Round Rock | February 2021

ROUND ROCK EDITION

VOLUME 16, ISSUE 6  FEB. 6MARCH 5, 2021

ONLINE AT

ROAD TO CHANGE Round Rock and Pugerville are mapping out the future of the cities’ roadways to accommodate for growth and gaps in transportation.

Millions of dollars driving road improvements

Price tag of Round Rock’s Transportation Master Plan $1.2 BILLION

IMPACTS

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ROUND ROCK

BY CLAIRE RICKE

Drivers will pass through a total of 80 transportation projects, either under construction or in the works, in Round Rock and Pugerville this year. A rising number of businesses moving to the area coupled with the popula- tion growth is pushing both cities to focus on the future of the roadways. The city of Round Rock’s $1.2 billion transportation master plan, which was approved in October 2017, emphasizes the need to upgrade the roadways for the city’s growth. The plan identies major lapses in the city’s transporta- tion network. In Pugerville, funds for transpor- tation projects went from $28 mil- lion through the transportation bond CONTINUED ON 24

The Logan Street Extension Project will extend E. Logan Street to A.W. Grimes Boulevard.

EDUCATION BRIEFS

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PFLUGERVILLE

$238 MILLION

Price tag of Pugerville’s Transportation Master Plan

Old Austin-Hutto Road is being widened to three lanes, alongside pavement improvements.

PHOTOS BY CLAIRE RICKECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

BUSINESS

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Pugervilleweighs options for future EMS funds, services

Call to Action The petition for ESD 17 comes amid population growth and increased emergency call volumes in the current ESD 2 service area.

BY KELSEY THOMPSON

Pugerville City Council voted Feb. 3 not to include on the May ballot a new emergency services district overlay pro- posal, which would have funded additional EMS resources. Council is awaiting further guidance from a consulting rm on funding alternatives by the spring. Following submission of the petition with more than 4,700 signatures to the city on Dec. 10, Pugerville City Council and the ESD 2 board discussed the proposed ballot item during public meetings Feb. 2-3. The proposed district overlay, ESD 17, would have had the same service-area boundaries of ESD 2, often referred to as thePugervilleFireDepartment. ESD17wouldhave included CONTINUED ON 26

HISTORY

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+49.2%

INCREASE IN CALLS: Call volumes increased 49.2% since 2013, the last time a proposed district overlay was brought before council.

SOURCES: CITY OF PFLUGERVILLE, TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT 2COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CORRIDOR

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COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON . Join your neighbors with a contribution of any amount to CI Patron. Funds support Community Impact Newspaper ’s hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. Choose IMPACT . Make a CONTRIBUTION . Strengthen JOURNALISMFORALL . S nap or visit Contribute today!

HealthSpeak Education Series

Care for the masterpiece inside you

Join us for our HealthSpeak Education Series seminars during American Heart Month and learn how to take care of your heart. Each seminar will be presented virtually at 12:00 PM on the dates below.

February 10 Cholesterol and diet

February 16 | February 18 (presented in Spanish) Women and heart disease Discover how to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and learn how warning signs differ for men and women.

Learn how a few simple tweaks, paired with exercise and other healthy habits, can help lower your LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol.

February 24 | February 25 COVID-19 and your heart With studies showing a link between COVID-19 exposure and heart damage, we’ll talk to a cardiologist about discoveries and treatments.

March 3 Architecture of the heart

We’ll look at the heart, and how being correctly shaped and undamaged can prevent conditions like stroke, heart failure and cardiac arrest.

Register at BSWHealth.com/HealthSpeak or 1.844.BSW.DOCS (279.3627) Instructions for virtual seminars will be included in the confirmation letter/email. When registering online, select Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Round Rock as the Sponsoring Location.

Physicians provide clinical services as members of themedical staff at one of Baylor Scott &White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliatedmedical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of thosemedical centers or Baylor Scott &White Health. ©2021 Baylor Scott &White Health. 13-RR-225791-FebCommunityImpactRoundRockPrintAd - RS

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMAMY: What makes a vibrant community? Some might say housing, roads, trac and water. Others would argue shopping, entertainment, jobs, health care and emergency services are most important. The fact is all of these aect our communities. There is rarely an easy decision for critical matters. I hope by reading our stories, you feel more informed, invested and aware of the issues that impact your community. Amy Leonard Bryant, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMCLAIRE: No matter where you go, it is impossible not to notice all of the changes to the roadways. In this issue we’re focusing on the major transportation projects and how they will impact your route around town. Hope you enjoy! Claire Ricke, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHATWE COVER

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the latest headlines direct to your inbox. communityimpact.com/ newsletter DAILY INBOX Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Amy Leonard Bryant EDITOR Claire Ricke REPORTER Kelsey Thompson SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jay Jones ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Chaney Barton METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1, Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 PRESS RELEASES rphnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2021 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

BUSINESS& DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

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campaigns for all business sizes and industries wanting to reach their customer base and accomplish their goals. A third-party Readex survey proved 78% of paper recipients read three of the last four editions, and from what they read, 83% “took action” of some kind. Thank you to the advertisers in this edition who support our work. We would love for our readers to thank them as well.

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CORRECTION: Volume 16, Issue 5 On Page 13, the percentage of high school diploma or higher achieved is 92.8%, 94.3% and 91.8%. The percentage of bachelor’s degree or higher achieved is 40%, 39% and 26%.

$10 is the average minimum

Patrons have chosen to give

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

Community members welcome. Round Rock ISD Family and Parent Virtual Seminars Tune in for FREE. Get access to District experts.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

COMPILED BY CLAIRE RICKE & KELSEY THOMPSON

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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COURTESY DUTCH BROS COFFEE

LIBERTY AVE.

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RELOCATIONS 9 The California-based company Amaz- ing Magnets is relocating its headquar- ters to 1992 Steam Way, Round Rock. The business designs, develops and makes magnets. The new location will open in summer 2021. 888-727-3327. www.amazingmagnets.com 10 Studio16:19 LLC relocated to 305 W. Liberty Ave., Ste. 100, Round Rock, on Jan. 1. The firm specializes in landscape architecture and land planning services. 512-534-8680. https://studio1619.com 11 The iSpeak Inc. headquarters relo- cated to 2851 Joe DiMaggio Blvd., Ste. 28, Round Rock. The company specializes in professional development training, featuring webinars and storytelling guides. 512-671-6711. www.ispeak.com NEWMANAGEMENT 12 Local specialty care group Texas Orthopedics , located at 2120 N. Mays St., Ste. 100, Round Rock, on Jan. 4 an- nounced the company merged with five other practices from Dallas, Houston and Tyler to form OrthoLoneStar. It is now the largest independent orthopedic group in Texas, per a news release. 512-439-1004. www.txortho.com

Round Rock, in the former Fuddruckers location. The menu includes Nashville-in- spired hot chicken, jumbo tenders, chick- en sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and homemade pies. Tumble 22 is expected to open this year. 512-201-4333. www.tumble22.com 6 A new building is under construction for the new Sun Auto Service at 791 Lou- is Henna Blvd., Round Rock, according to city development documents. Services include transmission work, oil changes, brake repairs and A/C services. An open- ing date has not yet been announced. www.sunautoservice.com 7 Arepitas-Round Rock is opening a Venezuelan restaurant at 3200 Green- lawn Blvd., Ste. 300, Round Rock, according to its Facebook page. The restaurant will offer vegetarian and veg- an options along with dine-in, curbside pickup and takeout. An official opening date has not been announced. www.facebook.com/arepitasroundrock 8 Dutch Bros Coffee is leasing space at 3589 N. I-35, Round Rock, according to a January Evergreen Commercial Real Estate announcement. Dutch Bros Coffee confirmed a tentative spring 2021 open- ing. www.dutchbros.com

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TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 Black Rock Coffee Bar celebrated the grand opening of its Round Rock location Jan. 8. Located at 17220 N. FM 620, Ste. 100, Round Rock, the coffee chain’s menu features Americanos, drip coffees, cold brews, specialty lattes, teas and smooth- ies, among others. https://br.coffee 2 Smokey Creek Cajun Bar and Grill opened Jan. 7 at 910 Round Rock Ave., Round Rock. The restaurant specializes in New Orleans-inspired menu items, including Cajun appetizers and dishes, seafood and po’boys. The restaurant is run in partnership with the owners of Ba- hadi’s Chicken and Lounge in Pflugerville. 512-580-0860. www.smokeycreekcajun.com

3 Texas Seafood and Steak opened Jan. 4 at 3906 Gattis School Road, Round Rock. Restaurant dishes include steak, seafood platters, wings, po’boys, burgers and lunch specials, among others. 512-344-9188. www.facebook.com/ texasseafoodandsteak 4 A nonprofit that is helping people get back on their feet, Jails To Jobs , opened a Round Rock location in January at 5 Indian Meadows Drive. The employ- ment-based mentoring program aims to reduce recidivism in youths ages 12-24 by offering job training. 737-234-5627. www.jailtojobs.com/round-rock COMING SOON 5 Tumble 22 will open at 2111 N. I-35,

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

PFLUGERVILLE NOWOPEN

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1 Pugerville Emergency Room opened at 15100 FM 1825, Puger- ville, in December. Emergency services include diagnostic and laboratory work, pediatrics care, pharmacy and radiology services, among others. 512-886-0911. www.pf-er.com 2 Tropical Curry and Grill opened Nov. 12 at 1615 Grand Avenue Parkway, Ste. 208, Pugerville. The Indian restaurant’s menu features dishes such as chicken and shrimp curries, tandoori chicken, roti and vegetarian satay, among others. 512-433-6298. www.tropicalcurryandgrill.com 3 Countryside Donuts opened in December at 3400 E. Howard Lane, Ste. B, Pugerville. The family-owned busi- ness oers doughnuts, kolaches, tacos, croissant sandwiches, biscuits, coee and drinks. 512-276-2499. www.facebook.com/countryside- donuts-114096773350005 4 Hot Chick’s is now open at 1501 W. Pecan St., Pugerville. The restau- rant’s menu items feature pizza, chicken sandwiches and desserts. Specialty pizzas include veggie, margherita, meat lovers and more. Deep dish and gluten-free options are available. 512-522-4699. www.hotchicksmenu.com

HUTTO

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY CLAIRE RICKE & KELSEY THOMPSON

5 NTB-National Tire & Battery opened in early January at 1020 E. Pecan St., Pugerville. Services include oil changes, mechanical services, state inspections, fuel system work, tire rotations and free brake checks. 737-787-2684. www.ntb.com 6 Cowboys Fit opened Nov. 14 at 1401 Town Center Drive, Pugerville, in Stone Hill Town Center. Cowboys Fit, headquar- tered in Frisco, is a luxury gym aliated with the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise. Facility amenities include a cycling studio, a basketball court, indoor and outdoor pools, a 40-yard turf eld and group tness classes. 737-787-3777. www.cowboyst.com 7 The Springs Assisted Living and Memory Care at Pugerville opened in January at 1020 E. Wells Branch Parkway, Pugerville. The Springs is a full-service assisted-living facility that includes mem- ory and Alzheimer’s care for its residents. 512-256-9750. www.facebook.com/

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FEATURED IMPACT ANNIVERSARY

RELOCATIONS 9 Dyezz Surveillance and Security, Inc. has relocated from Austin to Puger- ville. The new location at 4613 Priem Lane, Pugerville will open Feb. 15. The business oers security systems, access control, re alarm systems and security cameras. 512-331-2788. www.dyezz.com 10 Walker Engineering will relocate early this year to a 19,870-square-foot facility in Pugerville at 18919 N. Heath- erwilde Blvd., Pugerville, according to a press release. An agreement was approved by Pugerville City Council on Jan. 12 to bring the electrical engineering contractor to Pugerville. Walker Engi- neering is expected to create 130 jobs during the rst ve years in Pugerville. 512-467-7333. www.walkertx.com

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One Eleven East celebrated ve years in business Jan. 16. The wedding and events venue is located at 111 East St., Hutto. Site amenities include a main open area, built-in bar, loft and outdoor courtyard. 512-202-2044. https://oneeleveneast.com

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thespringsatpugerville COMING SOON

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mineral water producer and rell station. 512-642-6924. www.watertreehutto.com 12 Redbud Ranch RV Resort opened in January at 211 Benelli Drive, Hutto. The 38-acre resort oers full hookup RV sites and model cabins. Amenities include a pool, hot tub, dog park, business center, playscape and a general store. 512-265-8000. www.redbudrvresort.com

8 A QuikTrip is under construction at 501 Wells Branch Parkway, Pugerville and will open in the spring. The gas station and convenience store also oers fresh-to-order food. www.quiktrip.com

11 The Water Tree Hutto LLC opened at 409 W. Front St., Ste. 140, Hutto, on Nov. 9. The store operates as an alkaline

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

February events

FEB. 14

VALENTINE DINNER WINE SENSATION

FEB. 2628

ROUND ROCK CLASSIC DELL DIAMOND

COMPILED BY CLAIRE RICKE FEBRUARY 13 A LOVE JONES AFFAIR Enjoy a three-course candlelight dinner while watching live entertainment. Fancy attire is encouraged. 7 p.m. (doors open). 7:30-11 p.m. $50-$175. 305 W. Liberty Ave., 2nd oor, Round Rock. www.eventbrite.com/e/a-love-jones- aar-tickets-132919316253 13 7 DEADLY SINS VALENTINE’S PARTY Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some sinful cocktails, festive costumes and DJ Trey. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place costumes. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. The Flats - Downtown Round Rock, Teens ages 10-15 can explore 40 acres of playing elds on the Texas Paintball Adventure trip, organized by the Round Rock Parks and Recreation department. The trip includes three hours of paintball play at Texas Paintball, located at 18300 Medina Vista Lane, Jonestown. The fee includes transportation and the equipment. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $65 Register in advance. Attendees should be dropped o at the Clay Madsen Recreation Center, at 1600 Gattis School Road. www.roundrocktexas.gov/event/ 205 N. Mays St., Round Rock. www.facebook.com/theatsrr 16 TEEN PAINTBALL ADVENTURE TRIP teen-paintball-adventure-trip 18 PAINT NIGHT: ACRYLIC BIRCH TREES Learn how to paint birch trees using acrylic paints. The Pugerville Public Library will provide the supplies for registrants to pick up curbside between Feb. 11-18. Ages 18 and older. 6-7 p.m. Free. Online event. 512-990-6375. www.pugervilletx.gov/for-visitors/ event-calendar Couples can toast on Valentine’s Day to this three-course dinner service including wine pairings. 6-8 p.m. $70 per person. Wine Sensation, 409 N. Mays St., Round Rock. 512-255-0526. Eventbrite: Valentine Sweetheart Dinner--1st Seating

20 VIRTUAL POETRY OPENMIC Perfect your poetic prose this February with the virtual open mic event, Poetry in Motion. Poets, writers and musicians can put their work on display during the session. Participants are asked to include at least one piece honoring Black History Month during the February show. 1:30-3 p.m. Free. 512-218-7014. www.roundrocktexas.gov/event 20 TEXAS FALLEN PROJECT GALA With a goal of raising funds to help veterans, the Texas Fallen Project Gala has a mission to showcase fallen Texas veterans who died in combat. Event includes performances and a live/ silent auction. Begins at 5 p.m. General admission $125. Tables $1,000-$1,500. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, 3001 Kalahari Blvd., Round Rock. 512-796- 1795. www.facebook.com/ texas.fallen.project.inc 23 TEENS SPEAK: BLACK LIVESMATTER Young adults 13-21 years old can join an online roundtable to discuss identity, the Black Lives Matter Movement and community impacts. The event will be moderated by education equity advocate Autumn A. Arnett along with a teen panel from the Pugerville Black Student Union. Registrants will receive a link to the WebEx meeting. 6-7 p.m. Free. 512-990-6375. www.pugervilletx.gov/ for-visitors/event-calendar 25 BLACKHISTORYMONTH VIRTUAL BOOK BUZZ Readers will virtually hear the latest buzz about upcoming ction, nonction and graphic novels for adults. The Pugerville Public Library event includes an emphasis on celebrating Black History Month with titles by Black authors. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free, registration required to attend. Ages 18 and older. 512-990-6375. www.pugervilletx.gov/for-visitors/ event-calendar The 2021 Round Rock Classic college baseball tournament features match ups between Auburn University, The University of Oklahoma, Baylor University and Texas A&M University. Individual game tickets start at $10. Dell Diamond, 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. 469-400-4125. www.roundrockclassic.net

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HEALTH CARE Vaccinations, COVID19 safetymeasures help curb u cases inAustinmetro

SLOWING THE FLU SPREAD

Statewide inuenza cases are signicantly lower this year compared to previous seasons. Here is a look at the weekly inuenza positivity rates—the number of inuenza tests conrmed positive versus the total number tested— during the 2020-21 season thus far compared to the 2019-20 season.

50%

40%

30%

BY KELSEY THOMPSON

health measures in place due to COVID-19. “What we’ve learned is that all the measures we’re taking to prevent the coro- navirus helps prevent other respiratory illnesses,” said Dr. Patricia Lopez-Gutierrez, a family medicine physician at Baylor Scott & White Clinic in Round Rock. “Things like social distancing; quarantin- ing when sick; quarantining within the same household; and, of course, avoiding crowded places all help.” The Williamson County & Cities Health District reported a total of 310 inu- enza-like illnesses occurred between May 22, 2020, and Jan. 8. Inuenza-like illnesses are cases in which patients have a fever, cough and sore throat. Additionally, inuenza-like illnesses include diagnoses for a viral infection, acute pharyngitis, an upper respiratory infec- tion or inuenza. Within Williamson County, the majority of cases during the 2020-21 season have been reported to the WCCHD by area hospitals and school districts, compared to health clinics in the region. Twelve inuenza-like illness cases

Jan. 3, 2020 41.75%*

While COVID-19 cases con- tinually increase in Travis and Williamson counties, the Austin metro region is reporting signicantly lower cases of inuenza compared to seasons prior. The ocial 2020-21 u season began Sept. 27, with seasonal peaks traditionally running from December through February. Decreased trends in the Austin metro region match national gures reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu activity levels are classied as minimal in Travis County as of Jan. 20, according to the Austin Public Health inuenza surveillance report. As of Jan. 9, APH reported one adult inuenza-associated death in Travis County in the season to date. As of Jan. 20, no inuenza-associated pediatric deaths or ali- ated outbreaks have been reported during the 2020-21 season. Area health experts have attributed minimal inuenza case numbers to increased numbers of vaccinated resi- dents along with preventive

2019-20

20%

2020-21

10%

Nov. 20, 2021 1.33%*

0%

OCT.

NOV.

DEC.

JAN.

*HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF SEASON

FOR TWO

As u season continues, medical providers are focused on testing resources to help keep hospital admissions low. Everyday u- like symptoms—such as fever, cough and fatigue—mirror COVID-19 symptoms.

CORONAVIRUS

INFLUENZA

• Fever/chills • Cough • Fatigue • Muscle/body aches • Headache • Vomiting/diarrhea

• Shortness of breath • Loss of taste, sense of smell • Nausea

• Sore throat • Runny nose • Nasal congestion

SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, CURATIVE INC.COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

were reported the week of Jan. 8, with ve reported by school districts, ve from hospitals and two from clinics, respectively. Statewide, a seasonal total of 434 conrmed inuenza cases have been reported, with a seasonal positivity rate—the average rate of positive tests conrmed in the entire season thus far—of 1.34% as of Jan. 15.

Comparatively, a weekly report released Jan. 17, 2020, revealed 1,494 cases had been conrmed in one week with a corresponding weekly positivity rate of 29.93%. Inuenza cases reached the highest peak of the 2019-20 season in early January 2020, when the positivity rate was documented at 41.75%. While case counts remain minimal in the region,

safety measures used against COVID-19 apply to the u. Washing hands, staying at home while sick and disinfection practices help minimize the spread, Lopez-Gutierrez said. “We learned a lot from [COVID-19] how to prevent getting sick,” she said. “I hope a lot of the things that we’ve learned, we still keep in mind for the future.”

SHANE KELLER, MD FAMILY MEDICINE

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Round Rock, Pugerville & Hutto ISDs

MEETINGSWE COVER Round Rock ISD board of trustees Meets third Thursday at 7 p.m. 300 Lake Creek Drive, Round Rock 512-464-5000 www.roundrockisd.org Pugerville ISD board of trustees Meets third Thursday at 7 p.m. 1401 W. Pecan St., Pugerville 512-594-0000 www.psd.net Hutto ISD board of trustees Meets fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. 200 College St., Hutto 512-759-3771 www.hipponation.org

RoundRock, Pugerville, Hutto ISDs push to prioritize educators to receive COVID19 vaccination

BY CLAIRE RICKE

While Texas is still in Phase 1 of receiving the COVID-19 vaccines, teachers are being moved up higher on the priority list in Round Rock, Pugerville and Hutto ISDs. Round Rock ISD is pushing for school district sta members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. With the help of the Williamson County and Cities Health District, RRISD school nurses were able to receive the vaccine before the start of the spring semester. On Jan. 7, RRISD sta age 65 and older were given access to the vaccine. Sta with a previous health condition can also qualify to receive the vaccine if they fall within the Texas Department of State Health Services Group 1B high-risk category. “Health care providers have undoubtedly been, and continue to be, the heroes in this unprece- dented crisis. Our collaboration with Ascension Seton, which will help protect some of our most vulnerable employees as they work to serve our students, is yet another indication of the commitment to our schools

include all educators and sta in Phase 1C of the vaccination rollout plan. Before the next phase of vacci- nations for Phase 1C and Phase 2, the districts ask for an “educators priority week” plan to coordinate with local districts and medical providers. The priority week would coordi- nate campus vaccination sites, drive- thrus, school nurses and vaccine providers. “The broader request is that decision-makers in Texas deem all educators, inclusive of teachers, bus drivers, custodial and food service sta, all be included in Group 1C,” Armbrust said. “More than half of the states in our country have already included educators in the next phase yet Texas is not one of them.”

The Williamson County vaccination hub is oering the COVID19 vaccine to group 1B.

surrounding areas. An estimated 10-15% of the 17 districts’ sta, who are on campus with tens of thou- sands of students, are eligible to be included in the 1B category due a pre-existing condition. John Armbrust, Austin Achieve Public Schools CEO, who is named in the letter, said that while they have not received a formal response from APH since the letter was sent, vaccines have been provided for nearly half of the eligible Phase 1B educators. The districts also ask that the DSHS

and the families they serve,” interim Superintendent Daniel Presley said. On Jan. 14, Pugerville and Hutto ISDs joined 15 other Central Texas school districts to ask Dr. Mark Escott, Austin Public Health’s interim director, that all educators have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. The letter, signed by the 17 school districts, requested that APH provide vaccine sites for educators who are included in Phase 1B. Together the school leaders said they serve 275,000 students in more than 100 campuses in Austin and

Pugerville ISDeyespotential boundarychanges amiddistrict growth, realignment needs

With signicant growth on Pugerville ISD’s horizon and three new schools on the way, here are campuses that will be impacted by the proposed boundary changes for the 2022-23 school year, if approved. Growing pains

Avalon, Bohls Place, Fairways at Blackhawk and Verona, he said. Resident Heather Smith’s house falls in line with the proposed move from Rowe Lane Elementary School to Riojas. She said the proposal is not ideal on three grounds: geography, numbers and splitting the neighborhood. Smith said Riojas is twice the distance from her house compared to Rowe Lane. With approximately 50 elementary school students in her neighborhood, she said roughly half of them would not continue to attend school with their fellow classmates, should the proposal be approved. Being over capacity might not be ideal, “BEINGOVERCAPACITYMIGHTNOT BE IDEAL, AND I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. BUT NEITHER IS SPLITTING THE NEIGHBORHOOD.”  HEATHER SMITH

BY KELSEY THOMPSON

PFLUGERVILLE ISD As Pugerville ISD prepares for the addition of two new elementary schools and one middle school by the 2022-23 school year, the district has proposed boundary zone changes. Jessica Carpenter Elementary School and Bohls Middle School will open in August, while Elemen- tary School No. 23 will open before the 2022-23 school year. If approved as initially presented Jan. 21, the proposals would impact nine elementary campuses, four middle schools and one high school for the 2022-23 academic year. The proposed changes come in response to overcrowding in certain district campuses and the need for realign- ment in others, said Brian Dawson, area executive director of PfISD’s Wolf Learning Community. Feedback gathered from district families during town hall sessions included signicant concerns voiced by residents of neighborhoods such as

ELEMENTARY • Barron • Brookhollow • Elementary No. 23 • Mott • Murchison • Pugerville • Riojas • Rowe Lane • Wieland

MIDDLE SCHOOLS • Cele • Dessau • Kelly Lane • Park Crest HIGH SCHOOLS • Weiss

but neither is splitting up neighborhoods, Smith said. Following feedback from residents, the boundar- ies subcommittee is expected to rework its proposal and present the revised edition to the PfISD board of trustees. The board is expected to make a nal decision on the proposals in February.

15

ROUND ROCK EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Round Rock, Pugerville & Hutto

NUMBER TOKNOW Special election for Hutto Mayor March 6 PFLUGERVILLE The city received a $100,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority to update the city’s water metering infrastructure. The grant will help fund a customer portal where city water customers can track their water usage in real time. CITY HIGHLIGHTS HUTTO The city of Hutto will host a special election March 6 to ll the mayor position, following former Mayor Doug Gaul’s resignation Nov. 5. Early voting runs from Feb. 17 through March 2 at the Wilco Hutto Annex, 321 Ed Schmidt Blvd., Ste. 100, Hutto. MEETINGSWE COVER Round Rock City Council Meets second and fourth Thursday, 6 p.m. 216 E. Main St., Round Rock 512-218-5401 www.roundrocktexas.gov Pugerville City Council Meets second and fourth Tuesday, 7 p.m. 100 E. Main St., Pugerville 512-990-6101 www.pugervilletx.gov Hutto City Council Meets rst and third Thursday, 7 p.m. 500 W. Live Oak St., Hutto 512-759-4033 • www.huttotx.gov Travis County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays, 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin 512-854-9020 • www.traviscounty.org Williamson County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1550 • www.wilco.org

High-risk patients prioritized in phased county vaccine rollouts

BY CLAIRE RICKE

APH received 12,000 doses of the vaccine from the state in January— enough to vaccinate less than 1% of Austin-Travis County residents. “We have a long road ahead, but we are excited to take the rst step toward vaccinating those most vulnerable,” APH Director Stephanie Hayden said in a release. In Williamson County, Round Rock- based South University announced Jan. 20 sta and students are collaborating with Family Emergency Room to administer 3,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine locally. “We are working with our sta and with community partners to safely and eciently ramp up our vaccination eorts,” South University President Je Musgrove said in a January news release. After taking the online

ROUND ROCK As the status of the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas continues to rapidly evolve, Williamson and Travis Counties are preparing for the next wave of vaccines to roll out. Austin Public Health has been designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services as Texas’ regional vaccination hub. An online vaccine registration portal went live Jan. 13, where anyone can determine if they are eligible to receive the vac- cine. The hub also lists providers of the vaccine along with links to check for appointment availability. Phase 1A prioritizes the vaccine to front-line healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities. Phase 1B grants access to anyone 65 years old and up with at least one chronic medical condition.

Austin Public Health is moving forward with larger-scale vaccination eorts.

questionnaire to determine which category they fall into, eligible people can register on the Family Hospital Systems website. Through a partner- ship with FHS, Williamson County was allotted 6,000 vaccines on Jan. 18 and 8,000 vaccines on Jan. 25. One Williamson County vaccina- tion hub is at Sun City Ballroom in Georgetown. The second is a drive- thru site at Austin’s Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Additional sites may open up, but it depends on the amount of available doses.

Pugerville annexes 33 acres for futurewine distributor

BY KELSEY THOMPSON

million capital investment in a 250,000-square-foot facility and plans to employ 304 full-time jobs.

distribution site incorporated into the request. However, a second reading— initially scheduled for Dec. 8—was postponed to Jan. 12 and moved forward with the 33-acre request only. Pugerville City Council approved a performance agreement between RNDC and the Pugerville Commu- nity Development Corp. in November 2019, along with an announcement that RNDC would expand into to Pugerville. RNDC engaged in a $27

PFLUGERVILLE On Jan. 26 Puger- ville City Council approved the annexation of 33 acres of land to host operations of Republic National Dis- tributing Company, a wine and spirits distributor. The item was approved on consent, meaning no additional discussion was held by council prior to the vote. A prior version of the annexation request included 160 acres of land under consideration, with the 33-acre

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