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'We are not shutting anything down' | Williamson County judge addresses COVID-19 spike

"We have to figure out how to survive and live with COVID," Judge Bill Gravell said Tuesday.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — As COVID-19 cases increase in Williamson County, Judge Bill Gravell is assuring residents that businesses will stay open.

"It is not the plan of this county judge to shut down local businesses," Gravell said during a Williamson County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday. "We have to figure out how to survive and live with COVID. We have to figure out how to keep people alive and safe and our economy flowing. We are not shutting anything down."

According to the Williamson County COVID-19 dashboard, the number of new cases in the county doubled from July 11 to July 18. On Monday, July 19, the county announced it had met the criteria to increase to its "Red Phase," one week after moving to "Orange."

Several cases of the delta COVID-19 strain were confirmed in Williamson County back in June.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 41,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Williamson County and 486 people have died. As of Tuesday, July 20, 15% of hospital beds and 7% of ICU beds are available in the county.

Approximately 60% of the county is fully vaccinated, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.

WATCH: COVID-19 delta variant threatening herd immunity

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