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Alternatives To Incarceration Transform Lives and Save Taxpayer Dollars

by Commissioner Cook

  • 16 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2452

The Mobile Outreach Team and the Community Health Paramedicine team from Williamson County tested children for COVID-19 at a group home in Liberty Hill on Aug. 6. Lf to Rt are Amy Jarosek, lead paramedic; Don Thornton, paramedic; Rebecca Zahler, Mobile Outreach Team mental health specialist; and Ricco Williams, Mobile Outreach Team mental health specialist.

Ideally it is best to assist persons with mental illness before they encounter law enforcement or the justice system. 

A network of mental health and substance use providers support the health and well-being of Williamson County families through a coordinated effort.  Alongside medical providers, law enforcement officers and court administrators, these partners work diligently to develop a comprehensive and collaborative system of care.  

Unfortunately, there are times when someone’s illness or substance use disorder creates a crisis, and it is necessary to call 911 to keep everyone safe.

In Williamson County, we can respond to these types of 911 calls from residents, schools and even our four precinct Constable offices in a safe and responsible manner. 

Since 2004, the Wilco Mobile Outreach Team—headed by Director Annie Burwell—has provided treatment options to persons in crises and diverted patients away from jail, hospital emergency departments and state hospitals.  

The team works closely with law enforcement and EMS agencies at the scene of a crisis by assessing the needs of the patient and the safety of all involved. 

The team has safely conducted over 35,000 calls over the past 15 years.

Sometimes it’s best for the patient and taxpayers when persons are diverted from jail even though they’ve committed a misdemeanor, such as loitering, public intoxication or trespassing. 

Commissioner Cook Announces Free Testing Site in Georgetown from Sept. 12-15

information from Media Release from Wilco's Public Information Office

  • 11 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2348

 Williamson County Office of Emergency Management in partnership with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and in coordination with the City of Georgetown will be hosting free COVID-19 testing September 12  through 15.  

Testing will be conducted at the Georgetown Community Center located at 445 East Morrow Street, beginning at 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until supplies last.   

This is a walk-up site that will not require an appointment prior to being tested. People interested in getting tested will be asked to park and line up for their turn. It is important to note that this is a cheek swab test, so people cannot eat, drink, or use tobacco products 20 minutes prior to the test. Please avoid bringing pets, unless it is a service animal. Residents should bring a cell phone for on-site registration. Also, please be aware that due to demand there may be a wait time. Bring shade coverings from the sun such as a hat or umbrella.   

COVID-19 testing at this site is available for all Texans, whether they are Williamson County residents or not. For more information on this and future testing sites, please visit www.wilco.org.  

Commissioner Cook Shares "Swiss Cheese" Layers of Protection from COVID-19 for Schools

Photo courtesy of the Williamson County and Cities Health District

  • 9 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2520

Commissioner Cook Reminds Wilco Residents Texas Continues Experiencing High Levels Of Sustained Community Transmission

See Williamson County and Cities Health District data below showing a need for continued mitigation and vigilance.

  • 2 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2331

New cases continue to decline, although we remain in Red phase (high community transmission) and these numbers may be artificially low due to reduced testing across the state.

Commissioner Cook's Commentary on Wilco's Emergency Response to Hurricane Laura

  • 1 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2268

Even though you may feel that hurricane was far away, and heck, we didn’t even get rain out of it, Williamson County did receive hurricane refugees from the southeast.

On Wednesday night, August 26, Connie Odom, our Public Information Officer, put out notice that we’d been asked to provide housing for evacuees from Galveston, 57 rooms. Preparations were made with hotel/motels in Taylor, Hutto, Georgetown and Cedar Park.

Lo and behold, hours later and unexpectedly, our Emergency Management team was notified of need for hundreds of evacuees from the coast. COTA was setup as the receiving area to process these people, and then assignments to hotel destinations were made. Round Rock hotels/motels were added to the list and the result was:

  • Sheraton at Georgetown - 205; Marriott LaFrontera - 320; Best Western Taylor - 20; Comfort Inn Georgetown - 17; Hampton Inn Hutto - 14; Holiday Inn Express Hutto - 17; Wood Springs Suites - 40; Total Evacuees Sheltered - 633.

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