors.

*    What is the recovery time for the coronavirus disease?  Using the available preliminary data, the average time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately two weeks and is three to six weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.

The Texas Workforce Commission launched a new website for jobseekers and employers looking for workers.  The site, workintexas.com, lists nearly 500,000 job openings across the state and allows users to search by ZIP code.

The Wimberley Crisis Bread Basket has a Spanish-speaking volunteer available to assist clients and food bank workers during Thursday distribution.  Contact-free distributions are Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m., and Thursdays, 2:30-4 p.m. Home delivery is available.

The Leaning Pear is having a crawfish boil Saturday, April 25.  Orders include corn and potatoes, and you can place your order online now for pickup on Saturday.

Under state rules, retail businesses may reopen for sales on April 24.  Customers may purchase items for pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep, but may not enter the premises.

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 20

COVID-19 Update(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wimberley area to date is six.

  • Hays County’s total to date is 127 (109 of those cases are in Kyle, Buda and San Marcos)
  • 57 have recovered.  
  • One coronavirus-related fatality
  • Four Hays County residents are currently hospitalized.  
  • 707 county residents have tested negative for the virus.

*    The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce maintains a detailed listing of financial relief available for businesses.  Wimberley.org/covid-19-info/ 

*    The Texas Restaurant Association sends out a recap to its entire data base every evening that shows any new information for that day, new resources and answers to common questions.  If you’re not receiving the email, contact communications@txrestaurant.org to be added.

*    The packages and letters delivered to your home or post office box are not sterile.  They may have become contaminated enroute to you.  Protect your hands and open packages outdoors. Leave the box and all packing material outside.  After 24 hours it is safe to dispose of the box.

Governor Abbott has closed all schools in the state for the rest of the school year.  He said that a team of medical advisors has determined that it would be unsafe to allow students to gather in schools for the foreseeable future.  The directive includes all public and private schools as well as institutions of higher learning.

Several hours after Governor Abbott closed all schools for the remainder of the year, the UIL said that all of its activities for the remainder of the year are canceled.  This includes all spring sports, academics, band and theater competitions.

The governor also revealed the timing for reopening some facilities and activities.  Beginning April 20, all state parks will reopen for limited activities.  On April 22, elective surgeries can resume as long as they don’t affect coronavirus treatment facilities.  Some retailers can open for curbside delivery only on April 24.

COVID-19 and related updates along with emergency notifications can be received on your cell phone by registering it with www.warncentraltexas.org.

Some of the other statewide restrictions to be lifted in the coming week include opening state parks on a limited basis with some restrictions and some elective surgery procedures, again, with some restrictions.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Texas needs more volunteers to keep up with the number of child abuse victims in the area.  Enrollment is open for the upcoming volunteer training session. To learn more and to submit a volunteer application, visit www.casacentex.org.  The deadline for applications is April 27.

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


4:00 p.m., April 15

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date is 104.  

  • 43 have recovered.  
  • One fatality
  • Two Hays County residents are hospitalized.  
  • 638 county residents have tested negative for the virus.

*    Texas residents can stock up on emergency supplies during the sales tax holiday April 25-27.  Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes and turbulent spring storms are coming.  Some qualifying items are batteries, fuel containers, flashlights and generators.

*    If you need help finding a doctor or accessing medical care, call 2-1-1 from anywhere in Texas, and they can direct you to low- or no-cost providers in your area.  One number is all you need to know for help finding food or housing, childcare, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment.

*    Texas has partnered with Goldman Sachs and other community development institutions for an initiative to give $50 million in loans to small businesses affected by COVID-19.  The loans are to help businesses continue to pay employees. Loans will be made through the S-B-A’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The Barnabas Connection needs your help.  If you can, please donate to help those in our community who are temporarily in need.  Donations help people with rent, utilities, medical needs, fuel and transportation. Donate online at www.barnabasconnects.org

Wimberley High School students have created a Facebook page to help younger children weather the coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions.  Find them on Facebook at Wimberley Texans Helping Little Texans. 

There are no walk-in COVID-19 testing sites in Hays County.  You must contact your medical provider or local ER and be approved for the test, then given an appointment and a location for a test.

The Treasury Department urges taxpayers to be alert for potential relief payment scams.  The IRS will never contact you by phone or email to ask for your personal ID or financial information, nor will it ever ask you to make any kind of payment using a prepaid card.  

The City of Woodcreek and Camp Young Judea have partnered to provide a safe place for healthy Wimberley area front line workers to spend time away from their families, have meals and receive necessary respite care close to home. 

The Wimberley Village Library may be closed, but it’s easier than ever to get a library card and access to free magazines, classes, eBook downloads and much more.  Go to the library website, click on the library card icon, fill out the application and submit. Remember the Wimberley Village Library may be closed, but we’re still opening minds.

If you go anywhere in Austin and Travis County, you must wear a mask.  New city and county orders expiring May 8 require that masks be worn anytime outside the home with few exceptions. 

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 15

COVID-19 Update

(* Indicates new or changed item)

* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date is 103 (it went up 10 yesterday).  

  • 43 have recovered.  
  • One fatality
  • There are no Hays County residents hospitalized.  
  • 604 county residents have tested negative for the virus.

* There are no walk-in COVID-19 testing sites in Hays County.  You must contact your medical provider or local ER and be approved for the test, then given an appointment and a location for a test.

* The Treasury Department urges taxpayers to be on high alert for potential relief payment scams.  The IRS will never contact you by phone or email to ask for your personal ID of financial information, nor will it ever ask you to make any kind of payment using any kind of prepaid card.  

* The City of Woodcreek and Camp Young Judaea have partnered to provide healthy Wimberley area front line workers a safe place to spend time away from their families, have meals and receive necessary respite care near their homes at no cost. 

* The Wimberley Village Library may be closed, but it’s easier than ever to get a library card and access to hundreds of resources including free magazines, classes, eBook downloads and much more.  Here’s all you have to do. Go to the library website, click on the library card icon, fill out the application and submit. Then have fun at the catalog page and explore.  Remember the Wimberley Village Library may be closed, but we’re still opening minds.

If you go anywhere in Austin and Travis County, you must wear a mask.  New city and county orders expiring May 8 require that masks be worn anytime outside the home with few exceptions. 

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new web tool to help you register for stimulus payments.  Visit www.irs.gov and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.”

Stopped by the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau is asking Congress for a four-month delay in delivering the census data used to reapportion the House of Representatives and political districts nationwide.

If your household income has decreased, and you can’t make your mortgage payment, call the USDA’s Rural Development Agency at 1-800-414-1226.  They will determine if you are eligible for payment assistance or more assistance than you currently receive.

Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid benefit renewals currently due will automatically be renewed so clients can maintain their coverage during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The A-G-E of Central Texas website has activities for older adults that can be done at home.  A guided online video introduces exercises, meditation, virtual tours and travel, word games and puzzles and reading or listening to audiobooks. www.AgeofCentralTX.org.  

Most Hays County office lobbies are closed, but staff are still working to help you take care of your business with the county.  Visit the webpage of the office you need to contact for information. https://hayscountytx.com

Texas has launched a website to help essential workers find childcare.  The Frontline Child Care portal offers information for those who need or provide childcare.  www.frontlinechildcare.texas.gov

Wimberley’s Crisis Bread Basket distributes food to local families Tuesdays, 5:30–7 p.m., and Thursdays, 2:30–4 p.m.  Home delivery is available. Call 512-847-5323. The Bread Basket is always grateful to receive food and monetary donations.  Donate online.

COVID-19 testing reminder: call first, walk-in testing is NOT available.  You must have an appointment through your doctor or emergency room to get tested. 

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 13

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date is 89 with 65 active cases and 24 who have recovered.  Three Wimberley area residents have been confirmed positive.  Nine county residents have been hospitalized, and three remain so.  Of the 647 tested, 549 have come back negative for the virus.  

*    The largest telecommunications providers prepared for a huge shift toward more internet use from home, what they didn’t expect was an even greater surge in plain old voice calls, a medium that has been going out of fashion for years.  Verizon said it was handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week, more than double the number made on Mothers’ Day, historically one of the busiest call days of the year.

*    The two Hays County Transfer Stations (recycling centers) at Wimberley and Driftwood are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

*    Wimberley’s Crisis Bread Basket provides food and encouragement to those most in need—neighbor helping neighbor.  Food distribution is Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m.  If you are unable to come to the pantry, call 523-847-5323. The Bread Basket is always grateful to receive food and monetary donations.  Donate online.

COVID-19 testing reminder: call first, walk-in testing is NOT available.  Although Hays County now has multiple COVID-19 testing sites, you still need an appointment through your doctor or emergency room to get tested.  The sites are busy and are taking extreme precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Walk in testing is not available, nor should you walk into a doctor’s office or emergency room without calling first, even if you have an appointment.

In these times our younger children desperately need connection and a little pick me up.  Wimberley high school students have created a Facebook page, Wimberley Texans Helping Little Texans, to help younger students during this crisis.  Even in the midst of missing their own senior year, they are thinking of and reaching out to others. Way to go, Texans!

Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  The Leaning Pear, Hays City Store, the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café are just a few that are offering grocery items.  Let us know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 13

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date is 89 with 65 active cases and 24 who have recovered.  Three Wimberley area residents have been confirmed positive.  Nine county residents have been hospitalized, and three remain so.  Of the 647 tested, 549 have come back negative for the virus.  

*    Texas Governor Greg Abbott has extended the disaster declaration for all Texas counties in response to the coronavirus outbreak.  This increases the resources and capabilities available to support communities and public health.  At the same time, the governor urged all Texans to continue practicing social distancing and abide by the guidelines laid out by the CDC.

*    The two Hays County Transfer Stations (recycling centers) at Wimberley and Driftwood are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please do not call 9-1-1 for information.  9-1-1 is for emergency assistance only.  For emergency notifications, information and updates in the local area, register your cell phone at www.WarnCentralTexas.org

The Hays Central Appraisal District is offering property owners the option to electronically file a notice of protest.  The 2020 property tax appraisal notices were mailed recently.  To protest your appraisal notice value electronically visit the website www.hayscad.com and go to the Protest Info tab.

All Summer Session I classes at Texas State University will be online.  At present, plans for second session classes (July 6-August 6) will be a combination of face-to-face and online.  Contact the university for more information. All summer session classes at the University of Texas and Austin Community College will be online.

All summer session Texas State University Students will receive emergency financial aid of $50 per semester credit hour.

COVID-19 testing reminder: call first, walk-in testing is NOT available.  Although Hays County now has multiple COVID-19 testing sites, you still need an appointment through your doctor or emergency room to get tested.  The sites are busy and are taking extreme precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Walk in testing is not available, nor should you walk into a doctor’s office or emergency room without calling first, even if you have an appointment.

At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for home testing for COVID-19.  The FDA sees the public health value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection and is actively working with test developers to bring this to fruition.

The Barnabas Connection provides access to health and human services, client advocacy, and community education.  They provide assistance with utility bills and rent, medical expenses and direct financial assistance to those who live within Wimberley Independent School District boundaries.  Call 512-842-9674 or go online to www.barnabasconnects.org.  Donate online.

In these times our younger children desperately need connection and a little pick me up.  Wimberley high school students have created a Facebook page, Wimberley Texans Helping Little Texans, to help younger students during this crisis.  Even in the midst of missing their own senior year, they are thinking of and reaching out to others. Way to go, Texans!

Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  The Leaning Pear, Hays City Store, the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café are just a few that are offering grocery items.  Let us know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


Noon, April 11

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date is 82 with 58 active cases and 24 who have recovered.  Nine county residents have been hospitalized, and three remain so.  Of the 492 tested, 587 have come back negative for the virus.  

*    Please do not call 9-1-1 for information.  9-1-1 is for emergency assistance only.  For emergency notifications, information and updates in the local area, register your cell phone at www.WarnCentralTexas.org

*    The Hays Central Appraisal District is offering property owners the option to electronically file a notice of protest.  The 2020 property tax appraisal notices were mailed recently.  To protest your appraisal notice value electronically visit the website www.hayscad.com and go to the Protest Info tab.

*    All Summer Session I classes at Texas State University will be online.  At present, plans for second session classes (July 6-August 6) will be a combination of face-to-face and online.  Contact the university for more information. All summer session classes at the University of Texas and Austin Community College will be online.

*    All summer session Texas State University Students will receive emergency financial aid of $50 per semester credit hour.

*    COVID-19 testing reminder: call first, walk-in testing is NOT available.  Although Hays County now has multiple COVID-19 testing sites, you still need an appointment through your doctor or emergency room to get tested.  The sites are busy and are taking extreme precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Walk in testing is not available, nor should you walk into a doctor’s office or emergency room without calling first, even if you have an appointment.

*    At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for home testing for COVID-19.  The FDA sees the public health value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection and is actively working with test developers to bring this to fruition.

*    The Barnabas Connection provides access to health and human services, client advocacy, and community education.  They provide assistance with utility bills and rent, medical expenses and direct financial assistance to those who live within Wimberley Independent School District boundaries.  Call 512-842-9674 or go online to www.barnabasconnects.org.  Donate online.

*    In these times our younger children desperately need connection and a little pick me up.  Wimberley high school students have created a Facebook page, Wimberley Texans Helping Little Texans, to help younger students during this crisis.  Even in the midst of missing their own senior year, they are thinking of and reaching out to others. Way to go, Texans!

Watch what you flush!  Putting the wrong things down the drain can damage a sewer system or private septic system.  Flushing anything other that toilet paper can result in expensive repairs. Do not flush cleaning wipes of any kind, facial tissue, paper towels or napkins

Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  The Leaning Pear, Hays City Store, the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café are just a few that are offering grocery items.  Let us know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 8

COVID-19 Update

(* Indicates new or changed item)

* A second Wimberley area resident has tested positive for COVID-19.  This case appears to be west of Woodcreek.  The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County stands at 77 to date.  There are 54 active cases with 23 recoveries. Eight have been hospitalized with two of those remaining in a hospital.  Four hundred and fifty-one county residents of the 541 tested have been found to be negative for the virus. Still only one case reported in Wimberley.

* If you’re an employer with questions, the Texas Workforce Commission has answers.  From legal questions regarding work from home policies to resources for loans, they want to answer your questions and help ensure things go as smoothly as possible.  To get on their email list for the latest information, go to their website, https://twc.texas.gov, and sign up for regular updates.

* Employers are faced with some tough decisions during the COVID-19 crisis.  The Texas Workforce Commission has resources that can help.  Visit their website, https://twc.texas.gov, for information about managing layoffs, how to file a mass claim for unemployment benefits for your employees  and even on how to prevent layoffs by cutting employee hours or furloughing workers. TWC is also your source if you need to hire new employees in the face of changing demand.

* The National Academy of Sciences warns that the coronavirus might not fade in warm weather.  After reviewing a variety of research reports, the panel concluded that the number of studies, of varying quality of evidence, simply do not offer a clear forecast of what will happen to the spread of the novel coronavirus in the summer. It may not diminish significantly.  The academy report stated, “Given that countries currently in ‘summer’ climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread, a decrease in cases with increases in humidity and temperature elsewhere should not be assumed.”

* Texas Governor Greg Abbott has temporarily waived certain regulatory requirements for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns.  Under the changes pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns can now assume broader roles at the discretion of pharmacists.

* Who should be tested?  Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.  Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.  There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus.  The CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and individual health care providers.  Not everyone who wants to be tested will be tested. Bottom line…if you have COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor.

Don’t forget to make a generous donation to the Barnabas Connection.  An anonymous donor will match every dollar they collect up to $25,000.  The Barnabas Connection has a major impact on the Wimberley community by helping those temporarily in need of assistance with everything from meals to help with utilities and rent.  Donate online at www.barnabasconnects.org

Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  The Leaning Pear, Hays City Store, the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café are just a few that are offering grocery items.  Let us know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 7

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    Five new COVID-19 cases bring the Hays County total to 59.  Wimberley still has one confirmed case while Woodcreek and Driftwood don’t have any.  There have been four confirmed cases in the Hays County portion of Austin, 12 in Buda, two in Dripping Springs, 20 in Kyle and 20 in San Marcos.  Sixteen of those Hays County cases have recovered. Seven have been hospitalized with three of those remaining in a hospital. Three hundred, eighty-one county Residents of the 448 tested have returned negative results with results pending on eight.

*    All Central Texas chambers of commerce and their members are invited to a “CARES Act Update” Webinar hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, with speakers Congressman Roger Williams and Elsie Collins of the Small Business Administration.  The free webinar is today from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For information and registration, webinars@austinchamber.com.

*    TurboTax has partnered with the IRS to help speed up the delivery of stimulus payments to people for whom the IRS does not have direct deposit information.  The tax-preparation company has a “stimulus registration” page where Americans can submit their direct-deposit information to receive their stimulus payment.  The product is free and includes a stimulus-payment calculator. www.turbotax.intuit.com/stimulus-check 

Since the CDC is now recommending that anyone venturing from home to any public places, wear cloth face masks to help keep those who are not showing symptoms from spreading the virus without knowing that they are infectious.  The CDC says that the public should use fabric coverings and not specialized medical masks, which should be reserved for health care providers.  They also suggest we not be lulled into a false sense of security by wearing a mask. Social distancing and frequent hand washing are still the best ways to prevent COVID-19 spread.  For those making their own masks, there is a YouTube video from the CDC on how to make one from a bandana or tee-shirt and rubber bands—no sewing. Use a tightly woven fabric, and prewash it in hot water to avoid later shrinkage

Katherine Anne Porter School Superintendent Michael Hannum has told KWVH that the school is extending its closure indefinitely.  There will be online no lessons on Friday, April 10 or Monday April 13, two previously scheduled holidays.  Plans are underway for a prom and for commencement. KAPS is continuing to offer meals for pick-up and take-away at 10 a.m. each morning.

Texas Workforce Commission has implemented staggered access to unemployment benefit services to ensure that more Texans can file unemployment claims.  More than half a million have filed unemployment claims in the last 18 days. Access to the TWC portal is now based on applicants’ telephone area codes.  For the 512 area code, the call times are Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1 and 5 p.m.

The Barnabas Connection COVID-19 Resources Directory is available online.  Find detailed descriptions of local and area resources available to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  Besides general COVID-19 information for Wimberley and Hays County, you can find help with employment and funding, housing relief, information for employees and employers in food service, small business guidance, medical help and virus testing, hunger relief, utility bill help, veterans assistance and many other valuable resources guides.  www.barnabasconnects.org

The Wimberley Village Library is closed…but it’s open.  Library patrons have access to thousands of books, magazines, movies and courses.  Visit the website’s catalogue page and browse through the data bases. Anyone can visit the library’s Facebook page where you’ll find storytellers, virtual tours of interesting places and links to a whole host of other entertaining and educational programs.  

*    Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  The Leaning Pear, Hays City Store, the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café all have markets with a variety of items, including toilet paper.  It’s worth a look. Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


4 p.m., April 6

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

Four new COVID-19 cases bring the Hays County total to 54.  Wimberley has one confirmed case while Woodcreek and Driftwood don’t have any.  There have been three confirmed cases in the Hays County portion of Austin, 10 in Buda, two in Dripping Springs, 20 in Kyle and 18 in San Marcos.  Thirteen of those Hays County cases have recovered. Seven have been hospitalized with only two of those remaining in a hospital. Three hundred, thirty-eight county Residents of the 404 tested have returned negative results.  

*    Since the CDC is now recommending that anyone venturing from home to any public places, wear cloth face masks to help keep those who are not showing symptoms from spreading the virus without knowing that they are infectious.  The CDC says that the public should use fabric coverings and not specialized medical masks, which should be reserved for health care providers.  They also suggest we not be lulled into a false sense of security by wearing a mask. Social distancing and frequent hand washing are still the best ways to prevent COVID-19 spread.  For those making their own masks, there is a YouTube video from the CDC on how to make one from a bandana or tee-shirt and rubber bands—no sewing. Use a tightly woven fabric, and prewash it in hot water to avoid later shrinkage

*    Katherine Anne Porter School Superintendent Michael Hannum has told KWVH that the school is extending its closure indefinitely.  There will be online no lessons on Friday, April 10 or Monday April 13, two previously scheduled holidays.  Plans are underway for a prom and for commencement. KAPS is continuing to offer meals for pick-up and take-away at 10 a.m. each morning.

*    Texas Workforce Commission has implemented staggered access to unemployment benefit services to ensure that more Texans can file unemployment claims.  More than half a million have filed unemployment claims in the last 18 days. Access to the TWC portal is now based on applicants’ telephone area codes.  For the 512 area code, the call times are Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1 and 5 p.m.

*    If you have questions about coronavirus: 

Hays County COVID-19 Hotline, 7-7 Monday through Friday.  The hotline is only for questions about the COVID-19 itself.  Call the hotline at 512-393-5525 with non-emergency COVID-19.

City of Wimberley, Wimberley ISD and the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce websites

The Barnabas Connection Website has a resource guide for services needed by those affected by COVID-19.

Barnabas Connection Helpline 512-842-9674.

*    The Wimberley Village Library is closed…but it’s open.  Don’t be confused.  Library patrons have access to thousands of books, magazines, movies and courses.  Just visit the website’s catalogue page and browse through the data bases. Anyone can visit the library’s Facebook page where you’ll find storytellers, virtual tours of interesting places and links to a whole host of other entertaining and educational programs.  

The Barnabas Connection has been approached by a silent partner who is willing to match them dollar for dollar up to $25,000 for funds donated to help Wimberley community members in need who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.  Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Donate online at www.barnabasconnects.org

Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  Governor Abbott is allowing restaurants to sell bulk foods to keep them from going to waste.  The Hays City Store, the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café all have markets with a variety of items, including toilet paper.  It’s worth a look. Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


5:30 a.m., April 6

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    Four new COVID-19 cases bring the Hays County total to 54.  Wimberley has one confirmed case while Woodcreek and Driftwood don’t have any.  There have been three confirmed cases in the Hays County portion of Austin, 10 in Buda, two in Dripping Springs, 20 in Kyle and 18 in San Marcos.  Thirteen of those Hays County cases have recovered. Seven have been hospitalized with only two of those remaining in a hospital. Three hundred, thirty-eight county Residents of the 404 tested have returned negative results.  

*    If you have questions about coronavirus, don’t forget the Hays County COVID-19 Hotline.  This call center is an excellent source for answers to non-emergency coronavirus questions.  The hotline operators cannot answer questions about the Stay at Home and Curfew Order, or general questions.  The hotline is only for questions about the COVID-19 itself. Call the hotline at 512-393-5525 with non-emergency COVID-19 questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Spanish speakers are available.  Other good sources of coronavirus information include the county’s Hays Informed, the City of Wimberley, Wimberley ISD and the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce websites.

Medical professionals urge patients to use telemedicine, not in-person visits for other than coronavirus symptoms.  If you have mild coronavirus symptoms—fever, couth or shortness of breath—call your health care provider.  If you develop emergency warning signs for the coronavirus—difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse or bluish lips or face—get medical attention immediately.  If an illness or injury is not urgent, video or telephonic visits will keep both patients and staff on the front lines safe. If you feel the need to visit a doctor’s office, call first to see what procedures that office has in place for treating you.  

The Food and Drug Administration has loosened its restrictions on blood donors in response to the nationwide blood shortage resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.  Those who spent time in certain European countries from 1980 to 2000 and who may have been exposed to mad cow disease are now considered safe donors.  The waiting period for certain donors including gay men and women who have had sex with gay men; those with recent tattoos and piercings and those who have traveled to malaria-endemic areas has been reduced from 12 to three months.

The Census Bureau has adjusted the schedule for the 2020 census now underway.  Most of the activities associated with the census have been extended to August 14.  The public is strongly encouraged to respond to any census materials received in the mail or dropped off at their homes, but the deadlines have been extended.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all Americans to wear face coverings in public settings, like pharmacies and grocery stores to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus.  This recommendation is to prevent those who may have contracted the coronavirus but who don’t have any symptoms from spreading the disease to others.  Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers. The CDC also advises that masks are not a substitute for social distancing.

The Barnabas Connection has been approached by a silent partner who is willing to match them dollar for dollar up to $25,000 for funds donated to help Wimberley community members in need who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.  Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Donate online at www.barnabasconnects.org

HEB announces that Favor is coming to Wimberley.  Favor, a wholly owned subsidiary of H-E-B that offers on-demand delivery services, will launch its delivery service here next week.  This localized solution can provide groceries and essential items to seniors via the Favor app or the Senior’s Support Call (order) Line at 1-833-397-0080.  This service also offers a new employment opportunity for the members of our community. Favor runners deliver anything to customers, including groceries. To learn more and become a runner, visit apply.favordelivery.com/.

Local restaurants and other merchants offer groceries for sale.  Governor Abbott is allowing restaurants to sell bulk foods to keep them from going to waste, and the Mad Rooster liquor store, Blanco Brew coffee shop, Community Pizza and the Wimberley Café all have markets with a variety of items, including toilet paper.  It’s worth a look. Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

STAY AT HOME.  STAY SAFE.


6 a.m. April 2

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    There have been 42-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date, an increase of four over the previous total.  Ten of those have recovered, five were hospitalized and one of those has been released.  Of the Hays County residents tested, 238 have come back negative. There have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Driftwood, Wimberley or Woodcreek.

*    The Hays County Central Appraisal District is granting an automatic 30-day extension for business personal property reports.  The extension moves the deadline from April 15 to May 15. Texas law requires business owners to report all personal property used for the business.  Examples of business personal property include computers, chairs, desks, office supplies, business inventory, machinery and vehicles used to produce income.  All businesses operating on January 1, 2020, must report that property to the Hays Central Appraisal District.

*    EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens has canceled its 2020 Butterfly Festival originally scheduled for April 18.  They are planning to go virtual with parts of the festival so that they can spread a little cheer during this difficult time.  They plan to use the symbolism of the butterfly to bring hope and healing to a world that is truly suffering right now. Please stay up-to-date at www.emilyann.org

*    the Women, Infants and Children’s program has instituted new procedures to help safely serve clients, including safe office distancing and an expansion of the eligible foods available for participants.  For more information, contact your local WIC office of visit www.texaswic.org

*    Medicare scam warning.  It’s easy to get distracted and let your guard down during these uncertain times.  Scammers may try to steal your Medicare number. They might lie about sending you coronavirus vaccines, tests, masks or other items in exchange for your Medicare number or personal information.  Only share your Medicare number with your doctors, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer or other trusted healthcare provider. Check your Medicare claims summary forms for errors.

*    A local woman, a grocery store clerk, has made the following plea on Facebook:  I am asking the public please do not leave your gloves and wipes in your shopping carts and in the parking lots.  Please dispose of them yourself. We all need to chip in and help those who work on the front line

Governor Greg Abbot has extended social distancing protocols statewide through April 30 and has closed schools through May 4.  Only essential businesses will be open through the month of April forcing gyms, massage clinics and cosmetology salons to close for another 30 days.  Grocery stores, restaurants/bars (if food pick-up or delivery is available), banks and hardware stores are considered essential and will remain open. 

All Wimberley ISD campuses will remain closed indefinitely, and the Katherine Anne Porter School is closed until May 4, but both will continue to deliver instruction.  In accordance with Governor Abbott’s order issued on March 31, the earliest schools will be allowed to reopen is May 4.  WISD will continue to distribute food to families that qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Families can apply for this program at any time during the school year.  KAPS also will continue with its lunch program.

The state has waived certain rules to ensure that public safety employees who contract COVID-19 because of their jobs will be reimbursed for COVID-19 related medical expenses.  Because their duties put them at increased risk, these rules have been waived so that public safety employees are not also financially penalized.

The Treasury Department says distribution of economic impact checks will begin in the next three weeks and will be sent automatically with no action required for most people.  The payment will be deposited directly into the banking account shown on tax returns.  For those without direct deposit information, Treasury plans a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

Local restaurants offer groceries for sale.  Governor Abbott is allowing restaurants to sell bulk foods to keep them from going to waste, and the Blanco Brew coffee shop and the Wimberley Café both have markets with a variety of items, even toilet paper.  It’s worth a look. Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

The Barnabas Connection Helpline is your resource for assistance with rent, utilities, food, medical and transportation.  If you or someone you know needs assistance with any of these, call 512-842-9674.

The Wimberley ISD has modified its distribution plan for meals students for qualifying for free or reduced-price meals.  In addition to breakfast and lunch, on Friday, April 3, students will receive a weekend bag of non-perishable, gluten-free food for the weekend.  Any breakfast or lunch meals not picked up by qualifying WISD families will be taken to the First Baptist Church each day where community families in need are invited to pick them up after 1:15 p.m.


6 a.m., April 1

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    Governor Greg Abbot has extended social distancing protocols statewide through April 30 and has closed schools through May 4.  Only essential businesses will be open through the month of April forcing gyms, massage clinics and cosmetology salons to close for another 30 days.  Grocery stores, restaurants/bars (if food pick-up or delivery is available), banks and hardware stores are considered essential and will remain open. 

*    All Wimberley ISD campuses will remain closed indefinitely, and the Katherine Anne Porter School is closed until May 4, but both will continue to deliver instruction.  In accordance with Governor Abbott’s order issued on March 31, the earliest schools will be allowed to reopen is May 4.  WISD will continue to distribute food to families that qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Families can apply for this program at any time during the school year.  KAPS also will continue with its lunch program.

*    There have been 38-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date, an increase of 10 over yesterday’s total.  Ten of those 38 have recovered, four are hospitalized and 228 have tested negative.  Six have been hospitalized, and one of those has since been released. There have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Driftwood, Wimberley or Woodcreek.

The state has waived certain rules to ensure public safety employees who contract COVID-19 because of their jobs will be reimbursed for COVID-19 related medical expenses.  Because their duties put them at increased risk, these rules have been waived so that public safety employees are not also financially penalized.

The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System has changed the hours of operation for its Austin VA outpatient clinic.  The new hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Veterans who are concerned that they may have COVID-19, flu or cold symptoms should call 800-423-2111 before coming to veterans health care facilities.  Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage.

Texas Health and Human Services says that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid benefit renewals currently due will automatically be renewed so existing clients can maintain continuity of coverage during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The Treasury Department says distribution of economic impact checks will begin in the next three weeks and will be sent automatically with no action required for most people.  The payment will be deposited directly into the banking account shown on tax returns.  For those without direct deposit information, Treasury plans a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain Texas Workforce Commission regulations to preserve and extend child care capacity for front line workers.  These waivers will allow TWC the flexibility to strengthen child care infrastructure for critical workers during the COVID-19 response.  These waivers ensure that families using TWC-subsidized child care will not lose their slots while the state battles COVID-19, and they secure payment to child care providers throughout this time.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office has issued a new warning about scams and price-gouging.   Be alert for scammers who may call or send emails with dangerous attachments or fraudulent website links.  Also, be on the lookout for businesses charging very high prices for necessities. If you see any of these activities report it to 800-621-0508.

Local restaurants offer groceries for sale.  Governor Abbott is allowing restaurants to sell bulk foods to keep them from going to waste, and the Blanco Brew coffee shop and the Wimberley Café both have markets with a variety of items, even toilet paper.  It’s worth a look. Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

The Barnabas Connection Helpline is your resource for assistance with rent, utilities, food, medical and transportation.  If you or someone you know needs assistance with any of these, call 512-842-9674.

The Wimberley ISD has modified its distribution plan for meals students for qualifying for free or reduced-price meals.  In addition to breakfast and lunch, on Friday, April 3, students will receive a weekend bag of non-perishable, gluten-free food for the weekend.  Any breakfast or lunch meals not picked up by qualifying WISD families will be taken to the First Baptist Church each day where community families in need are invited to pick them up after 1:15 p.m.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott’s latest travel restriction requires a 14-day quarantine for airline passengers arriving in Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Washington state, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago.  The governor’s order also applies to all those arriving from Louisiana by car, bus or train. The quarantine will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety.


Noon, March 31

COVID-19 Update

(* Indicates new or changed item)

* The total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hays County to date stands at 24.  Six of those 24 have recovered, and there have been 210 negative test results.  There have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in either Wimberley or Woodcreek.

* The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service say that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.  The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on tax returns.  For those for whom the IRS doesn’t have direct deposit information, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

* Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain Texas Workforce Commission regulations to preserve and extend child care capacity for front line workers.  These waivers will allow TWC the flexibility to strengthen child care infrastructure for critical workers during the COVID-19 response.  These waivers ensure that families using TWC-subsidized child care will not lose their slots while the state battles COVID-19, and they secure payment to child care providers throughout this time.

* The Texas Attorney General’s Office has issued a new warning about scams and price-gouging.   Be alert for scammers who may call or send emails with dangerous attachments or fraudulent website links.  Also, be on the lookout for businesses charging very high prices for necessities. If you see any of these activities report it to 800-621-0508.

* Local restaurants offer groceries for sale.  Governor Abbott is allowing restaurants to sell bulk foods to keep them from going to waste, and the Blanco Brew coffee shop and the Wimberley Café both have markets with a variety of items, even toilet paper.  It’s worth a look. Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

* The Barnabas Connection Helpline is your resource for assistance with rent, utilities, food, medical and transportation.  If you or someone you know needs assistance with any of these, call 512-842-9674.

The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce web page (www.wimberley.org/covid-19-info) is packed with helpful information to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis.  Take a look. The chamber really has stepped up to the plate and is supporting the community that it serves.

The Wimberley ISD has modified its distribution plan for meals students for qualifying for free or reduced-price meals.  In addition to breakfast and lunch, on Friday, April 3, students will receive a weekend bag of non-perishable, gluten-free food for the weekend.  Any breakfast or lunch meals not picked up by qualifying WISD families will be taken to the First Baptist Church each day where community families in need are invited to pick them up after 1:15 p.m.

There are all kinds of coronavirus “cures” or “preventatives” floating around on the internet.  We remind you that there is at present no known cure or preventative for COVID-19.  Please don’t fall for any of these snake oil remedies. Be smart. These proven tips from the CDC are the only way to prevent the spread of the virus: wash your hands often; don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth; keep six feet away from others; stay home if you feel sick; cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow.

* Texas Governor Gregg Abbott’s latest travel restriction requires a 14-day quarantine for airline passengers arriving in Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Washington state, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago.  The governor’s order also applies to all those arriving from Louisiana by car, bus or train. The quarantine will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety.

President Trump has extended federal social distancing guidelines until April 30 while saying that the best defense against the coronavirus is staying at home.

Hays County Transfer Stations (recycling centers) at Wimberley and Driftwood have reduced the number of days and hours that they are open.  Hours until further notice are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


6 a.m., March 31

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

*    With two new COVID-19 cases reported in Hays County, the county local health department said on Monday, March 30, that there are currently 18 active cases in the county of the 24 lab-confirmed cases to date.  Six of those 24 have recovered. As of March 30, 210 test results have been negative with results pending on 17 more tests. There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in either Wimberley or Woodcreek.

*    The Texas Attorney General’s Office has issued a new warning about scams and price-gouging.   Be alert for scammers who may call or send emails with dangerous attachments or fraudulent website links.  Also, be on the lookout for businesses charging very high prices for necessities. If you see any of these activities report it to 800-621-0508.

Local restaurants offering groceries for sale.  Since Governor Abbott is allowing restaurants to sell foods that they buy in bulk to keep it from going to waste.  Blanco Brew coffee shop and the Wimberley Café both have markets with a variety of items, even toilet paper. It”s worth a look.  Also, we’d like to hear from you if you know of others doing the same info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

The Barnabas Connection Helpline can help with rent, utilities, food, medical, fuel and transportation.  If you need in any of these areas, call 512-842-9674.

The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce web page (www.wimberley.org/covid-19-info) is packed with helpful information to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis.  Take a look. The chamber really has stepped up to the plate and is supporting the community that it serves.

The Wimberley ISD has modified its distribution plan for meals students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals.  In addition to breakfast and lunch, on Friday, April 3, students will receive a weekend bag of non-perishable, gluten-free food for the weekend.  Any breakfast or lunch meals not picked up by q each qualifying WISD families will be taken to the First Baptist Church each day where community families in need are invited to pick them up after 1:15 p.m.

There are all kinds of “cures” or “preventatives” for the coronavirus floating around on the internet.  We remind you that there is no known cure or preventative for COVID-19.  Please don’t fall for any of these snake oil remedies. Be smart. These proven tips from the CDC are the only way to prevent the spread of the virus: wash your hands often; don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth; keep six feet away from others; stay home if you feel sick; cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott  on March 29th expanded a previous executive order that requires a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone flying into Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans.  Now, the state is also mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone driving into Texas from anywhere in Louisiana and for those flying in from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago, as well as anywhere in California and Washington.

President Trump has extended federal social distancing guidelines until April 30 while saying that the best defense against the coronavirus is staying at home.

Hays County Transfer Stations (recycling centers) at Wimberley and Driftwood have reduced the number of days and hours that they are open.  Hours until further notice are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Wimberley business community is strong, but we need to help them in these unprecedented times.  The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce suggests that w give them a call, visit them online, send an email.  There are lots of ways to buy–call to purchase a gift card or gift certificate or purchase merchandise online.  Patronize restaurants by ordering take-out or home delivery. Let’s show them some big love!


6 a.m., March 30

COVID-19 Update

(*    Indicates new or changed item)

    After two days with no new COVID-19 cases reported in Hays County, the county local health department Sunday reported three additional cases, bringing the county total to 16, six of which have recovered  Total cases by city are, Hays County addresses in Austin—2; Buda—5; Dripping Springs—1; Kyle—5; San Marcos–3.

*    Texas Governor Gregg Abbott  on Sunday expanded a previous executive order that requires a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone flying into Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans.  Now, the state is also mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone driving into Texas from anywhere in Louisiana and for those flying in from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago, as well as anywhere in California and Washington.

*    President Trump has extended federal social distancing guidelines until April 30 while saying that the best defense against the coronavirus is staying at home.

*    Hays County Transfer Stations (recycling centers) at Wimberley and Driftwood have reduced the number of days and hours that they are open.  Hours until further notice are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

*    The Wimberley business community is strong, but we need to help them in these unprecedented times.  Give them a call, visit them online, send an email. There are lots of ways to buy–call to purchase a gift card or gift certificate or purchase merchandise online.  Patronize restaurants by ordering take-out or home delivery. Let’s show them some big love!

*    Hays CISD schools to remain closed until further notice.  The district will continue providing curbside meals and at-home instruction through the end of the school year if necessary, according to officials.

*    Cares Act signed Friday by President Trump could affect your small business.  Small businesses and 501(c)(3)s with fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for a Small Business Administration-backed loan.  The loan can be used for payroll costs, rent and utilities. For businesses that keep their employees, this loan will be forgiven.  The SBA has authorized lenders to process loans immediately without SBA approval. Business owners should talk to their preferred financial lender to see if they qualify.

Texas Women’s University in Denton has announced that it will help up to 100 small businesses that are owned by women through $1 million in grants.  TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs is offering 100 grants worth $10,000 each to small Texas businesses owned by women that demonstrate a need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The money can be used for some operating expenses, technology upgrades or to adapt to a new business model. Get more information at www.twu.edu/center-women-entrepreneurs/

Advice for deliveries received at home.  The packages and letters you receive are not sterile.  They may have passed through coronavirus-contaminated areas or hands enroute to you.  You should wear gloves or otherwise protect your hands, and you should open the packages outdoors.  After you have left all of the packing material in the box, leave it outside and bring the contents into your house.  Experts say that the coronavirus can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard.

There are a lot of rumors and misinformation circulating, so make sure that you get your information from qualified sources such as the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website and the City of Wimberley’s coronavirus website also have accurate local information. Call the Hays County non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at 512-393-5525.


Noon, March 27

COVID-19 Update

*    Advice for deliveries received at home.  The packages and letters you receive are not sterile.  They may have passed through coronavirus-contaminated areas or hands enroute to you.  You should wear gloves or otherwise protect your hands, and you should open the packages outdoors.  After you have left all of the packing material in the box, leave it outside and bring the contents into your house.  Experts say that the coronavirus can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard.

*    Wimberley’s community food bank, the Crisis Bread Basket is extremely grateful to the following businesses and groups who are helping to feed the hungry in Wimberley:  The Leaning Pear donated fresh eggs; Wimberley ISD and the Katherine Anne Porter School contributed extra school lunches; Creekside Barbecue Cookers gave us 30 meals; and the host of local gardeners who keep us supplied with fresh produce.  The Bread Basket also need monetary donations. Credit card donations online at www.crisisbreadbasket.com, or you can mail a donation to CBB, PO Box 1721, Wimberley, Texas 78676.

*    Christy Luong at Wimberley Spa Pronails has donated the nail salon’s supply of masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and alcohol to local long-term care facilities.

*    Christy Degenhart over at Wimberley Ace Hardware has come up with a way to raise money for the Barnabas Connection.  She is offering two tee-shirt designs that reflect the Wimberley spirit.  The first is a throwback to the 2015 flood fundraiser shirt, and the second has an outline of Texas with the words, “The one where we were quarantined, 2020, Wimberley.”  These can only be ordered today, so go by Ace or order by email at WimberleyCoronaTees@gmail.com.  All proceeds will go to Barnabas Connection to help Wimberley folks most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of two additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases in the county to 13.  All 13 positive cases are adults. In addition, the county local health department has received 131 negative test results and 21 test results are pending.  One of the original positive cases, a resident of Kyle, has recovered and is out of quarantine. The breakdown of cases by city as of 6 p.m., March 26 is Hays County portion of Austin—1; Buda—3; Dripping Springs—3; Kyle—4; San Marcos—2.

The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center is continuing to serve victims of abuse during the COVID-19 crisis.  HCWC has made adjustments to ensure the safety of victims of abuse and the staff who serve them and is available to help women, men and children who live, work or go to school in Hays or Caldwell County.  The center’s emergency services include a 24-hour help line for crisis calls, 24-hour hospital response, emergency child forensic interviews and their 24-hour emergency shelter.

The Texas  Workforce Commission, in an effort to support our working community and families affected by COVID-19, will distribute $40 million of supplemental child care.  These funds will allow local workforce development boards to provide child care to the new COVID-19 essential workers and pending approval of a federal waiver, make supplemental payments to child care programs to cover lost parent share of cost payments.  COVID-19 essential workers with children under the age of 13 may receive child care financial assistance to cover all or a portion of the costs for child care.

The Governor has ordered that all airline passengers arriving from the New York tri-state area or New Orleans self-quarantine for 14 days.  Failure to comply will result in criminal charges.

Wimberley ISD Schools and Katherine Anne Porter School will continue providing meals on a pick-up and take away basis at least through April 13.  Online and home instruction will continue at all schools. Teachers and counselors are available by email and online.

The Kinghts of Columbus fish fry at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Fridays in Lent continues, but no dining in is available.  Catfish dinners are available from 5 to 7:30 as carry out only.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra has ordered that county residents stay at home and shelter in place until April 10.  At the same time the judge placed a nightly curfew in effect from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.  The order exempts essential workers and daycare facilities that serve essential workers.  Healthcare businesses, grocery stores, hardware stores, news media, gas stations and restaurants offering to-go and delivery of food may remain open.  All public or private gatherings are prohibited. There are stiff penalties for violations. For more details and definitions, visit Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website.  

There are a lot of rumors and misinformation circulating, so make sure that you get your information from qualified sources such as the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website and the City of Wimberley’s coronavirus website also have accurate local information. Call the Hays County non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at 512-393-5525.


7 a.m.., March 27

COVID-19 Update

*    The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of two additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases in the county to 13.  All 13 positive cases are adults. In addition, the county local health department has received 131 negative test results and 21 test results are pending.  One of the original positive cases, a resident of Kyle, has recovered and is out of quarantine. The breakdown of cases by city as of 6 p.m., March 26 is Hays County portion of Austin—1; Buda—3; Dripping Springs—3; Kyle—4; San Marcos—2.

*    Several local restaurants with bars are offering cocktails with their curbside to-go orders.  Due to state mandates, in order to leave with alcohol, you must purchase food.  

*    The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center is continuing to serve victims of abuse during the COVID-19 crisis.  HCWC has made adjustments to ensure the safety of victims of abuse and the staff who serve them and is available to help women, men and children who live, work or go to school in Hays or Caldwell County.  The center’s emergency services include a 24-hour help line for crisis calls, 24-hour hospital response, emergency child forensic interviews and their 24-hour emergency shelter.

*    The Texas  Workforce Commission, in an effort to support our working community and families affected by COVID-19, will distribute $40 million of supplemental child care.  These funds will allow local workforce development boards to provide child care to the new COVID-19 essential workers and pending approval of a federal waiver, make supplemental payments to child care programs to cover lost parent share of cost payments.  COVID-19 essential workers with children under the age of 13 may receive child care financial assistance to cover all or a portion of the costs for child care.

*    Governor has ordered that all airline passengers arriving from the New York tri-state area or New Orleans self-quarantine for 14 days.  Failure to comply will result in criminal charges.

Wimberley ISD Schools and Katherine Anne Porter School will continue providing meals on a pick-up and take away basis at least through April 13.  Online and home instruction will continue at all schools. Teachers and counselors are available by email and online.

Wimberley’s community food bank, the Crisis Bread Basket has experienced a sharp increase in the number of families seeking assistance in the last two weeks.  They are extremely grateful for the food donations and for the gardeners who continue to supply them with fresh produce.  However, they also need monetary donations. Credit card donations are accepted online at www.crisisbreadbasket.com, or you can mail a donation to CBB, PO Box 1721, Wimberley, Texas 78676.

The Kinghts of Columbus fish fry at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Fridays in Lent continues, but no dining in is available.  Catfish dinners are available from 5 to 7:30 as carry out only.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra has ordered that county residents stay at home and shelter in place until April 10.  At the same time the judge placed a nightly curfew in effect from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.  The order exempts essential workers and daycare facilities that serve essential workers.  Healthcare businesses, grocery stores, hardware stores, news media, gas stations and restaurants offering to-go and delivery of food may remain open.  All public or private gatherings are prohibited. There are stiff penalties for violations. For more details and definitions, visit Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website.  

There are a lot of rumors and misinformation circulating, so make sure that you get your information from qualified sources such as the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website and the City of Wimberley’s coronavirus website also have accurate local information. Call the Hays County non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at 512-393-5525.


Noon, March 26

COVID-19 Update

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra has ordered that county residents stay at home and shelter in place until April 10.  At the same time the judge placed a nightly curfew in effect from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.  The order exempts essential workers and daycare facilities that serve essential workers.  Healthcare businesses, grocery stores, hardware stores, news media, gas stations and restaurants offering to-go and delivery of food may remain open.  All public or private gatherings are prohibited. There are stiff penalties for violations. For more details and definitions, visit Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website.  

The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of an 11th confirmed case of COVID-19.  All 11 positive cases are adults. The breakdown of cases by city as of 8 p.m., March 25 is Hays County portion of Austin—1; Buda—3; Dripping Springs—2; Kyle—3; San Marcos—2.

Texas asks for access to interest-free federal loans to pay unemployment claims and the accelerated release of funds from Texas’ account of the federal Unemployment Trust Fund.  This would allow Texas to apply for federal loans that would be interest-free through the end of this year. These loans would allow the state to cover unemployment benefit payments without disruption.

All City of Wimberley offices are closed to walk-in traffic, and most services are available by phone and online.  Woodcreek City Hall is closed.

Hays County and the City of Wimberley have closed all county and city parks until further notice.  To protect public health and to discourage social gathering, no one is permitted to enter any city park or public space, including open spaces, greenspaces, trails park facilities or public restrooms maintained and operated by the city.

Wimberley Stitch Studio is making and collecting protective masks.  These masks will be donated to hospitals.  You can drop off masks in front of their gate at 704 FM 2325, across from Market Day Gate 3.

Wimberley banks’ lobbies are all closed.  All five Wimberley banks are open for drive-in banking only.  However, all have indicated that full service in the lobby is available on an appointment basis. 

Wimberley’s restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, breweries and wineries are vital to the local community and to the economy.  They have been there for us many times and in so many different ways.  There is no dine-in service anywhere, but most of these fine businesses are offering walk-up and curbside service.  Show them some extra love by calling in, ordering online and picking your order up.

The Wimberley Village Library is closed.  They are no longer checking out materials by curb service.  All materials currently checked out are due June 1.

Area hospitals have implemented a “no visitors” policy to protect patients, physicians, staff and community members as COVID-19 spreads.  Ascension Seton, Baylor Scot & White and St. David’s Healthcare on Sunday put in place the new policy. Exceptions to the policy will be made for laboring and post-partum patients; patients with disabilities or impairments or who are elderly; patients in the neonatal ICU and pediatric patients; patients requiring surgery or other medical procedures; and patients requiring end-of-life care.  Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos allows one visitor over 18 years old per day for patients.

Unauthorized fraudulent COVID-19 test kits are being marketed for home testing.  At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any test for home testing for COVID-19.  If you are aware of fraudulent test kits for COVID-19, please report them to the FDA by calling the Dallas FDA Office at 214-253-5237.

There are a lot of rumors and misinformation circulating, so make sure that you get your information from qualified sources such as the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website and the City of Wimberley’s coronavirus website also have accurate local information. Call the Hays County non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at 512-393-5525.


5 a.m., March 26

COVID-19 Update

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra has implemented a countywide “Stay at Home, Work Safe” order and curfew.  Hays County residents are to stay at home beginning at 11 p.m. tonight through 4 a.m. April 10.  A curfew from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. during the same period also is in effect and exempts essential workers.  Daycare facilities that serve essential workers can remain open. Healthcare businesses, grocery stores, hardware stores, news media, gas stations and restaurants offering to-go and delivery of food will not have to close.  Persons providing electrical, plumbing and other essential services can continue to work, as can those who work from home. All public or private gatherings of any number of people are prohibited. The gathering of members of a household or living unit are permitted.  People still may go outside to exercise provided they practice social distancing and keep six feet of space between themselves and others who do not live in their same households.

The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of an 11th confirmed case of COVID-19.  All 11 positive cases are adults. The breakdown of cases by city as of 8 p.m., March 25 is Hays County portion of Austin—1; Buda—3; Dripping Springs—2; Kyle—3; San Marcos—2.

Wimberley’s restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, breweries and wineries are vital to the local community and to the economy.  They have been there for us many times and in so many different ways.  There is no dine-in service anywhere, but most of these fine businesses are offering walk-up and curbside service.  Show them some extra love by calling in, ordering online and picking your order up.

Hays County and the City of Wimberley have closed all county and city parks until further notice.  To protect public health and to discourage social gathering, no one is permitted to enter any city park or public space, including open spaces, greenspaces, trails park facilities or public restrooms maintained and operated by the city.

There are a lot of rumors and misinformation circulating.  We urge our listeners to get information from qualified sources such as the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Hays Informed, the county’s emergency management website and the City of Wimberley’s coronavirus website also have accurate local information.

Unauthorized fraudulent COVID-19 test kits are being marketed for home testing.  At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any test for home testing for COVID-19.  If you are aware of fraudulent test kits for COVID-19, please report them to the FDA by calling the Dallas FDA Office at 214-253-5237.

Wimberley banks’ lobbies are all closed.  All five Wimberley banks are open for drive-in banking only.  However, all have indicated that full service in the lobby is available on an appointment basis. 

Area hospitals have implemented a “no visitors” policy to protect patients, physicians, staff and community members as COVID-19 spreads.  Ascension Seton, Baylor Scot & White and St. David’s Healthcare on Sunday put in place the new policy. Exceptions to the policy will be made for laboring and post-partum patients; patients with disabilities or impairments or who are elderly; patients in the neonatal ICU and pediatric patients; patients requiring surgery or other medical procedures; and patients requiring end-of-life care.  Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos allows one visitor over 18 years old per day for patients.

EMS instructions for those with flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  Wimberley EMS has the following for those requesting emergency services: When you call 9-1-1 let the dispatcher know if you have flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  This information will help first responders take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  If you see first responders in gowns and masks, it DOES NOT mean that the patient has COVID-19.  They are simply protecting themselves and the community.

The Wimberley Village Library is closed.  They are no longer checking out materials by curb service.  All materials currently checked out are due June 1.


Updated, 5:16 a.m., March 25

Community Response to Coronavirus 19 Threat

We recommend that before visiting any retail store or other business or government or private agency that you call ahead to find out whether they’re open for in-person business and what their restrictions are.

Wimberley banks’ lobbies are all closed.  As of Tuesday, March 24, all five Wimberley banks are open for drive-in banking only.  However, all have indicated that full service in the lobby is available on an appointment basis. 

The Katherine Anne Porter School is conducting online instruction using Google Classroom and Edgenuity.  Meals may be picked up at the KAPS campus at 10 a.m. Times for meal delivery will be sent to parents in the various towns KAPS serves. 

The Wimberley Village Library is closed.  They are no longer checking out materials by curb service.  All materials currently checked out are due June 1.

State Representative Erin Zwiener (Zwee-ner) has canceled monthly roving district office hours in Wimberley, Johnson City, Blanco and Dripping Springs.  Her district office in Kyle is closed for in-person transactions and meetings.

Hays County Commissioners Court is accepting public comments by email until further notice in order to comply with the “no more than 10” rule.  Commissioners Court typically meets on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. Comments must be received by 8:45 a.m. on Tuesdays.

The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center are closed until further notice.  The staff is working remotely and are available for their members and the community.  Visit the chamber website for contact information.

The City of Wimberley has canceled all public meetings except city council and planning and zoning commission.  Public comments will be accepted by email only and must be received by 6 p.m. the day of the meeting to be read at the meeting.  City council and planning and zoning commission meetings are streamed live on the city’s website.

Area hospitals have implemented a “no visitors” policy to protect patients, physicians, staff and community members as COVID-19 spreads.  Ascension Seton, Baylor Scot & White and St. David’s Healthcare on Sunday put in place the new policy. Exceptions to the policy will be made for laboring and post-partum patients; patients with disabilities or impairments or who are elderly; patients in the neonatal ICU and pediatric patients; patients requiring surgery or other medical procedures; and patients requiring end-of-life care.  Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos allows one visitor over 18 years old per day for patients.

Two locally operated Facebook pages are full of helpful, local information for the COVID-19 crisis.  Corridor News is published by the San Marcos Corridor Association, a chamber of commerce-like organization, and it is chock-full of useful news, information and tips.  Wimberley Coronavirus Support is run by Tom Buse and our own David Betts. It too is full of news and information and local Wimberley items. Check them out.

The City of Wimberley website has useful COVID-19 information for local residents.  It is updated regularly and is easy to understand with the information displayed right in front of you.  www.cityofwimberley.com/covid-19

Don’t forget the gas pump handle.  We are reminded that most people who fastidiously wash their hands and take other precautions against the spread of COVID-19 completely disregard the handle of the gas pump.  You should wear gloves or have a paper towel touch the pump handle—and the keypad on which you enter your information—and throw the paper towel and gloves out before you get back in your car.  Here’s a hint: keep some plastic shopping bags in your car to use if you don’t have gloves.

EMS instructions for those with flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  Wimberley EMS has the following for those requesting emergency services: When you call 9-1-1 let the dispatcher know if you have flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  This information will help our first responders take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  If you see first responders in gowns and masks, it DOES NOT mean that the patient has COVID-19.  We are simply protecting ourselves and our community.

VFW cancels all activities: Wimberley VFW Post 6441 is canceling all post activities until the middle of May.  This includes monthly meetings, bingo, the Armed Forces Day open house and any hall rentals that were scheduled.  The VFW’s mission is to take care of all veterans.  Any veterans in need of any assistance during this time should call the VFW at 512-847-6441.  This may be just a trip to the store for groceries or a ride to the doctor.  The VFW is here to assist any veteran who is in need of a little help.

Breakfast/Lunch for free or reduced-qualifying students:  WISD students who qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals may receive breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Friday, April 3 during  Wimberley ISD’s extended spring break. These meals are served curbside at Jacobs Well Elementary School. Please have your students and their student ID cards in the vehicle when you pick up the meals.

The Wimberley Garden Club has canceled the annual Garden Tour scheduled for May 9.

United Way of Hays and Caldwell Counties has a disaster relief fund to assist those economically affected by the COVID-19 virus.  They are working with Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas to distribute these funds directly to those in need throughout the two counties.  Residents needing assistance can to the Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas’ website to apply for these funds for help with utility bills and rent.

Wimberley Water Supply Corporation’s office is open for email or telephone transactions only.  No in-person business.

Warning: Paper napkins are not a substitute for toilet paper.  We’ve noticed that neither of Wimberley’s two grocery stores has any paper napkins on their shelves.  We suspect that people are using napkins as a toilet paper substitute. Don’t do this. Paper napkins will not dissolve in water, and they will clog up your septic system.  That can be expensive. It’s probably not too good for your system if you’re hooked up to a central wastewater system either.

Hand sanitizer concentrate available at Middleton Brewing.  Carl Rabenaldt of Middleton Brewing has a surplus of sanitizer concentrate that is used in the brewing process.  He is giving away small vials that can produce 4-1/2 gallons of sanitizer that can be used in your home or work. It works just like what you cannot find or buy on the shelves of grocery stores right now.  There is no charge. Just stop by Middleton Brewing and pick it up. Middleton’s might looked closed, but it’s not, so feel free to go in.

Most Hays County offices and services are staffed and available for email and telephonic transactions.  The situation is developing rapidly, so if you plan to visit a county office in person, please visit that department’s webpage and call or email the office.


The Katherine Anne Porter School is conducting online instruction using Google Classroom and Edgenuity.  Meals may be picked up at the KAPS campus at 10 a.m.  Times for meal delivery will be sent to parents in the various towns KAPS serves.

The Wimberley Village Library is closed.  They are no longer checking out materials by curb service.  All materials currently checked out are due June 1.


Updated, 5:16 a.m., March 24

Community Response to Coronavirus 19 Threat

We recommend that before visiting any retail store or other business or government or private agency that you call ahead to find out whether they’re open for in-person business and what their restrictions are.

Hays County Commissioners Court is accepting public comments by email until further notice in order to comply with the “no more than 10” rule.  Commissioners Court typically meets on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. Comments must be received by 8:45 a.m. on Tuesdays.

The Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center are closed until further notice.  The staff is working remotely and are available for their members and the community.  Visit the chamber website for contact information.

The City of Wimberley has canceled all public meetings except city council and planning and zoning commission.  Public comments will be accepted by email only and must be received by 6 p.m. the day of the meeting to be read at the meeting.  City council and planning and zoning commission meetings are streamed live on the city’s website.

The Wimberley Garden Club has canceled the annual Garden Tour scheduled for May 9.

United Way of Hays and Caldwell Counties has a disaster relief fund to assist those economically affected by the COVID-19 virus.  They are working with Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas to distribute these funds directly to those in need throughout the two counties.  Residents needing assistance can to the Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas’ website to apply for these funds for help with utility bills and rent.

Area hospitals have implemented a “no visitors” policy to protect patients, physicians, staff and community members as COVID-19 spreads.  Ascension Seton, Baylor Scot & White and St. David’s Healthcare on Sunday put in place the new policy. Exceptions to the policy will be made for laboring and post-partum patients; patients with disabilities or impairments or who are elderly; patients in the neonatal ICU and pediatric patients; patients requiring surgery or other medical procedures; and patients requiring end-of-life care.  Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos allows one visitor over 18 years old per day for patients.

The City of Wimberley website has useful information for local residents.  It is updated regularly and is easy to understand with the information displayed right in front of you.  www.cityofwimberley.com/covid-19

Don’t forget the gas pump handle.  We are reminded that most people who fastidiously wash their hands and take other precautions against the spread of COVID-19 completely disregard the handle of the gas pump.  You should wear gloves or have a paper towel touch the pump handle—and the keypad on which you enter your information—and throw the paper towel and gloves out before you get back in your car.  Here’s a hint: keep some plastic shopping bags in your car to use if you don’t have gloves.

Wimberley banks vary in their operations.  As of Friday, March 21, lobbies and drive-in banking are available at Sonora Bank and Wells Fargo.  Ozona, Broadway and Texas Regional banks are conducting drive-in banking only.

Wimberley Water Supply Corporation’s office is open for email or telephone transactions only.  No in-person business.

Warning: Paper napkins are not a substitute for toilet paper.  We’ve noticed that neither of Wimberley’s two grocery stores has any paper napkins on their shelves.  We suspect that people are using napkins as a toilet paper substitute. Don’t do this. Paper napkins will not dissolve in water, and they will clog up your septic system.  That can be expensive. It’s probably not too good for your system if you’re hooked up to a central wastewater system either.

Hand sanitizer concentrate available at Middleton Brewing.  Carl Rabenaldt of Middleton Brewing has a surplus of sanitizer concentrate that is used in the brewing process.  He is giving away small vials that can produce 4-1/2 gallons of sanitizer that can be used in your home or work. It works just like what you cannot find or buy on the shelves of grocery stores right now.  There is no charge. Just stop by Middleton Brewing and pick it up. Middleton’s might looked closed, but it’s not, so feel free to go in.

Most Hays County offices and services are staffed and available for in-person transactions.  You can take care of many of those services online. The situation is developing rapidly, so if you plan to visit a county office in person, please visit that department’s webpage and call or email the office.

HEB is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.  A note from an HEB employee:  For those placing HEB Curbside orders keep in mind that the store may not have the specific brand for a product and if you select “No Substitutions” on your order, even if they have a similar or like product, you will get not get that item.  The store has had to delete items from customers’ requests, even though it had similar products, but a different brand. It might be awhile before your brand is back on the shelf so in the meantime, do not check the “No Substitutions” button and trust HEB employees to try and get you a similar product. 

Brookshire Brothers is keeping its regular hours 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for now.

EMS instructions for those with flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  Wimberley EMS has the following for those requesting emergency services: When you call 9-1-1 let the dispatcher know if you have flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  This information will help our first responders take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  If you see first responders in gowns and masks, it DOES NOT mean that the patient has COVID-19.  We are simply protecting ourselves and our community.

Daycare facilities closed.  The most recent emergency declarations by both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra order daycare facilities closed until April 3.  We recommend that you contact your daycare center concerning their plans.

Some local dentists have restricted their services to emergency procedures only.  We recommend that if you are scheduled for a routine appointment that you call your dentist ahead of time for instructions on how to proceed.

Breakfast/Lunch for free or reduced-qualifying students:  WISD students who qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals may receive breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Friday, April 3 during  Wimberley ISD’s extended spring break. These meals are served curbside at Jacobs Well Elementary School. Please have your students and their student ID cards in the vehicle when you pick up the meals.

VFW cancels all activities: Wimberley VFW Post 6441 is canceling all post activities until the middle of May.  This includes monthly meetings, bingo, the Armed Forces Day open house and any hall rentals that were scheduled.  The VFW’s mission is to take care of all veterans.  Any veterans in need of any assistance during this time should call the VFW at 512-847-6441.  This may be just a trip to the store for groceries or a ride to the doctor.  The VFW is here to assist any veteran who is in need of a little help.

The Wimberley Village Library is closed but is offering curbside pickup of check-out materials Monday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.  Patrons may reserve materials online or by telephone. Materials will be ready for curbside pickup the following business day.  The library has extended due dates for materials that are out. Those materials now will be due on June 1.

Cypress Creek Animal Hospital is open regular hours, and they offer curbside service for clients picking up medications or pet foods.  Call the clinic before your visit to request medication refills or pet food. Currently, there is no evidence that pets or livestock can contact or carry COVID-19.  CCAH recommends that you have a two-week supply of your pet’s food and medications on hand. Make sure you continue monthly heartworm and flea preventatives.

Austin Community College, the University of Texas and Texas State University have extended spring break until March 29.  After that, all spring semester classes will be conducted online.  UT and Texas State have ordered all students living in university-owned facilities to move out immediately.  Texas State has postponed spring commencement ceremonies until August when they will coincide with summer commencement.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Texas offices are closed to the public, and their biggest annual fundraising event has been postponed.  

The Wimberley Wagon, a transportation service for local bars and restaurants has suspended service.

State Representative Erin Zwiener (Zwee-ner) has canceled monthly roving district office hours in Wimberley, Johnson City, Blanco and Dripping Springs.  Her district office in Kyle is closed for in-person transactions and meetings.

The Wimberley Institute of Cultures 30th Annual Pie Social scheduled for April 18 is postponed.

The Wimberley Community Chorus is postponing its 40th anniversary concert and all practices and concerts indefinitely.

Wimberley Arts Fest scheduled for April 25 and 26 is postponed.

The Wimberley Players have postponed all productions, rehearsals and performances indefinitely.

Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Offices are closed to the public.  Regional offices will remain open, but will no longer accept walk-ins for claims assistance, scheduled appointments, counseling and other in-person services.  Veterans can continue to get information about benefits or file a claim for benefits by visiting www.va.gov.  Veterans with claims specific or other questions may request information by telephone at 1-800-827-1000.

Alexis Pointe Senior Living of Wimberley has stopped all non-medical visits to its residents.

Deer Creek of Wimberley is closed to visitors and residents may not leave the premises on pass

San Marcos Outlet Malls are closed until further notice.

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) offices are closed to member and public interactions.  Telephone and online communications are still available.

Blue Hole Regional Park: All events and activities scheduled for Blue Hole Regional Park are canceled until May 8.

Market Day is canceled for April and May.

The Village Store, a Community Thrift Shop, 450 River Road, is closed.

The Wimberley Community Center and its Senior Lounge are closed.

Woodcreek City Hall is closed and all city meetings canceled.

All Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce special events are canceled.

Wimberley Community Civic Club (WCCC) all meetings and events canceled.

Wimberley Rotary Club Tuesday meetings canceled.

Crisis Bread Basket distribution times Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are unchanged.  Clients will be served on a carry-out basis and will not be permitted inside the facility.  The CBB thanks all of the local gardeners who are keeping the food bank supplied with fresh produce.

Quicksand @ Woodcreek Golf Course will remain open, but they have adopted changes in golfing procedures to protect the health and safety of their players and staff.  A list of the new procedures is available online and at the clubhouse.  

St. Mary’s Fish Fry Friday nights during Lent 5 to 7:30, carry out only, Cash is preferred to expedite the process.

NOTE: We list and announce cancelation information for the churches that have reached out to us or with whom we have contact.  Most churches are probably adopting similar cancelation policies. If you are aware of them, please let us know at 512-722-3266 or info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

St. Mary’s Catholic Church, has canceled all public masses until Wednesday of Holy Week (April 8).  Online or social media streamed masses are available.

Wimberley United Methodist Church facilities are closed and there will be no in-person worship services.  Some services will be available online or on social media.

Chapel in the Hills has canceled all in-person worship services until May 14.

Updated, 5:49 a.m., March 23

Community Response to Coronavirus 19 Threat

The City of Wimberley website has useful information for local residents.  It is updated regularly, and is easy to understand with the information displayed right in front of you.  www.cityofwimberley.com/covid-19

Don’t forget the gas pump handle.  We are reminded that most people who fastidiously wash their hands and take other precautions against the spread of COVID-19 completely disregard the handle of the gas pump.  You should wear gloves or have a paper towel touch the pump handle—and the keypad on which you enter your information—and throw the paper towel and gloves out before you get back in your car.  Here’s a hint: keep some plastic shopping bags in your car to use if you don’t have gloves.

Wimberley banks vary in their operations.  As of Friday, March 21, lobbies and drive-in banking are available at Sonora Bank and Wells Fargo.  Ozona, Broadway and Texas Regional banks are conducting drive-in banking only.

Wimberley Water Supply Corporation’s office is open for email or telephone transactions only.  No in-person business.

Warning: Paper napkins are not a substitute for toilet paper.  We’ve noticed that neither of Wimberley’s two grocery stores has any paper napkins on their shelves.  We suspect that people are using napkins as a toilet paper substitute. Don’t do this. Paper napkins will not dissolve in water, and they will clog up your septic system.  That can be expensive. It’s probably not too good for your system if you’re hooked up to a central wastewater system either.

WISD announces plans for home instruction during the extended spring break period.  The Wimberley Independent School District has announced that instruction during the extended spring break period March 23 through April 3.  Instruction will be online accompanied by instruction packets provided to students Monday by email or may be picked up at schools. Parents are asked to assist.  More information is available on the WISD website. At this time, the closure of WISD campuses has NOT been extended beyond April 3. Any news regarding closures will come directly from the district and not from unofficial social media.

Hand sanitizer concentrate available at Middleton Brewing.  Carl Rabenaldt of Middleton Brewing has a surplus of sanitizer concentrate that is used in the brewing process.  He is giving away small vials that can produce 4-1/2 gallons of sanitizer that can be used in your home or work. It works just like what you cannot find or buy on the shelves of grocery stores right now.  There is no charge. Just stop by Middleton Brewing and pick it up. Middleton’s might looked closed, but it’s not, so feel free to go in.

Hays County Tax Offices are closed for lobby walk-in services.  Employees are onsite answering mail and phones.  All online services, mail and drop-boxes can still be used to conduct business with the Tax Office.  The phone number is 512-393-5545.

HEB is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.  A note from an HEB employee:  For those placing HEB Curbside orders keep in mind that the store may not have the specific brand for a product and if you select “No Substitutions” on your order, even if they have a similar or like product, you will get not get that item.  The store has had to delete items from customers’ requests, even though it had similar products, but a different brand. It might be awhile before your brand is back on the shelf so in the meantime, do not check the “No Substitutions” button and trust HEB employees to try and get you a similar product. 

Brookshire Brothers is keeping its regular hours 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for now.

EMS instructions for those with flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  Wimberley EMS has the following for those requesting emergency services: When you call 9-1-1 let the dispatcher know if you have flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  This information will help our first responders take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  If you see first responders in gowns and masks, it DOES NOT mean that the patient has COVID-19.  We are simply protecting ourselves and our community.

Daycare facilities closed.  The most recent emergency declarations by both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra order daycare facilities closed until April 3.  We recommend that you contact your daycare center concerning their plans.

Some local dentists have restricted their services to emergency procedures only.  We recommend that if you are scheduled for a routine appointment that you call your dentist ahead of time for instructions on how to proceed.

Breakfast/Lunch for free or reduced-qualifying students:  WISD students who qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals may receive breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3 while Wimberley ISD schools are closed for extended spring break.  These meals will be served curbside at Jacobs Well Elementary School at the rear car-ride lane behind the campus. Please have your student(s) in the vehicle when you pick up the meals along with their student IDs.

We recommend that before visiting any retail store or other business or government or private agency that you call ahead to find out whether they’re open for in-person business and what their restrictions are.

VFW cancels all activities: Wimberley VFW Post 6441 is canceling all post activities until the middle of May.  This includes monthly meetings, bingo, the Armed Forces Day open house and any hall rentals that were scheduled.  The VFW’s mission is to take care of all veterans.  Any veterans in need of any assistance during this time should call the VFW at 512-847-6441.  This may be just a trip to the store for groceries or a ride to the doctor.  The VFW is here to assist any veteran who is in need of a little help.

The Wimberley Village Library is closed but is offering curbside pickup of check-out materials Monday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.  Patrons may reserve materials online or by telephone. Materials will be ready for curbside pickup the following business day.  The library has extended due dates for materials that are out. Those materials now will be due on June 1.

Cypress Creek Animal Hospital is open regular hours, and they offer curbside service for clients picking up medications or pet foods.  Call the clinic before your visit to request medication refills or pet food. Currently, there is no evidence that pets or livestock can contact or carry COVID-19.  CCAH recommends that you have a two-week supply of your pet’s food and medications on hand. Make sure you continue monthly heartworm and flea preventatives.

Austin Community College, the University of Texas and Texas State university have extended spring break until March 29.  After that, all spring semester classes will be conducted online.  UT and Texas State have ordered all students living in university-owned facilities to move out immediately.  Texas State has postponed spring commencement ceremonies until August when they will coincide with summer commencement.

Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Offices are closed to the public.  Regional offices will remain open, but will no longer accept walk-ins for claims assistance, scheduled appointments, counseling and other in-person services.  Veterans can continue to get information about benefits or file a claim for benefits by visiting www.va.gov.  Veterans with claims specific or other questions may request information by telephone at 1-800-827-1000.

Alexis Pointe Senior Living of Wimberley has stopped all non-medical visits to its residents.

Deer Creek of Wimberley is closed to visitors and residents may not leave the premises on pass

San Marcos Outlet Malls are closed until further notice.

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) offices are closed to member and public interactions.  Telephone and online communications are still available.

NOTE: We list and announce cancelation information for the churches that have reached out to us or with whom we have contact.  Most churches are probably adopting similar cancelation policies. If you are aware of them, please let us know at 512-722-3266 or info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

The bishop of the Diocese of Austin, which includes St. Mary’s in Wimberley, has issued a decree canceling all public masses within the Catholic churches of the diocese until Wednesday of Holy Week (April 8).  Online or social media streamed masses are available.

Wimberley United Methodist Church facilities are closed and there will be no in-person worship services.  Some services will be available online or on social media.

Chapel in the Hills has canceled all in-person worship services until May 14.

Blue Hole Regional Park: All events and activities scheduled for Blue Hole Regional Park are canceled until May 8.

Market Day is canceled for April and May.

The Village Store, a Community Thrift Shop, 450 River Road, is closed.

The Wimberley Community Center and its Senior Lounge are closed.

Woodcreek City Hall is closed and all city meetings canceled.

All Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce special events are canceled.

Wimberley Community Civic Club (WCCC) all meetings and events canceled.

Wimberley Rotary Club Tuesday meetings canceled.

Crisis Bread Basket distribution times Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are unchanged.  Clients will be served on a carry-out basis and will not be permitted inside the facility.  The CBB thanks all of the local gardeners who are keeping the food bank supplied with fresh produce.

Quicksand @ Woodcreek Golf Course will remain open, but they have adopted changes in golfing procedures to protect the health and safety of their players and staff.  A list of the new procedures is available online and at the clubhouse.  

St. Mary’s Fish Fry Friday nights during Lent 5 to 7:30, carry out only, Cash is preferred to expedite the process.

Updated, 5:31 a.m., March 20

Community Response to Coronavirus 19 Threat

EMS instructions for those with flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  Wimberley EMS has the following for those requesting emergency services: When you call 9-1-1 let the dispatcher know if you have flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  This information will help our first responders take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  If you see first responders in gowns and/or masks, it DOES NOT mean that the patient has COVID-19.  We are simply protecting ourselves and our community.

Daycare facilities closed.  The most recent emergency declarations by both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra order daycare facilities closed until April 3.  We recommend that you contact your daycare center concerning their plans.

Some local dentists have restricted their services to medical procedures only.  We recommend that if you are scheduled for a routine appointment that you call your dentist ahead of time for instructions on how to proceed.

As a result of Thursday’s order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, all restaurants and bars are limited to takeout orders and home delivery.  Please call your favorite restaurant before visiting to determine which services are available.


Breakfast/Lunch for free or reduced-qualifying students:  WISD students who qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals may receive breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3 while Wimberley ISD schools are closed for extended spring break.  These meals will be served curbside at Jacobs Well Elementary School at the rear car-ride lane behind the campus. Please have your student(s) in the vehicle when you pick up the meals along with their student IDs.


Updated, 2pm March 19th

Wimberley EMS has the following for those requesting emergency services: When you call 9-1-1 let the dispatcher know if you have flu or respiratory-like symptoms.  This information will help our first responders take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  If you see first responders in gowns and/or masks, it DOES NOT mean that the patient has COVID-19.  We are simply protecting ourselves and our community.

Wimberley VFW Post 6441 is canceling all post activities until the middle of May.  This includes monthly meetings, bingo, the Armed Forces Day open house and any hall rentals that were scheduled.  Our goal in the VFW is to take care of all veterans.  Any veterans in need of any assistance during this time should call the VFW at 512-847-6441.  This may be just a trip to the store for groceries or a ride to the doctor.  We are here to assist an veteran who is in need of a little help.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra today released on Facebook a list of cities that have had positive coronavirus cases in Hays County.

  • San Marcos area 1
  • Kyle/Buda area   2
  • Wimberley area   0
  • Dripping Springs area  2

Driver’s license expiration dates waived for now.  Expiring Texas driver’s licenses will remain valid as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.  The governor’s order also applies to state-issued identification cards and commercial driver’s licenses. This policy will remain in effect until 60 days after the Department of Public Safety notifies the public that normal operations have resumed.


Updated, 5 a.m., March 19

Community Response to Coronavirus 19 Threat

We recommend that before visiting a restaurant, retail store or other business or government or private business that you call ahead to find out whether they’re open for in-person business and what their restrictions are.

CANCELATIONS AND CLOSINGS

Wimberley United Methodist Church facilities are closed and there will be no in-person worship services.  

Chapel in the Hills has canceled all in-person worship services until May 14.

NOTE: We list and announce cancelation information for the churches that have reached out to us or with whom we have contact.  Most churches are probably adopting similar cancelation policies. If you are aware of them, please let us know at 512-722-3266 or info@wimberleyvalleyradio.org

Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Offices are closed to the public.  Regional offices will remain open, but will no longer accept walk-ins for claims assistance, scheduled appointments, counseling and other in-person services.  Veterans can continue to get information about benefits or file a claim for benefits by visiting www.va.gov.  Veterans with claims specific or other questions may request information by telephone at 1-800-827-1000.

San Marcos Outlet Malls are closed until further notice.

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) offices are closed to member and public interactions.  Telephone and online communication is still available.

The bishop of the Diocese of Austin, which includes St. Mary’s in Wimberley, has issued a decree canceling all public masses within the Catholic churches of the diocese until Wednesday of Holy Week (April 8) unless revoked or extended by subsequent decree.

The Wimberley Village Library is closed but is offering curbside pickup of check-out materials Monday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.  Patrons may reserve materials online or by telephone. Materials will be ready for curbside pickup the following business day.

Blue Hole Regional Park: All events and activities scheduled for Blue Hole Regional Park are canceled until May 8.

Market Day is canceled for April and May.

The Village Store, a Community Thrift Shop, 450 River Road, is closed.

Deer Creek of Wimberley is closed to visitors and resident may not leave the premises on pass

The Wimberley Community Center and its Senior Lounge are closed.

Woodcreek City Hall is closed and all city meetings canceled.

All Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce special events are canceled.

VFW Friday night bingo cancelled until mid-May.

Wimberley Community Civic Club (WCCC) all meetings and events canceled.

Wimberley Rotary Club Tuesday meetings canceled for March 17 and 24.

MODIFIED OPERATIONS AND SCHEDULES

Crisis Bread Basket distribution times Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are unchanged.  Clients will be served on a carry-out basis and will not be permitted inside the facility.  The CBB thanks all of the local gardeners who are keeping the food bank supplied with fresh produce.

Quicksand @ Woodcreek Golf Course will remain open, but they have adopted changes in golfing procedures to protect the health and safety of their players and staff.  A list of the new procedures is available online and at the clubhouse.  

St. Mary’s Fish Fry Friday nights during Lent 5 to 7:30, carry out only, Cash is preferred to expedite the process.

Wimberley ISD, the Katherine Anne Porter School and Wimberley Montessori School on spring break until April 6.

HEB is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Brookshire Brothers is keeping its regular hours 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for now.

Austin Community College has extended spring break until March 29.

University of Texas spring break extended until March 29.  Starting March 30, all spring semester classes will be conducted online.  Emergency housing will be available for students on a case-by-case basis. All residents who are currently on campus should move out immediately. Texas State University is extending spring break until March 29.


Updated, 5:30 a.m., March 17

Community Response to Coronavirus 19 Threat

CANCELATIONS AND CLOSINGS:

Woodcreek City Hall is closed and all city meetings canceled.

All Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce special events are canceled.

VFW Friday night bingo canceled for March 20 and 27.

Wimberley Community Civic Club meeting April 3 canceled.

WCCC Wine Walk scheduled for April 2 is canceled.

WCCC Crawfish Boil March 28 is canceled.

WCCC Style Show April 17 is canceled.

Wimberley Rotary Club Tuesday meetings canceled for March 17 and 24.

Deer Creek of Wimberley is closed to visitors and resident may not leave the premises on pass

All meetings and activities at the Wimberley Village Library are canceled.

The Wimberley Community Senior and its Senior Lounge are closed until May 9.

All UIL competitions through March 29 are canceled.

Girl Scout Troop 525’s fundraiser at the Plant in Kyle for March 22 is canceled.

MODIFIED OPERATIONS AND SCHEDULES:

Wimberley ISD and Wimberley Montessori School on spring break until April 3.

HEB is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Wimberley United Methodist Church facilities are closed for all except Sunday morning worship and Sunday school through April 15.

Library reduced schedule 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for materials circulation only. Volunteers will remain at home, and patrons are asked to limit their visits to 20 minutes.

Austin Community College has extended spring break until March 29.

University of Texas spring break extended until March 27. After that, many classes will be by remote instruction.

Texas State University is extending spring break until March 27.

UNCHANGED:

Crisis Bread Basket Distribution times Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are unchanged.

Brookshire Brothers no change in operating hours as of 6 p.m. Saturday.

St. Mary’s Fish Fry As scheduled Friday nights during Lent 5:30 to 7:30.  

First Baptist Church Wimberley no change.

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