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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Texas becomes 4th state to surpass 15K deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Wednesday, Sept. 23.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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. 23 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 716,200 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 14,900 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 28,700 cases have been reported and at least 417 people have died. At least 27,594 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: More than 5,700 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 52 people have died. At least 4,053 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 8,500 cases have been reported in the county and at least 142 people have died. More than 8,200 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

6:10 p.m. – Travis County reported another two deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday along with 102 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 28,745 cases and 417 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 27,594 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 86 people hospitalized from COVID-19, with 28 in the ICU and 19 on ventilators.

5:45 p.m. – Llano County has been granted an exemption from the state's mandatory mask requirement. To meet the exemption requirement, a county must not have had more than 20 active COVID-19 cases within the past 14 days.

Individual establishments may still require visitors to use a face covering.

Posted by Judge Ron C. on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

5:10 p.m. – Williamson County reported another 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 8,515 cases and 142 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 8,202 people have recovered.

5 p.m. – The Hays County Local Health Department reports two new COVID-related deaths: a Buda man in his 70s and a San Marcos woman in her 60s. As of Sept. 23, the Hays County Local Health Department confirms there are at least 1,634 active lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. To view a breakdown of the age range of these cases, visit Hays County's interactive dashboard here.

4:30 p.m. – Texas is now the fourth state to surpass 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths, joining New York, New Jersey and California. Texas reported 135 deaths Wednesday, bringing the state's total to 15,129.

3:10 p.m. – Austin Pets Alive! said it distributed more than 4,400 pounds of pet food on Saturday to 160 groups of Austinites impacted by COVID-19. Pet owners were able to pick up a free bag of cat and/or dog food at the rescue's first-ever drive-thru pet food bank. APA! said the 160 cars served often had multiple pet owners, who owned more than one cat or dog.

The organization is looking to raise $10 for every pound of food it distributed on Saturday. Those interested can donate online.

WATCH: 'Twindemic': Flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic

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