AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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. 13 live blog.
- 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 58,286 cases have been reported and at least 582 people have died. At least 51,895 people have recovered from the virus.
- Hays County: At least 12,623 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 147 people have died. At least 10,287 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.
GRAPHS: Coronavirus data Jan. 13
6:51 p.m. – Nine youth development coaches and three staff members at the Giddings State School tested positive for COVID-19 today.
6 p.m. – Travis County reported nine more deaths from COVID-19 since Monday along with 2,177 new confirmed cases – 716 from Tuesday and 1,461 from Wednesday – bringing the total to 58,286 cases and 582 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Wednesday's case count is the highest-single day number ever recorded in Travis County. At least 51,895 people have recovered from the virus.
Travis County currently has 607 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 185 in the ICU and 104 on ventilators.
5:50 p.m. – The City of Hutto is reminding residents that businesses operating at 75% occupancy must reduce to 50% and all bars must be closed as of Sunday, Jan. 10. The reductions are triggered by a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region, as mandated by Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order.
4 p.m. – Local leaders got a look inside a mobile therapeutic infusion center set up by the State in Travis County. The facility serves as a place where COVID-19 patients can get outpatient therapies like antibody treatments so they don't end up in the hospital.
Doctors must refer patients to the facility. The State is not releasing the location because officials don't want people just showing up.
3:55 p.m. – Hays County said residents eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination will be directed to either their personal medical providers or vaccine hubs in Travis or Bexar counties.
Residents can talk with their personal medical providers and determine if they can get a vaccine at one of the companies in Hays County that already has the vaccine, including H-E-B. Another option is to pre-register to get a vaccine through the State's new hub system.
“We are coordinating with Austin Public Health in Travis County, which is a hub, to in order to dispense the vaccine to Hays County residents in the Phase 1B category,” said HCLHD director Tammy Crumley. “Bexar County is also a hub.”
Anyone who believes they would qualify under the 1B list can visit the Austin Public Health website to pre-register.
3:50 p.m. – Hays County reported another death from COVID-19 on Wednesday, a Buda man in his 70s. The health department also reported 177 new confirmed cases along with six new hospitalizations and three new hospital discharges. There are 406 additional people considered recovered.
2:20 p.m. – Williamson County announces that it has submitted its COVID-19 vaccination plan to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for approval. The plan will go into effect if the state allocates vaccines to the County.
The plan includes agreements with Curative Medical Associates Inc. and Family Hospital Systems to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Family Hospital Systems already has a contract with Williamson County to administer vaccines to first responders in Phase 1A. Williamson County’s plan targets residents that fall in the state’s Phase 1B group. The county has approximately 120,000 residents who qualify for the vaccine in Phase 1B.
The vaccination plan includes working with the County's private partners to staff five fixed locations and several large-scale sites across the county. Locations are planned in Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, North Austin and Taylor. The plan also includes utilizing a mobile vaccination van to address homebound elderly and rural populations.
“We have been proactive in creating a plan, and we are ready. We are working diligently to get the vaccine as soon as possible to our residents; however, we are relying on the State of Texas to provide us with the vaccine,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey. “Williamson County excels at working in partnerships and collaborating with others in order to bring needed services to our residents. With this plan, we think we have a great way to reach all areas of the county.”
County officials will post information on their COVID-19 information page when the State gives vaccines to Williamson County and the plan is activated. This information will include how to register for the vaccine.
1:08 p.m. – Capital Metro, Austin's public transit company, is now offering complimentary curb-to-curb service for community members with COVID-19 vaccination appointments. The transit agency’s MetroAccess vehicles are accepting requests for this service, and community members do not need to be a MetroAccess customer to utilize it, CapMetro said in a release.
“Throughout the COVID-10 pandemic, Capital Metro has continued to provide essential travel for customers to reach critical destinations and services through safe and reliable transit,” said Chad Ballentine, Capital Metro Vice President of Demand Response and Innovative Mobility. “Ensuring community members can securely reach their COVID-19 vaccination appointments is part of Capital Metro’s ongoing initiative to protect the health and safety of the Central Texas community.”
11:17 a.m. – Austin ISD is holding free, mass testing via drive-thru Wednesday and Thursday. The school district's mass testing events will be via drive-thru Thursday and Friday. Both events will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and distributed at the following locations:
- Northeast Early College High School located at 7105 Berkman Drive
- Austin ISD Central Office located at 4000 S. Interstate Highway 35
Find out more here.
11:05 a.m. – APH wrapped up its weekly COVID-19 update. You can watch the press conference in full in the video below.
9:30 a.m. – Austin Public Health announced it launched an online portal to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can register online here.
6:10 a.m. – APH will give a coronavirus update at 10 a.m.
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