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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: DSHS, TEA launch online dashboard for COVID-19 in schools

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, Sept. 17.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 Sept. 17 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 674,700 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 14,400 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 28,100 cases have been reported and at least 413 people have died. At least 26,997 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: More than 5,600 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 52 people have died. At least 3,826 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 8,200 cases have been reported in the county and at least 137 people have died. More than 8,000 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

5:50 p.m. – Austin-Travis County is now reporting a total of 28,212 confirmed cases, 27,093 recoveries and 413 deaths.

5 p.m. – Williamson County is now reporting a total of 8,331 confirmed cases, 8,048 recoveries and 139 deaths. 144 cases remain active.

4:30 p.m. – Hays County is now reporting a total of 5,719 confirmed cases, 3,878 recoveries and 52 deaths. 1,789 cases remain active.

3:30 p.m. – The Texas Department of State Health Services and Texas Education Agency have launched an online dashboard that includes the number of COVID-19 cases among students reported by public schools across the state. 

As of Thursday, 2,344 students have tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 1.1 million students currently enrolled in on-campus learning since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, according to DSHS. At least 2,175 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 during that same period. 

This data in the dashboard will be updated by the state every Wednesday. And beginning next Wednesday, the dashboard will allow you to see how many cases have been reported within each school district. As of now, however, it does not appear that the dashboard will break that information down by specific schools.

RELATED: State launches coronavirus dashboard for Texas public school case data

2:45 p.m. – The Williamson County Office of Emergency Management is partnering with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and Hutto Fire Rescue/Emergency Services District 3 to host free COVID-19 testing from Tuesday, Sept. 22, through Thursday, Sept. 24.

The testing is happening at the Hutto Fire Rescue station, which is located at 501 Exchange Blvd. Testing will begin at 10 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m. or sooner if staff run out of supplies.

The drive-up testing site does not require appointments, but you will need a cell phone for on-site registration. Also, unlike the popular nasal swab test, this test will swab your cheek. If you're interested, make sure you avoid eating, drinking or smoking at least 20 minutes before the test.

12:45 p.m. – Gov. Abbott announced all Texas retail stores, restaurants, gyms, office buildings, museums and libraries can reopen at 75% capacity if cities and counties meet certain requirements. However, bars must remain closed because they are "nationally recognized as coronavirus spreading locations," the governor said. 

RELATED: 

Texas bars must remain closed as most restaurants reopen to 75%, Gov. Abbott says

Texas restaurants, stores, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity in most places, Gov. Abbott announces

9 a.m. – At noon, Gov. Greg Abbott is set to give an update on the state's response to COVID-19 at the Texas State Capitol. KVUE plans to stream this briefing on KVUE.com, KVUE's YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter

WATCH: Gov. Abbott urging Texans to get their flu shot

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