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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Williamson, Hays counties each report 2 more deaths from COVID-19

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, Aug. 20.
Credit: KVUE

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 Aug. 20 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 557,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 10,500 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 25,300 cases have been reported and at least 346 people have died. At least 24,000 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: More than 5,200 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 45 people have died. At least 2,733 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 7,600 cases have been reported in the county and at least 112 people have died. More than 6,800 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

6 p.m. – Travis County reported another 291 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 25,353. The death toll remains at 346, while at least 24,046 people have recovered from the virus. The county said it was working through a backlog of reported cases.

Travis County currently has 208 people hospitalized from the virus, with 73 in the ICU and 50 on ventilators.

5:30 p.m. – Texas will soon begin regularly releasing information on COVID-19 cases in public schools among students and staff members, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told school superintendents Thursday afternoon.

School districts will be required to report confirmed COVID-19 cases to the state within 24 hours. The Texas Education Agency and Department of State Health Services will track and report cases that spring up in school communities across the state as districts reopen classrooms while the virus is still spreading.

Morath gave very little information during his phone call with superintendents about exactly what school districts will be required to report and promised to release more details next week. The state will publicly report total COVID-19 numbers in schools each week, he said.

RELATED: Texas will start posting coronavirus case data from public schools, education commissioner says

5:25 p.m. – Williamson County reported another two deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 112. The county reported 22 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 7,646. At least 6,891 people have recovered from the virus.

5:05 p.m. – Hays County reported another two deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday – both San Marcos men in their 70s – bringing the death toll to 45. The county also reported 20 new confirmed cases along with one new hospitalization, one person discharged from the hospital and 84 additional individuals considered recovered.

3:50 p.m. – Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC) said it will post data on COVID-19 cases in child care operations starting on Thursday. The data includes children and employees at licensed child care centers, school-age programs and before- or after-school programs.

“We’re pleased to provide this data so parents and guardians will be informed when making important decisions about their children’s care,” said David Kostroun, HHSC deputy executive commissioner for Regulatory Services Division. “We appreciate the attorney general’s recent guidance that allows us to provide this additional data as permissible by law.”

All data provided is self-reported, HHSC said.

The data can be found on the agency's website.

1:05 p.m. – Nearly 160,000 COVID-19 tests were completed within Travis County between May, June and July, meeting Austin Public Health's testing goals, according to the agency. The tests include those done by APH, state partners, hospitals, public and private clinics and private physicians.

Here's a breakdown of completed tests by month:

  • May: 39,609
  • June: 50,910
  • July: 69,243

APH and its partners had planned to complete at least 10,000 tests in May, 40,000 tests in June and 60,000 tests in July. 

The agency says it now has the capacity to test 6,500 people a week, and the turnaround time for results has dropped to two days.

8:17 a.m. – Thursday, Round Rock, Georgetown and Taylor school districts are starting remote-only learning. Burnet CISD, however, is offering remote and in-person learning starting Thursday. Here's KVUE's full list of school district plans.

WATCH: Health leaders answer COVID-19 questions

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