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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Texas reports more than 30,000 total coronavirus-related deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, Jan. 12.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 Jan. 12 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 1.7 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 30,200 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 56,825 cases have been reported and at least 573 people have died. At least 50,457 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 12,446 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 146 people have died. At least 9,881 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 24,908 cases have been reported in the county and at least 237 people have died. At least 22,716 people have recovered from the virus.

For a look at COVID-19 data across all of the state's counties, click here.


6:30 p.m. – Two youth at the Giddings State School tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department said.

5:05 p.m. – According to a joint statement from Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare, currently, the 2,473 staffed beds within all three healthcare systems are 75% occupied, and the 483 ICU beds are 91% occupied.

4:55 p.m. – Austin ISD is offering free, mass drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Wednesday, Jan. 13, and Thursday, Jan. 14, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

North: Northeast Early College High School (Nelson Field) 7105 Berkman Dr. Austin, TX 78752

South: Austin ISD Central Office 4000 S. IH-35 Austin, TX 78704

Testing is available for all staff and students that usually work/learn in-person (including students that participate in on-campus extracurricular activities.)

You can register for a COVID-19 test here.

To avoid a longer wait time, print and complete the consent form here.

While this testing will not be available for remote learners/workers and non-AISD family members, you can access COVID-19 testing by contacting your primary care provider or scheduling an appointment through Austin Public Health.

4:35 p.m. – Hays County reports six new coronavirus-related deaths: two women and two men from San Marcos, all in their 90s; one Kyle woman in her 90s; and one Buda woman in her 80s. The county has had a total of 146 coronavirus-related deaths.

The county also reported 336 new lab-confirmed cases for a total of 12,446.

Meanwhile, Williamson County reported 15 new coronavirus-related deaths for a total of 237. The county has had a total of 24,908 confirmed cases.

4 p.m. – Texas reports 286 new coronavirus-related deaths, pushing the state over the 30,000 mark to 30,219 total deaths to date. 

The state also reported 22,110 new cases for a total of 1,753,059. The 7-day average for new cases continues to trend down over the past three days with 17,672 per day over the past week.

Texas also reported a new record high for hospitalizations, with 14,218 hospitalized statewide. That number is up 7% from a week ago and 54% from a month ago.

3:30 p.m. – Texas Children's Hospital says it will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to patients beginning this week. As vaccines are available, Texas Children's will contact those who meet the Phase 1B criteria and schedule an appointment "in accordance with our equitable allocation framework." 

Texas Children's said that currently the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for people 16 years old and older and the Moderna vaccine is approved for people 18 and older.

2 p.m. – Tomorrow, Jan. 13, the Pflugerville COVID-19 test site will change from a walk-up site to an appointment-only site.

The site is managed by the Texas Division of Emergency Management in partnership with Austin Public Health and the City of Pflugerville.

The change was made in order to help manage the increase in demand for COVID-19 tests in the Pflugerville area. By using a pre-registration system, as most APH-managed test sites currently do, individuals will have reduced wait times and the test site staff will be able to better manage the increased demand in testing.

Individuals wishing to sign up for a test at the Downtown Pflugerville test site can visit curative.com and reserve a spot. Individuals without internet access can call 833-213-0643 to set up an appointment.

1:20 p.m. – The Austin Police Association says former officer Joe Alvardo has died of COVID-19. The APA wrote in part:

"For those of you who don't know, Joe trained Austin Police Officers for years on use of force and defensive tactics. Joe was teaching De-escalation to Austin Police Officers before the word ever became popular in policing. Joe truly loved our officers and they loved him the same. We will miss Joe immensely!"

1:15 p.m. – A letter signed by Austin ISD, Education Austin, Austin Council PTA and Austin Association of Public School Administrators asks the State to "extend the hold harmless provision and allow districts local decision-making power during this unprecedented crisis," asking for assurance that full funding will remain secure if schools go fully remote for a period.

12:25 p.m. – Hays County said there were two more deaths from COVID-19 over the Jan. 9-11 period, a San Marcos man in his 50s and a San Marcos woman in her 80s. The health department also reported 565 new confirmed cases since Friday's report along with 17 new hospitalizations and 11 new hospital discharges. There are 106 additional people now considered recovered.

11:55 a.m. – The City of Austin's Economic Development Department on Tuesday announced it will be awarding $1,340,000 in relief grants to 67 local live music venues hurt by the pandemic.

This funding was provided through the Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund, a $5 million program established by the city council on Dec. 3 through Resolution No. 20200103-013. As a part of its partnership with the City, the Long Center processed applications and handed out grants as part of Phase 1 of the program.

RELATED: City of Austin doling out $1.34 million in emergency funding to local music venues

11:20 a.m. – Dr. Mark Escott gave a coronavirus update to the Austin City Council and Travis County commissioners during a meeting on Tuesday morning.

The doctor talked about how the alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center is now open and gave new details about the virus in schools.

Here are the positivity rates in school-age children from last week, according to Dr. Escott: 

  • High school: 20.2% 
  • Middle school: 27.1% (all-time high) 
  • Elementary school: 19.8% 
  • Preschool: 10%

He said all school ages are outpacing the community positivity rates and asked parents to choose the virtual option for their children if possible.

RELATED: Positivity rates in all Travis County school-age students outpacing the community's, Dr. Escott says

9:35 a.m. – During a meeting Tuesday morning, Dr. Mark Escott said the alternate care site in Austin is now open for business.

RELATED: Alternate care site at Austin Convention Center now open and ready for patients

9:13 a.m. – Austin leaders are meeting to get an update on COVID-19. Watch in the video above or on KVUE's YouTube channel:

WATCH: Texas Gov. Abbott tours mass vaccination site, gives update on vaccines


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