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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County cases rise to 690; deaths now at 9

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Friday, April 10.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. To get the latest news, check out our new live blog here.

KVUE is keeping you updated with the latest coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, news in the Austin area.

Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's April 10 live blog.

Top Headlines:

Updates:

6:20 p.m. – Travis County announces two additional deaths due to the coronavirus, bringing the total to nine. A sum of 690 positive cases has been reported. For more information, click here.

4 p.m. – The Hays County Local Health Department reported a total of 82 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Hays County as of April 10, up from 79 on April 9. Of the 82 total cases, 58 of them are active. 24 people have recovered in Hays County, officials said.

2:06 p.m. - In an update on the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he will be issuing an executive order next week that will provide guidelines on how Texas businesses can reopen. He said there is a way to do this while also being safe.

The governor said 116,000 Texans have been tested for COVID-19, and more than 11,000 have tested positive. That means less than 10% of those tested have tested positive.

More than 1,500 Texans have been hospitalized and 221 Texans have died.

You can watch the full press conference on KVUE's YouTube page:

2 p.m. – The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for economic impact payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return. The non-filer tool, developed in partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, provides a free and easy option designed for people who don’t have a return filing obligation, including those with too little income to file, officials said. The feature is available only on IRS.gov, and users should look for Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here to take them directly to the tool.

1:40 p.m. The City of San Marcos will close all parks, playscapes, natural areas, open spaces and trails from 11 p.m. on April 10 until 6 a.m. on April 13.

Once reopened, visitors are reminded to practice social distancing of at least six feet between individuals outside your household. Gatherings of 10 or more people are still prohibited.

The following park areas will continue to remain closed through at least May 11: playgrounds, playscapes, the skate park, dog park, restrooms, water fountains and all riverfront parks.

Riverfront parks include: Rio Vista, City Park, Plaza Park, Veramendi, Bicentennial, Children’s Park, Crook Park, Veteran’s Memorial Park, Dog Beach, Capes Park, Thompson’s Island, Stokes Park, Ramon Lucio Park, and Wildlife Annex/Wilderness Park. 

12:45 p.m. – The Texas Department of Public Safety has suspended the automatic downgrade of commercial driver licenses (CDL) amidst the coronavirus pandemic. CDL holders now have an extension for the medical certificates required to obtain a CDL. The waived compliance will last until June 30.

12 p.m. – Williamson County announces seven new cases, bringing total to 110 cases. Fifty-five people have recovered and 26 have been hospitalized. Deaths remain at four.

RELATED: LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county

11 a.m. – College and career counselors from all four high schools in Pflugerville ISD have joined together to offer the district’s high school students a series of online options to help them get ready for college, the district announced. The district said it has set up a new website with a trio of options students may take part in to help them in their college selection and preparation. This website will house a link where students can sign up to take virtual online tours of colleges and universities.

10:30 – The Williamson County Sheriff's Office has set up an email for those who may need a deputy to attempt contact with your loved ones or those you care for if you are unable.

Here's what you need to know about the service, according to WCSO:

  • This program is specifically for those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying health issues.
  • This is not a replacement for 911 calls. If it's an emergency, CALL 911.
  • Services are intended only for the Williamson County Sheriff's Office jurisdiction. Not available within city limits.
  • Checks will be conducted during 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be answered based on availability of deputies. Some exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, WCSO said.
  • Each request is for one single check of a specific address. If more than one check is desired a separate and new email must be generated.
  • This is a pilot program to determine the need of our community and may be suspended at any time.
  • Email elderlyconcern@wilco.org with an exact address of person(s) being checked, any detailed information that you think may be useful to better aid the deputies responding, any known medical needs or other needs and specify the type of check within email. In person/phone call.

10:15 a.m. – The Austin City Council approved allocating $15 million from the Emergency Reserve Fund to establish the City’s Relief in a State of Emergency (RISE) Fund to support COVID-19 emergency relief for Austin residents. A resolution was also unanimously approved authorizing the use of existing contracts with social services agencies. This also provides for the initiation of new emergency contracts funded from the RISE Fund to offer immediate support services and direct financial assistance to residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, according to the City.

8:30 a.m. - "The Bus" in San Marcos is adjusting its operating hours to 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on Monday, April 13, due to COVID-19. Fares will not be collected for the rest of April. 

Here's an update on its routes:

  • Route 1 Hopkins/Wonder World is now being serviced by one bus every hour, which began March 24. Hours of operation have been adjusted to reflect the optimal riding periods as ridership after 4 p.m. daily has decreased significantly.
  • The Interurban Express 1517 service has been suspended until COVID-19 conditions improve. Alternate intercity services and schedules may be found at www.ridecarts.com.

Transit officials said the vehicles are being deep cleaned and sanitized often. If you have any questions about the changes, call 512-478-RIDE (7433).

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