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New Virtual Summer Nature Camp for Kids Set to Begin!
05/29/2020

Summer vacation is here and with many summer camps not opening due to COVID-19, parents in Dripping Springs may be wondering how they can entertain and keep their children active this summer. The Dripping Springs Parks & Community Services Department is here to help with their unique virtual camp experience this summer: Coyote Kids Nature Camp – in a Crate!

 

Coyote Kids, originally an in-person kids camp, is taking their program and creating an interactive camp experience that will be engaging and fun for families without in-person contact. Coyote Kids Camp will be providing some of their planned activities and crafts but packaging them to create an exciting and fun experience for the campers.

 

Every week, campers will pick up their packaged “camp kit” that includes one nature-based experience for each day. On the first day of each camp, campers will meet in a Zoom Huddle, where they will meet and connect with each other, learn some camp songs, and go through the week's activity box/bag. During the week, campers will do all their camp activities and send in pictures of them enjoying nature and the activities. Then, at the end of the week, everyone will gather again in a Friday Zoom Huddle where they’ll wrap up the week, look at the pictures, connect, talk about their experiences, and sing camp songs.

 

Camp Director Maggie Martin says, “This is a fun, safe and unique way for kids to connect with other kids and do fun activities throughout the week. We hope to inspire young nature enthusiasts to get outdoors and get dirty, while also still giving them a chance to connect with other kids in a fun and unique way during the summer.”

 

Campers will learn about nature, plants and Texas wildlife while also receiving fun camp tips.

 

Per Martin, “We're keeping the camper-to-counselor ratios small because, of course, parents are the Counselors this summer. Our goal with these camps is to create amazing and meaningful experiences that the parents can have with their kids and experiences the kids can have virtually, too, with other kids. And of course, we throw in some make-at-home smores.”

 

There will be five Coyote Kids Nature Camps over the summer. They begin June 1 and run through July 31. Each weekly camp costs $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents. Parents can learn more about Coyote Kids Camp by going to http://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/page/parks_CoyoteKids or going to the Parks and Community Services section of cityofdrippingsprings.com. Parents can also email the camp director at the Parks and Community Services Department at mmartin@cityofdrippingsprings.com for more information and registration.


COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program in the Works for Dripping Springs Businesses
05/20/2020

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS Wednesday, May 20, 2020 – Businesses across the country, including many local businesses in Dripping Springs, are facing tough times because of COVID-19. Many have had to close their doors for weeks, and while they are beginning to reopen in phases, they are still facing an uphill financial road ahead. To that end, the Mayor and the City Council announced last night the formation of a committee to help create the City’s COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program for Businesses, a program designed to help local businesses affected by the coronavirus.

 

The COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program for Businesses committee includes key members of the City staff along with Susan Kimball, President of the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce. The committee will look at various ways the City can help local businesses such as waiving various permit application fees, wastewater service fees, and other measures the City can take to provide relief.

 

This relief program is for commercial businesses only, not for residents. However, the City Council believes the adoption of the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program for Businesses will assist and stimulate the economic development of the city, helping both residents and businesses.

 

Dripping Springs Mayor Bill Foulds says, “Our priority is the health and safety of Dripping Springs residents and our community. Along with that, a healthy business environment is crucial to the continued growth of our City. The Council and City Leaders have been closely monitoring the situation and want to do everything we can to support and provide relief for our local businesses that have been financially affected during this pandemic. We hope that this disaster relief program will help us do that.”

 

Both business owners and residents are welcome to provide input and suggestions for the committee. Ideas and input can be sent to Executive Assistant Kevin Campbell at kcampbell@cityofdrippingsprings.com

 

The committee will be looking at all suggestions and ideas over the next few weeks and will present their proposed COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program for Businesses to the City Council at their next meeting on Tuesday, June 9.


Governor Abbott Releases New COVID-19 Guidelines
05/18/2020

On Monday, May 18, Governor Abbott gave an update on what the state is doing in response to COVID-19.

 

During the press conference, Gov. Abbott announced Texas is prepared to enter phase two for reopening the state.

 

New guidance announced for May 22 includes:

  • bars
  • bowling alleys
  • rodeo and equestrian events
  • aquariums
  • natural caverns

Other guidance effective for May 18 includes:

  • child care centers
  • massage, personal care, tattoo and other beauty services
  • youth clubs
  • youth sports
  • gyms
  • manufacturers
  • offices

A full list of theses businesses that are able to open, and the guidelines for them, can be found on the governor's website.

 

Gov. Abbott also announced that all child care programs are able to reopen on May 18 and starting on May 22, a large list of businesses such as restaurants will be able to reopen with a greater capacity.

 

 

Also on May 22, bars, wine tasting rooms and breweries will be able to reopen at 25% capacity if they follow the guidelines.

 

On May 31, youth sports camps will be able to reopen, according to Gov. Abbott. Summer camps, daytime and overnight camps will also be able to reopen on May 31.

 

Some professional sports will also be able to return on May 31, including golf, auto racing, baseball, softball, tennis and basketball.


Census Response in Hays County and Dripping Springs
05/15/2020

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Response rates among Hays County residents for the 2020 Census are generally above the Texas average, and several are slightly above the national level. Comparing cities across the county, more than 84 percent of Mountain City residents have completed the 2020 Census. That figure is more than 20 percent higher than most other cities in the County, though the Village of Bear Creek currently shows a response rate of 72.5 percent.

 

The population of Mountain City is about 670, according to Mayor Ralph McClendon. The small town is between Kyle and Buda along FM 2770.

 

Regarding his city’s higher than average participation, McClendon said in a statement, “Mountain City has taken efforts to increase participation in the completion of the census. We have sent out various electronic communications and videos to our citizens. We also update them on our current percentage of completion and encourage them to complete their census.”

 

He said they’ve also used testimonials about how easy it is to complete.

 

Participation in the U.S. Census is set out in law and everyone who was living in this country on April 1, 2020, should be counted. For the first time ever, people can take the Census online. The survey can also be completed by phone or mail.

 

“Hays County residents were undercounted in 2010,” said Debbie Ingalsbe, Hays County Commissioner Pct. 1. “That means we missed out on funding for critical programs, including roads, schools and public services.”

 

Ingalsbe, a Co-Chair of the Hays County Census Complete Count Committee, said she would like to see everyone living in Hays County take part in the 2020 Census.

 

“Our goal is to reach out to everyone in all part of Hays, including those areas with traditionally hard to count populations,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be counted.”

 

At the National level, 2020 Census response rates are currently at 59.1 percent. The response rate for Texas is at 53.7 percent.

 

 

Response rates for Hays County cities are as follows (as of May 14, 2020):

Buda 67.6%

 

San Marcos 40.2%

 

Dripping Springs 57.7%

 

Uhland 50.4%

 

Hays 68.8%

 

Village of Bear Creek 72.5%

 

Kyle 60.7%

 

Woodcreek 57.0%

 

Mountain City 84.6%

 

Wimberley 52.1%

 

Niederwald 48.2%

 

 

For comparison, the response rates for nearby cities are currently:

Austin 57.6%

 

New Braunfels 61.7%

 

Bastrop 54.9%

 

San Antonio 55.9%

 

What is the impact of Census data at the local level?

In addition to congressional districting, Census statistics will help lawmakers, business owners, and many others to make critical decisions about where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

 

The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

 

And while everyone is required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect the answers; responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information. In addition, the survey does not ask any citizenship questions.

 

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, also a Co-Chair of the Hays County Complete Count Committee, is encouraging all who live in Hays County to take the Census.

 

“Getting an accurate count has never been more important,” he said. “Our county will need our fair share of the billions of dollars of federal funding, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. But, if only 50 percent of our residents are being counted, we will only get half of what we are entitled to if we don’t keep pushing for a higher count.”

 

The Complete Count Committee is planning several PSAs, social media posts and additional outreach efforts to engage hard to count segments of the county.


Hays County Confirms 3rd COVID-19 Related Death
05/12/2020

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Hays County Local Health Department today confirmed a third fatality due to COVID-19 complications. The individual, who was hospitalized for three weeks, was a San Marcos resident in their 60s.

 

Today’s report also shows five new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s update. Epidemiologist Eric Schneider said the County now has 214 lab-confirmed cases. Of those, 69 are considered active at this time. Schneider said 142 people are now considered recovered from the virus, up two from Monday.

 

Total hospitalizations to date for Hays County is 20, with three persons currently hospitalized. Negative tests are at 2,016 with 117 pending.

 

Note that the COVID-19 online Dashboard is updated twice daily, so it may show different numbers than this daily snapshot as of 4 p.m. on May 12.

 

Lab Confirmed

Negative

Pending

Recovered

Active Cases

Fatalities

Total Hospitalizations

Current Hospitalizations

214

2,016

117

142

69

3

20

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGE RANGE

Female

Male

Total

 

0-9 yrs.

2

1

3

 

10-19 yrs.

5

4

9

 

20-29 yrs.

24

16

40

 

30-39 yrs.

28

20

48

 

40-49 yrs.

24

9

33

 

50-59 yrs.

20

24

44

 

60-69 yrs.

12

8

20

 

70-79 yrs.

4

5

9

 

> 80 yrs.

5

3

8

 

 

124

90

214

 

 

 

Travel Related

10

 

No Travel Reported

204

 

Interview Pending

0

 

TOTAL

214

 

 

By Area:

Total Cases

Active Cases

 

Austin

6

2

 

Bear Creek

1

1

 

Buda

27

6

 

Driftwood

2

0

 

Dripping Springs

6

3

 

Hays

0

0

 

Kyle

99

34

 

Manchaca

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain City

0

0

 

Niederwald

2

0

 

San Marcos

61

19

 

Uhland

1

0

 

Wimberley

9

4

 

Woodcreek

0

0

 

Total

214

69

 

*Note: Some Hays County residents have Austin addresses

Because of HIPAA laws, additional information about patients is not allowed to be shared.

 

Prevention Tips:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day, including between your fingers and underneath your nails. Handwashing is considered the best way to remove germs and dirt, and hand sanitizers should be used only when handwashing is not available. The hand sanitizers should be at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective.
  2. Avoid handshaking and high-fives
  3. Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  4. Stay home when you feel sick
  5. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then put the tissue in the trash, or use the crook of your elbow if a tissue isn’t available
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe. Clean cell and desk phones, computer keyboards, door handles, and work surfaces often.
  7. The CDC is now recommending persons visiting grocery stores, pharmacies, etc., wear cloth face masks to help keep from spreading COVID-19 since people who are not experiencing symptoms may be contagious. If you have close, frequent contact with a sick person you should also wear a mask as should the patient if he or she is able to wear one.
  8. Avoid travel to areas that have been designated high-risk areas because of multiple verified cases of Corona
  9. Individuals are encouraged to avoid large gatherings. This includes, but is not limited to concerts, plays, sporting events, gymnasiums, dances, and restaurants. Recreation activities that can be practiced in private are encouraged. This virus spreads by person-to-person transmission just like the flu, so limiting human contact can help prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

 

Schneider reminded residents to rely on qualified information sources for additional information such as the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control which offers information in Spanish and Chinese as well as English. The County’s COVID-19 info is here. As with any emergency situation, www.HaysInformed.com, the countywide emergency notification blog, has a rolling list of important information regarding COVID-19. Many City websites also have information for their residents.


Hays County Reports Second COVID-19 Related Death
05/08/2020

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Local Health Department this morning confirmed the County’s second COVID-19 related fatality.

 

“We have a second fatality due to complications with COVID-19,” Epidemiologist Eric Schneider said. “The individual was hospitalized about two week ago.”

 

Schneider said the person, who passed away Thursday, May 7, was a Wimberley resident in their 90s who was counted in the existing positive cases that have been reported daily.

 

The health department will not be releasing any additional information about the individual.

 

As of this morning, Hays County has 73 active cases and has administered 2,091 tests. A full report COVID-19 update will be released later this afternoon.


County Hosting Two Free COVID-19 Testing Sites on May 10
05/06/2020

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Through a partnership with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Texas Army National Guard, two free COVID-19 testing locations will be available in Hays County on May 10.

 

One location will be in Wimberley, the other in Dripping Springs. Testing at both sites will take place that day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and an appointment is required. 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 will need to be screened in advance and can only be tested if they receive an appointment.

 

On May 9, 24 hours prior to the test sites opening, the county will provide the website and call number for registration.

 

“We are pleased to bring free COVID-19 testing to our residents,” Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said. “We have been working diligently to expand testing overall in the County. We chose these sites in Wimberley and Dripping Springs to ensure residents in those areas have the opportunity to be tested.”

 

According to Hays County Local Health Department Epidemiologist Eric Schneider, pre-registrations begins May 9 and individuals will go through a health screening. “The health screening will check for symptoms, including fever/chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and nasal congestion,” he said.

 

The sites were selected following discussion among Hays County Commissioners during last Tuesday’s meeting. Commissioner Walt Smith, Pct. 4, said indigent and uninsured residents on the western side of the county can utilize this option. “We have been able to coordinate testing sites up and down the I-35 corridor, in Buda, Kyle and San Marcos,” he said. “The one-day testing sites in Dripping Springs and Wimberley will fulfill a need that hasn’t previously been available.”

 

Testing at the two sites will be conducted by the Texas Army National Guard. “Governor Abbott authorized the use of the Texas National Guard troops for this testing, which is occurring at locations around the state,” said Tammy Crumley, Director of Countywide Services for Hays County. “We don’t want anyone to be alarmed at seeing uniformed military personnel in their city.”

 

On May 9, Hays County will provide the website and phone number for registration. That information will be available on the County’s website, along with Facebook and Twitter, beginning at 8 a.m. May 9.

 

Epidemiologist Eric Schneider reminded everyone that these testing sites are not for the general public and that individuals must have an appointment. “Hays County does not have any drive-up/drive-thru testing sites,” he said.

 

A list of COVID-19 testing sites in other parts of Hays County, all of which require a health screening and an appointment, are on the county’s official website.

 

https://hayscountytx.com/covid-19-information-for-hays-county-residents/


City of Dripping Springs Accepting Appointment Applications for Boards, Commissions, & Committees
05/01/2020

The City of Dripping Springs, Texas, is currently accepting applications for various boards, committees, and commissions.  Applications can be downloaded from the city’s website and emailed (acunningham@cityofdrippingsprings.com), mailed (PO Box 384, Dripping Springs, TX 78620) or hand delivered (City Hall – 511 Mercer Street, Dripping Springs, TX 78620) to the attention of the City Secretary. Applications and descriptions of the city’s boards, commissions and committees can be found on the city website, cityofdrippingsprings.com.  For more information, contact City Secretary Andrea Cunningham by email or phone to 512-858-4725. 


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