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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Officials announce 597 cases, pushing Travis County past 10,000 total

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Wednesday, July 1.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 1 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 159,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 2,400 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. An estimated 84,818 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 9,500 cases have been reported and at least 124 people have died. At least 6,560 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 2,800 confirmed cases have been reported and at least seven people have died. At least 472 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 2,230 cases have been reported in the county and at least 39 people have died. More than 900 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:

Latest updates:

8:45 p.m. – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department announces five new youth cases at the Giddings State School, bringing the total number of youth cases to 11. Since the start of the pandemic, Giddings has had 12 staff members test positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: 11 total youth at Giddings State School have tested positive for COVID-19

7:30 p.m. – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller sends a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott asking him to specifically remove wineries and tasting rooms from the definition of "bars." Miller wants these establishments to be allowed to reopen immediately, saying their closure will have a "devastating effect on the already struggling Texas wine industry."

Commissioner Miller has requested Governor Greg Abbott specifically ... remove Texas wineries and wine tasting rooms from the definition of bars and allow them to reopen immediately. The impact of closing these rooms will have a devastating effect on the Texas wine industry

6:15 p.m. – Travis County announces 597 new cases, pushing county to 10,124 cases. A total of 7,097 recoveries and 128 deaths are now reported.

Williamson County announces 109 new cases. Totals now stand at 2,339 reported cases, 932 recoveries and 39 deaths.

5 p.m. – Starting at 11:59 p.m. and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on July 8, Johnson City will require all businesses providing goods or services directly to the public to require all visitors and employees to wear face coverings.

4:45 p.m. – Hays County reports 105 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total number of lab-confirmed cases to 2,924. Of those, 2,434 are still active. At least 483 people have recovered from the virus in Hays County.

4:40 p.m. – The positivity rate average for the Austin metro area – Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties – is at 27.95%.

Credit: Texas Department of State Health Services
Source: Texas Department of State Health Services

3:45 p.m. – Texas reports its highest number of new cases yet at 8,076, which is about 1,000 more than its previous record. Another 57 deaths were also reported today, which is the second-highest for the state.

Credit: KVUE

3:15 p.m. – Austin-Travis County officials will be sending an alert through the Warn Central Texas system about to warn residents about the current COVID-19 situation.

RELATED: Austin-Travis County to use alert system to warn about COVID-19 as cases spike

12:35 p.m. – Austin's annual Bat Fest has been canceled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers said the next festival will take place on Aug. 28, 2021.

Anyone who purchased tickets through the Bat Fest website can either transfer their ticket to next year's festival or request a refund starting on July 3. All bands except Koe Wetzel have agreed to reschedule for 2021, the festival said.

11:20 a.m. – During a press conference, Austin Public Health said Austin-Travis County is expected to surpass 10,000 COVID-19 cases. Interim Health Authority Mark Escott said if the trend of high numbers of cases continues, he will have to advise Mayor Steve Adler that another stay-home order should be issued.

10:20 a.m. – Austin City Limits announced it has canceled this year's festival amid the coronavirus pandemic. You can read the festival's full statement here.

9:30 a.m. – Austin Public Health said it is encouraging residents with health insurance to find alternative COVID-19 testing resources to free up space for uninsured people and those without doctors. Austin-Travis County residents can get a coronavirus test at pharmacies, urgent care centers and other private testing locations. CommUnityCare Health Centers offer COVID-19 testing free to people without insurance.  

9:25 a.m. – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department announced it will be testing all youth and staff for COVID-19 at the agency's five facilities. The testing will begin Wednesday at the Giddings State School and will cover about 700 youth and 1,700 staff. The testing is expected to be completed the week of July 5.

8:05 a.m. – CapMetro said one of its employees who worked as a MetroAccess operator has died after testing positive for coronavirus. His last day on the job was June 16 and he tested positive two days later. He died on June 30.

8 a.m. – A fourth TSA screening officer at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has tested positive for coronavirus. The employee last went to work on June 24. Two TSA employees tested positive for the virus last week and one tested positive the week before.

WATCH: Keeping kids safe during the COVID-19 pandemic


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