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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Austin ISD Athletics introduces capacity limits, daily health screenings

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates in Central Texas for Tuesday, Jan. 11.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Wednesday's blog.

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 daily live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: 
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Austin-Travis County: The seven-day moving average for new hospital admissions is 110, and an average of 473 people are hospitalized. The community transmission rate is 1,880 and the positivity rate is 32%. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 139,969 cases have been reported and at least 1,223 people have died.
    • Hays County: There are currently 5,893 active cases, and 20 people are currently hospitalized (13 unvaccinated, 7 vaccinated). Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 37,082 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 418 people have died. 
    • Williamson County: There are 621 new cases of coronavirus in Williamson County. Sixteen percent of hospital beds are available, and 9% of ICU beds are available. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 83,934 cases have been reported and at least 760 people have died.

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

Here's a closer look at today's data:

TEXAS

  • 46,795 new cases
    • 7-day average: 41,012/day
      • Up <1% from yesterday (+0.8%)
      • Up 29% from a week ago
      • Up 1,230% from a month ago
  • 110 new deaths
    • 75,397 total to date
  • 11,040 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals
    • Up another 6% (+623) from yesterday
    • Up 48% from a week ago
    • Up 254% from a month ago
  • Positivity is at 36.36%

LOCAL

  • 2,899 new cases for the metro
    • 7-day average: 3,470/day
      • Down 3% from yesterday
      • Up 15% from a week ago
      • Up 1,586% from a month ago
  • 603 COVID-19 patients in Austin area (TSA O) hospitals (all-time high, for comparison: 796 on Sept. 11, 2021)
    • +39 day-to-day
    • Up 82% from a week ago
    • 15% bed availability
    • 14.6% COVID/capacity
    • 29 pediatric patients 
  • 146 COVID-19 patients in Austin area (TSA O) ICUs (all-time high, for comparison: 276, 8/24/2021)
    • +9 day-to-day
    • Up 90% from a week ago
    • 9% bed availability (38 adult / 9 pediatric)
    • 29% COVID/capacity

Updates:

8:40 p.m. – Hays County reported another death from COVID-19 on Tuesday along with 653 new confirmed cases. Health officials also reported three new hospitalizations and three new hospital discharges.

8:30 p.m. – Lake Travis ISD updated its COVID-19 protocols on Thursday, suspending visitors on campus during the school day with the exception of volunteers, scheduled parent meetings or other instances approved by the school.

Superintendent Paul Norton also said the school district has made progress in installing air disinfection devices at each campus. More than 170 units have been installed in high-traffic areas like the front office reception area, cafeterias, hallways, weight and locker rooms, nurse's offices and other locations. 

The devices are supposed to reduce the pathogen that leads to COVID-19, colds, the common flu and even stomach issues. They also help reduce dust, mold spores and pollen that trigger asthma and allergies. 

The district said it can't enforce a mask mandate, per guidance from the TEA, but strongly encourages masks while inside district facilities.

5:40 p.m. – Austin ISD Athletics updated its COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday, including capacity limits for indoor games/activities, daily health screenings and masking for anyone not participating in vigorous activities. These practices also apply to everyone at athletic events at Austin ISD, including to those visiting from outside the district. 

Changes to the COVID-19 practices include:

  • Two-person per player capacity limit for indoor games/activities. All visitors are required to wear their masks.
  • Verbal symptom screening will be done daily at practices to confirm athletes are feeling well. 
  • Face masks are required for athletes who are not engaged in vigorous activity and when on the sidelines, in the locker rooms, in meetings, etc.
  • Athletic teams (varsity, junior varsity, freshman) will practice separately during workouts to not expose different levels with each other. Attendance rosters are required to be kept every day.
  • Athletes need to bring their own labeled water bottle to practice every day.
  • Athletic equipment will continue to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Access to locker rooms will be limited. Staggering of athletes will be done when entering/exiting.
  • Anyone who has symptoms should not be attending any type of school activity.

5:35 p.m. – Travis County reported another death from COVID-19 on Tuesday along with 1,218 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 139,969 cases and 1,223 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 132,641 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 553 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 132 in the ICU and 65 on ventilators.

5:30 p.m. – Two employees at the Giddings State School tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department said. At this time, TJJD has 150 active cases across its facilities (103 staff and 47 youth).

5 p.m. – Due to staffing concerns related to COVID-19 and other open vacancies, the Austin Animal Center will be closed temporarily on Sundays starting Jan. 23. Direct animal care staff and volunteers will remain on site to provide care to the animals.

"This was a difficult decision, and many factors were taken into consideration, including first and foremost our ability to care safely and humanely for the animals in our shelter," wrote Chief Animal Services Officer Don Bland in a city memo. "Sunday was chosen based on intake-outcome data as well as the ability to redistribute staff to assist members of the public throughout the rest of the week."

Owners looking to reclaim lost pets on Sundays can contact 311 to request an Animal Protection Officer.

12:45 p.m. – Thinkery has cancelled general admission sessions beginning Jan. 12 through Jan. 21 due to COVID-19-related staffing shortages. 

"A number of our museum experience team members have reported breakthrough cases of COVID-19 or close contact exposure to people who’ve tested positive," Thinkery officials said. "Fortunately, everyone’s symptoms so far have been mild and the affected staffers are recovering at home. However, this means Thinkery does not have the necessary staff available to open and operate the museum for General Admission at this time."

Thinkery said it plans to reopen fully on Jan. 22.

6:20 a.m. – The Travis County Expunction Expo has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The event, which focuses on clearing eligible cases of criminal history, was set for Saturday, Jan. 15. A new date has not been announced yet.

Locations & Hours of No-Appointment Operation Tuesday, Jan. 11

Pfluger Hall (APH)

  • 201 S. Railroad Ave, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

ShadowGlen Elementary School (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 12000 Shadowglen Trace Manor, TX 78653
  • 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up), Moderna (12 and up)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

  • 9111 FM 812 Austin, TX 78719
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

  • 8807 Cameron Rd. Austin, TX 78754
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

  • 6506 Decker Ln. Austin, TX 78724
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

Locations & Hours of No-Appointment Operation Wednesday, Jan. 12

Delco Activity Center (APH)

  • 4601 Pecan Brook Dr. Austin, TX 78724
  • 9 am – 12 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

African American Men & Boys Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 6633 U.S. 290 #303 Austin, TX 78723
  • 9 am – 2 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up), Moderna (18 and up)

Pfluger Hall (APH)

  • 201 S. Railroad Ave, Pflugerville, TX 78660
  • 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

Old Sims Elementary School – Gymnasium (APH)

  • 1203 Springdale Rd. Austin, TX 78721
  • 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

Pioneer Crossing Elementary School (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 11300 Samsung Blvd. Austin, TX 78754
  • 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up)

La Michoacana Meat Market (Travis County)

  • 2237B E. Riverside Dr. Austin, TX 78741
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

El Rancho Supermercado - Research (Travis County)

  • 8752 Research Blvd. Austin, TX 78758
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

La Finca Supermercado (Travis County)

  • 9616 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite #130 Austin, TX 78753
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

Locations & Hours of No-Appointment Operation Thursday, Jan. 13

African American Men & Boys Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 6633 U.S. 290 #303 Austin, TX 78723
  • 9 am – 2 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up), Moderna (18 and up)

Delco Activity Center (APH)

  • 4601 Pecan Brook Dr. Austin, TX 78724
  • 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

Old Sims Elementary School – Gymnasium (APH)

  • 1203 Springdale Rd. Austin, TX 78721
  • 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

Manor New Tech Middle School (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 12116 Joyce Turner Dr. Manor, TX 78653
  • 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up), Moderna (18 and up)

Overton Elementary School - (Travis County)

  • 7201 Colony Loop Dr. Austin, TX 78724
  • 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up)

Northeast Early College Academy (APH)

  • 7104 Berkman Dr. Austin, TX 78752
  • 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

  • 9111 FM 812 Austin, TX 78719
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

  • 8807 Cameron Rd. Austin, TX 78754
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up)

JD’s Supermarket (Travis County)

  • 6506 Decker Ln. Austin, TX 78724
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

Locations & Hours of No-Appointment Operation Friday, Jan. 14

Delco Activity Center (APH)

  • 4601 Pecan Brook Dr. Austin, TX 78724
  • 9 am – 12 pm
  • Moderna (18 and up), Pfizer (5 and up), Johnson & Johnson (18 and up)

Consulate General of Mexico (Travis County)

  • 5202 E. Ben White Blvd. #150 Austin, TX 78741
  • 9 am – 1 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up)

African American Men & Boys Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 6633 U.S. 290 #303 Austin, TX 78723
  • 9 am – 2 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up), Moderna (18 and up)

Decker Middle School (CTAHI/Travis County)

  • 8104 Decker Ln. Austin, TX 78724
  • 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Pfizer (5 and up), Moderna (18 and up)

La Mexicana Market – Rundberg (Travis County)

  • 834 E Rundberg Ln. Austin, TX 78753
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

La Mexicana Market – Stassney (Travis County)

  • 5717 S. I-35 Frontage Rd. C-180 Austin, TX 78744
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

Poco Loco Supermercado – Cameron (Travis County)

  • 6305 Cameron Rd Austin, TX 78723
  • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Pfizer (12 and up)

OTHER COVID-19 HEADLINES:

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