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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 15 more deaths from COVID-19, 297 new cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, Aug. 13.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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. 13 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 506,800 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 9,000 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 23,700 cases have been reported and at least 328 people have died. At least 22,255 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: More than 5,100 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 38 people have died. At least 2,392 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 7,100 cases have been reported in the county and at least 99 people have died. More than 5,700 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

6:25 p.m. – Williamson County recorded another death from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 99. There were 73 new confirmed cases in the county on Thursday, bringing the total to 7,148. At least 5,797 people have recovered from the virus.

6:10 p.m. – Travis County reported another 15 deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, along with 297 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 23,718 cases and 328 deaths. At least 22,255 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County has 263 people hospitalized with the virus, with 92 in the ICU and 65 on ventilators.

6 p.m. – Hays County reported another death from COVID-19 on Thursday, a Dripping Springs woman in her 80s. The county also reported 20 new confirmed cases, one new hospitalization, one hospital discharge and 46 additional individuals now considered recovered.

2:45 p.m. – According to Sen. John Cornyn, the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $18.6 million to multiple small businesses across Texas in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants. These grants will capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across Texas.

“Small businesses in Texas have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s devastating impact,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I applaud this announcement and will continue to do everything I can to make sure Texas small businesses have what they need to survive this crisis.”

Locally, CEN-TEX Certified Development Corporation of Austin will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loan to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Caldwell, Gonzales, Colorado, Burleson, Fayette, Lavaca, Matagorda, Lampasas, Lee, Waller and Wharton counties.

1:30 p.m. – The Austin City Council approves a recommendation from Austin Water to continue its 10% reduction in water and wastewater rates for low-income customers enrolled in the Customer Assistance Program for the entirety of the fiscal year 2021.

The utility bill relief was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and took effect on April 9. Since then, City of Austin Utilities has provided $3,195,290 of financial assistance to 9,652 customers through the City’s Plus 1 Emergency Financial Support System.

Additionally, as part of the newly approved budget, the Austin City Council provided direction to Austin Water to develop a more accessible multi-family CAP discount program.

1:15 p.m. – Starting on Saturday, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department will reopen limited park amenities and outdoor facilities.

The following park amenities will be available:

  • Boat launches
  • Boat docks

The following outdoor PARD facilities will reopen:

  • Tennis centers
  • Golf courses
  • Boating concessions
  • Clay shooting concessions
  • Food concessions
  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden

Each facility will operate under reduced capacity and COVID-19 Modified Operating Procedures specific to each facility, such as social distancing, cleaning protocols, temperature checks, etc. 

1:10 p.m. – The Central Texas Food Bank is extending is summer kids' meal distribution at East Communities and North Austin YMCAs. On Thursdays through Aug. 27, families can receive free, weekly meal packs for children 18 and under.

Click here for details.

12:34 p.m. –  Gov. Greg Abbott gave a coronavirus press briefing from Lubbock, Texas. You can watch on KVUE's Facebook page here:

Watch live: Gov. Greg Abbott is holding a press briefing from Lubbock, Texas, regarding the coronavirus pandemic

Posted by KVUE on Thursday, August 13, 2020

12:14 p.m. – Hays CISD has moved its last day of school to May 28, 2021. Holidays will remain the same for the 2020-21 school year. School days will be extended by 20 minutes for elementary, middle and high schools at Hays CISD. Check out KVUE's full list of plans for each Central Texas school district.

8 a.m. – Llano ISD students are heading back to class in person starting Thursday. Virtual classes begin Thursday for Pflugerville ISD, Lago Vista ISD and some Leander ISD students. 

For Leander ISD, the first two days of virtual learning are canceled for all high school students due to a technical issue.

WATCH: What to expect on a virtual first day of school

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