AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Saturday's blog.
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 July 24 live blog.
- Texas: More than 361,100 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 4,500 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 203,800 people have recovered.
- Central Texas counties:
- Travis County: Over 19,100 cases have been reported and at least 241 people have died. At least 16,218 people have recovered from the virus.
- Hays County: Over 4,100 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 24 people have died. At least 1,132 people have recovered from the virus.
- Williamson County: More than 5,200 cases have been reported in the county and at least 90 people have died. More than 4,200 people have recovered from the virus.
GRAPHS: Coronavirus data July 24
- F1 United States Grand Prix canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19
- Texas attorney general says State must identify nursing homes with COVID-19
- Number of new COVID-19 cases in Austin area are on a 'downward trend,' Dr. Escott says
- UIL releases updated schedule for 2020 fall sports in Texas
- TEA gives direction if someone tests positive for COVID-19 during on-campus learning
- LIST: What local school districts are planning for back-to-school
7 p.m. – Austin Mayor Steve Adler extended the moratorium on evictions in the city until Sept. 30. While the order prohibits evictions during that time period, it does not forgive rent payments; rather it gives renters an extended period of time to pay overdue rent.
6:50 p.m. – Texas State University said it will offer "flexible" classes in the fall, including the option for online classes, hybrid classes, "flexible" face-to-face classes – with instruction primarily in-person but some online delivery – and traditional face-to-face classes.
6:10 p.m. – The Williamson County health authority has updated its orders regarding nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities. The order requires facilities to restrict the admission of any new patients or any returning patients should there be a positive case of COVID-19, until the facility is cleared with health authorities. All residents and staff will be required to be tested for the virus.
6 p.m. – Travis County reported another 12 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, as well as 238 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 19,177 cases and 241 deaths.
Travis County currently has 423 people hospitalized from the coronavirus, with 148 in the ICU and 102 on ventilators.
5:30 p.m – Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare issued a joint statement Friday that the 2,473 staffed beds within all three healthcare systems are 75% occupied and the 483 ICU beds are 85% occupied.
5:25 p.m. – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) provided the following updates related to COVID-19:
- Four youth at a TJJD halfway house have tested positive for COVID-19. The results were part of campus-wide testing. Campus-wide testing from two other halfway houses showed no positive cases.
- Two youth at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex, in Brownwood, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 23.
- One youth at the Giddings State School tested positive for COVID-19 on July 24.
- One staff member at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex tested positive for COVID-19 on July 24.
- As of June 24, the agency has administered 1,215 tests to youth for COVID-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, 158 staff members at the agency’s secure facilities have tested positive for COVID-19:
- Evins Regional Juvenile Center: 53
- Gainesville State School: 9
- Giddings State School: 38
- McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility: 20
- Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex: 38
Since the start of the pandemic, 169 youth at the agency’s secure facilities have tested positive for COVID-19:
- Evins Regional Juvenile Center: 25
- Gainesville State School: 13
- Giddings State School: 76
- McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility: 41
- Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex: 14
5:10 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Military Department have announced the formation of Joint Task Force Texas, a partnership between the Texas National Guard and Active Duty and Reservists to respond to COVID-19 statewide.
Abbott said more than 1,200 service members will come together to support hospitals in Houston, San Antonio, Del Rio and the Rio Grande Valley.
"We are proud to work with our brothers and sisters in arms from the active duty and reserve forces to help our fellow Texans in need," said Texas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris. "The units of the Texas Military Department are not authorized with enough medical professionals to meet the current demand. Therefore, the governor requested medical assistance through FEMA. That request is being met from the Department of Defense with active duty and U.S. Army medical professionals. By partnering with the active duty and reserve components, we will be able to provide this much needed support and relief to the Texas civilian health care workers who have been working tirelessly to care for the people of our great state."
5 p.m. – Hays County reported another two deaths from COVID-19 on Friday – a woman in her 60s and a man in his 50s – while Williamson County reported one more death, a woman in her 60s. Hays County said both people were Kyle residents and were hospitalized at the time of their deaths.
“It is with a heavy heart that we report the loss of another life in Williamson County. I believe through prayer and standing together as a family we will come out of these trying times stronger. We will see a better tomorrow if we continue to support each other and follow proper safety measures to help reduce the spread of this deadly disease,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
Hays County also reported 42 new confirmed coronavirus cases, along with two hospital discharges and 55 additional recoveries.
Hays County has had 24 deaths from COVID-19, while Williamson County has had 90.
4:18 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received federal authority to extend certifications by six months for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients whose benefits are up for renewal in July and August. HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to also waive interview requirements for new and current households.
"The State of Texas is committed to ensuring families have access to nutritious food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," said Gov. Abbott. "By extending automatic SNAP renewals and temporarily waiting interview requirements, we will ensure more Texans have healthy meals for their families. I thank our federal partners for their continuous support as we respond to COVID-19."
1:25 p.m. – At a press conference, health officials said their hope is that they will never have to use the Austin Convention Center as a field hospital. You can watch the full press conference on KVUE's YouTube channel:
KVUE got a tour of the field hospital July 24. Take a look here.
When asked if the Austin field hospital is intended to take in COVID-19 patients from regions outside of Central Texas, Dr. Mark Escott, Austin's top health authority, said that is not part of the plans for the center. He said if coronavirus patients from outside Central Texas need care in the Austin area, they would likely be transferred to an area hospital. The Rio Grande Valley is currently seeing a surge of COVID-19 deaths.
1 p.m. – At 1 p.m., Austin health officials are set to hold a press conference as the Austin Convention Center is transformed into a field hospital in the event it is needed to help Austin-area hospitals.
11:49 a.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) urged eligible Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers to apply for federal COVID-19 relief funds before the Aug. 3 deadline. Provider relief funds may be used to cover lost revenue due to COVID-19 or health related expenses purchased to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the virus, including supplies and equipment to provide health care services for COVID-19 patients, workforce training, reporting test results to federal, state, or local governments, and acquiring additional resources, equipment, supplies, staffing and technology to expand and preserve care delivery. Up to $15 billion from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund is available to eligible providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs, the governor's office said.
"These funds can assist with a variety of COVID-19 expenses incurred by our Medicaid and CHIP providers," said Gov. Abbott. "I encourage eligible providers across the state to apply for this funding in order to access these crucial federal resources as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Texas is grateful for the front line service, dedication and partnership with our Medicaid and CHIP providers across the Lone Star State."
9:45 a.m. - The Circuit of the Americas officially announced the F1 Grand Prix race has been canceled due to COVID-19.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- WHO chief scientist sees no coronavirus herd immunity yet
- China tells US to close consulate in Chengdu in retaliation
- US likely at 200,000 daily coronavirus cases, assistant health secretary says
- Nearly 1,500 businesses closed permanently or temporarily in Austin-Round Rock metro during pandemic
- CDC releases 'Decision-Making Tool' for parents in school reopening guidance
- Trump says some schools may need to delay reopening in the fall