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

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, Oct. 29.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 and COVID-19 news in the Austin area.

Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's Oct. 29 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 879,900 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 17,700 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 31,943 cases have been reported and at least 450 people have died. At least 30,593 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 6,119 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 87 people have died. At least 5,685 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: At least 9,529 cases have been reported in the county and at least 154 people have died. At least 9,113 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

11:20 p.m. - The Hays County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a funding agreement on Tuesday to assist school districts in Hays County with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The money will come from the CARES Act funding granted to Hays County earlier this year.

Commissioners voted to allocate $500,000 to be divided among school districts based on student population, Hays County said.

The funding allocation, calculated based on student population, will be distributed as follows:

  • Hays CISD $266,356
  • San Marcos CISD $108,452
  • Dripping Springs ISD $91,794
  • Wimberley ISD $33,397

6:10 p.m. - Travis County reported another death from COVID-19 on Thursday along with 92 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 31,943 cases and 450 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 30,593 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 111 people hospitalized from COVID-19, with 41 in the ICU and 19 on ventilators.

Williamson County reported another two deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday along with 20 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 9,529 cases and 154 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 9,113 people have recovered from the virus.

6:05 p.m. - The positivity rate average for the Austin metro area is at 3.31%, while the daily hospital admissions average is at 17.3 per day. There have been 834 total deaths from COVID-19 for the 12-county KVUE viewing area since the start of the pandemic.

5:40 p.m. - Hays County reported another death from COVID-19 on Thursday, a Buda man in his 90s. The health department also reported 16 new confirmed cases, one new hospitalization, three new hospitalization discharges and 66 additional people now considered recovered.

RELATED: LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county

5:10 p.m. - Texas reported 6,430 new confirmed cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 886,820. The weekly average is up 24% from a week ago and up 95% from a month ago, the highest since Aug. 21.

There were 119 new deaths statewide, bringing the death toll in Texas to 17,819 since the start of the pandemic. There are currently 5,587 people hospitalized from COVID-19 statewide, up 13% from a week ago and up 72% from a month ago. The state's positivity rate average is at 9.77%.

4 p.m. - The mayor of Georgetown has issued an order allowing special events and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people, as long as they wear a face covering whenever it's not possible to maintain a distance of at least six feet from people who don't live with them. 

Events that require a special event permit are now required to come up and share health and safety policies that show the steps the organizer has taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can read the full order here.

3:45 p.m. - Williamson County and the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) are working together to allow Williamson County EMS Community Health Paramedics (CHP) to conduct COVID-19 assessments and education in at least 40 senior care centers. The responsibilities include conducting Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) at the facilities and developing materials, like checklists, trainings, handouts and signs, to help better monitor and respond to outbreaks. 

“We put these residents at an emotional risk in not letting them see their families, but opening these facilities to visitors puts them at risk for COVID-19 if not handled correctly. Now is the perfect time for us to support these facilities as they work to keep their residents safe and healthy while reopening,” said Amy Jarosek, senior lead of the CHP team.

CHP will also train WCCHD's Medical Reserve Corps volunteers to conduct virtual assessments.

10:53 a.m. - As COVID-19 hospitalizations and case spike across the country, Central Texas blood bank We Are Blood has issued an urgent plea for healthy individuals to donate blood as the blood bank experiences critically low donations. Currently, there is less than a day’s supply of important O negative and O positive blood donations, often needed during traumas. In addition, We Are Blood said it will test all donations for COVID-19 antibodies starting on Oct. 28. It said all whole blood, platelet, ALTX, and convalescent plasma donations will be tested for antibodies. An individual's results will be displayed under "wellness info" in their personal profile on We Are Blood's donor portal. The antibody results will be available approximately seven days after donation, We Are Blood said. 

WATCH: Austin health leaders give COVID-19 update

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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Williamson County reports another death from COVID-19