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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County announces 571 new cases, 5 deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, July 2.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out our new live blog.

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 2 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 168,000 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 87,556 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 10,100 cases have been reported and at least 128 people have died. At least 7,000 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 2,900 confirmed cases have been reported and at least seven people have died. At least 483 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 2,330 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:

7:30 p.m. - The Texas Juvenile Justice Department announced 32 new cases of COVID-19 among staff members and youth at various state schools and centers including the following:

  • Four youth at Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg, Texas.
  • Five youth at the Gainesville State School.
  • Twelve youth at the Giddings State School.
  • Two youth at the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Mart, Texas.
  • One youth at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex in Brownwood, Texas.
  • One staff member at a TJJD halfway house.
  • Three youth development coaches at the Giddings State School.
  • One staff member and two youth development coaches at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center.

6:15 p.m. Travis County announces 571 new cases, five new deaths and 488 new recoveries. Totals now stand at 10,695 reported cases, 7,585 recoveries and 133 deaths.

5:35 p.m. - Williamson County is now reporting a total of 2,388 cases, 957 recoveries and 39 deaths.

5:25 p.m. - After Gov. Greg Abbott issued a mandatory mask order on Thursday, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe said the county will actively enforce the order. Biscoe said he has no intention of putting a permitting process in place for gatherings over 10 people, at least through the Fourth of July weekend.

"Therefore, per the governor’s order today, all such gatherings are prohibited in unincorporated areas of Travis County," said Travis County public information officer Hector Nieto.

5:17 p.m. - Hays County health officials reported 126 new cases of COVID-19, two new hospitalizations and 11 new recoveries. There are now 2,549 active cases in the county and 18 current hospitalizations.

RELATED: Hays County reports 2,549 active COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths

4:45 p.m. Texas State University announces that for the summer II semester, staff will transition nearly all face-to-face classes to online delivery. The only courses that will remain in-person are those that require a face-to-face component for licensure or degree requirements. This applies to about 200 students enrolled for the semester.

The university is planning to return to face-to-face instruction for the fall semester.

3:40 p.m. - Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse has confirmed it has laid off employees amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement to our partners at The Statesman, the theater chain said, "As we’ve looked at the road ahead, it’s become increasingly clear that many positions at Alamo Drafthouse would need to be eliminated, changed, or refocused. This is a devastating step to take. It would be impossible to quantify what these Alamo Drafthouse team members have collectively contributed, and we hope that once things have stabilized, we’ll be able to bring many of them back."

3:30 p.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order Thursday requiring all Texans residing in counties with more than 20 cases to wear a face mask while in a commercial space or public buildings or when in an outdoor setting that does not allow for 6 feet of physical distancing.

The order goes into effect at 12:01 p.m. on July 3.

The order does not apply to anyone 10 years old or younger, individuals with health conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask or someone who is consuming food or drink.

Other exceptions while at church, voting, participating in outdoor activities or swimming.

Those voting or working at polling locations are not required to wear a mask, and masks are also not required for religious services -- though face masks are strongly encouraged.

Violators could face up to $250 in fines. People not wearing a face mask when required may receive a written or verbal warning for their first violation.

RELATED: Gov. Greg Abbott issues statewide order requiring face masks in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases

3 p.m. - Austin-Bergstrom International Airport now has six confirmed TSA screening officer COVID-19 cases, which is up from four yesterday. Their last day at work was June 24.

12:55 p.m. Gov. Greg Abbott announces that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide around $182 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of July as Texas continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size.

"The extension of these emergency SNAP benefits helps ensure that Texans can provide nutritious food for their families as the state continues to combat COVID-19," said Gov. Abbott. "Securing access to healthy food in our communities is an important part of our response to this pandemic."

12:35 p.m. - Vanilla Ice announces the cancellation of his Austin concert set for July 3.

RELATED: 'We didn't have coronavirus' in the '90s | Vanilla Ice cancels Austin performance

12:30 p.m. The City of Austin is modifying department operations due to rising COVID-19 cases. Here's an overview:

Austin Code Department

Administrative hearings are pushed back one week. The new start date will be July 15 instead of July 8.

Austin Public Health

The APH has reopened a Shots for Tots clinic with limited operations and is working through its waitlist of appointments that were scheduled due to closing. Those at higher risk will be prioritized as services expand.

Families can use VaccineFinder.org to find locations providing vaccinations. More information on the APH Immunization Program can be found here.

Austin Resource Recovery

ARR is again suspending curbside collection of bulk and large brush after a three-week resumption of services. ARR will still provide collections for customers who have already received a notification postcard fro the weeks of July 6 to July 24.

The Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center is also closing again until further notice after July 3. ARR will continue to offer contactless, at-home collection of household hazardous waste. Call 512-974-4343 to schedule a pickup.

ARR has also partnered with Goodwill on the Clothing and Housewares Curbside Collection Program. Customers can visit austintexas.gov/clothing or call 512-637-7190 to schedule clothing and housewares pickup.

Austin Water Utility

The main gate and treatment pond area at Hornsby Bend is reopened to the public. Visitors must check-in at the main entry gate. The River Trail and Platt Lane Trail are also open. Visitors must follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

Office of the City Clerk

The OCC will have staff in the office on a rotating basis between July 6 and 17 for the upcoming candidate filing period and council budget meetings. The office will be open by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Starting July 20 the office will be open with reduced staff to accept in-person inquiries. Appointments are highly suggested and only two visitors will be allowed in the office at a time.

Parks and Recreation

Starting June 30, operations have been ceased at Deep Eddy and Barton Springs pools.

Starting on July 6, all facilities and park amenities will remain closed until further notice. This includes previously opened facilities such as cultural facilities, pools, golf courses, tennis facilities, park concessions, and other amenities.  

All in-person programming for the month of July has also been suspended, including sports and fitness programming, summer camps, and cultural programming. In addition, the Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts will remain closed. Parks will remain open, but all amenities will be closed except for restrooms and water fountains. More information can be found here.

City of Austin parks and trails, except for the ones listed above, will remain open. Rules regarding social distancing and masks still apply. Rangers will be patrolling parks for education on voluntary compliance.

PARD will also continue to provide park access for COVID-19-related initiatives such as drive-thru testing and meal distribution. Sites identified as polling locations will also be open for scheduled voting.

11:35 a.m. - CommUnityCare said it will no longer offer drive-up testing at the following locations due to the overwhelming demand:

  • CommUnityCare William Cannon located at 6801 South Interstate Highway 35
  • Pflugerville Health Center located at 15822 Foothills Farms Loop

Patients can still get a COVID-19 test with an appointment at both locations.

11:30 a.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott announced $2.67 billion in federal funding has been approved to support hospitals across Texas to provide care to people receiving Medicaid.

WATCH: Texas Division of Emergency Management chief discusses COVID-19 in Texas


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