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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reaches hospital admissions range that could move area into Stage 5 orders

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, July 7.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out our new 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 July 7 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 200,500 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 2,650 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 103,700 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 12,400 cases have been reported and at least 151 people have died. At least 9,348 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 3,100 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 10 people have died. At least 528 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 3,100 cases have been reported in the county and at least 45 people have died. More than 970 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:

Latest updates:

8:50 p.m. – All Austin Pets Alive! Thrift stores are closed effective immediately. APA! will not be accepting donations until further notice.

6:20 p.m. – Travis County health authorities confirm the area has reached a seven-day moving average of 74.9 for daily hospital admissions. A range of 70 to 123 is the threshold that could move us into Stage 5 orders, which could mean stricter shelter-in-place measures. A decision is expected to be made later this week.

According to a joint statement from Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare Tuesday evening, there are about 24% of staffed hospital beds remaining and 15% staffed ICU beds remaining.

RELATED: Travis County nearing Stage 5 as COVID-19 hospitalizations surpass threshold

5:55 p.m. – Travis County reported seven new deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, as well as 482 new confirmed cases. There have been 12,408 total cases in Travis County and 151 deaths.

There are currently 469 people hospitalized from the virus in Travis County, with 148 in the ICU and 89 on ventilators.

4:52 p.m. – Williamson County reports one additional COVID-19 death, bringing the county's death toll to 46. The person who died was a man in his 90s, according to county officials. 

4:30 p.m. – Hays County reports 50 new COVID-19 cases, one new hospitalization and 53 additional recoveries. Epidemiologist Eric Schneider said the county’s total of lab-confirmed cases is 3,243, and of those, 2,652 are considered active. The total number of individuals considered recovered is 581. The number of negative tests is 10,417. Schneider is awaiting results on 61 tests. Hays County has had 69 total hospitalizations, 21 of which are currently hospitalized.

“We like to see the number of new cases going down, but we cannot relax at this point,” Schneider said. “The COVID-19 virus is still active in Hays County. And while it may not hurt you personally, you could pass it along to a loved one or friend who isn’t able to fight the virus.”

3:55 p.m. – The state of Texas reported 60 new deaths statewide on Tuesday, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. Texas is also reporting 10,028 new cases statewide, passing the 10,000 mark for the first time.

Many counties did not report any new cases over the holiday weekend, so Tuesday's higher numbers could reflect a backlog. On average over the three-day weekend, there were 6,265 new cases per day.

12 p.m. – The 40th-anniversary celebration of Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, Texas, has been canceled. It was set to take place from Oct. 2 to 4.

RELATED: Oktoberfest 2020 in Fredericksburg postponed until next year

11:30 a.m. – In a letter to the University of Texas community, Interim President Jay Hartzell confirms a member its custodial services team has died as a result of COVID-19:

"Last night, I received extremely sad news confirming the COVID-19-related death of one of our custodial services team members. This loss is absolutely devastating to me, as I know it is to so many members of our campus community. Out of respect to the family and the privacy of our staff member, we are unable to provide many other details. This is our university’s first death related to COVID-19, and it comes at a time when cases are growing in Texas and Travis County.

The individual’s positive test result was appropriately reported to the university’s HealthPoint Occupational Health Program (OHP) last month. Contact tracing, employee notification and facility assessment and disinfection occurred as necessary. All affected individuals had followed guidance to self-isolate following public health protocols. 

There are many resources on our campus that can provide needed support to UT community members during this difficult time. Our HealthPoint Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is providing grief services to the individual’s co-workers in custodial services. EAP is also open and providing services remotely to employees through video and phone counseling. The Counseling and Mental Health Center continues to provide services for students. 

There are no actions or new precautions to take on campus right now. However, given the virus is still very active in our city and in other locations across the state and nation, everyone should continue to follow preventive precautions, regardless of where you are:

  • Please wear cloth masks when you are around other people.

  • Keep a minimum distance of 6 feet between yourself and others whenever possible. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 

You can read more about preventive precautions on the university website.

This is a heartbreaking moment for Longhorn Nation. We have weathered the pandemic for months, but now, it has become personal in a whole new way. As we manage our grief, it is my hope that we can pull together, unite, and redouble our commitment to health, safety and combatting this disease on campus and within our communities. 

Please continue to take care of yourselves and your loved ones."

11:15 a.m. – The State Fair of Texas in Dallas announces the 2020 fair has been canceled.

RELATED: State Fair of Texas canceled for 2020 season

10 a.m. – According to an Austin Police Department spokesperson, 22 sworn officers and 17 civilian officers have tested positive for coronavirus. That's a total of 39 officers.

8:30 a.m. – The economic development department with the City of Austin has announced two grant programs to support small and local businesses and nonprofits that may be suffering from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Austin Small Business Relief Grant is a $16.5 million fund for small businesses and the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant is a $6.35 million fund for Austin nonprofits. Find out how to apply online.

WATCH: ICU units in Austin area in danger of being overrun soon


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