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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Hutto ISD cancels classes from Jan. 17-19 due to COVID cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates in Central Texas for Friday, Jan. 14.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Monday'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 118, and an average of 579 people are hospitalized. The community transmission rate is 1,397.5. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 143,911 cases have been reported and at least 1,225 people have died.
    • Hays County: There are currently 8,021 active cases, and 22 people are currently hospitalized. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 39,649 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 426 people have died. 
    • Williamson County: There are 1,088 new cases of coronavirus in Williamson County. Fifteen percent of hospital beds are available, and 6% of ICU beds are available. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 87,710 cases have been reported and at least 764 people have died.

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

Updates:

7:15 p.m.  –  Travis County canceled its COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned for Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Travis County Expo Center due to cold weather and wind. 

Those looking for an alternate vaccine location can check out Travis County's online calendar and map.

5:15 p.m.  The City of Austin's Economic Development Department announced it is distributing more than 96,000 masks to small businesses for free on Jan. 19. 

Business owners and staff can drive through one of two city facilities starting at 1 p.m. that day to pick up free masks for employees and customers. The drive-thru distributions are intended to support local small business and organizations. 

EDD staff will place boxes with masks in the trunk of each vehicle. Drivers are asked to stay in their vehicles with their trunks open to ensure a smooth process.

Here are the locations: 

City of Austin African-American Cultural & Heritage Facility

  • Address: 912 East 11th St. Austin, TX 78702
  • Directions: Mask distribution will occur at the rear of building on Juniper Street.
  • Time: 1 – 4 p.m. or until all masks are distributed

City of Austin Economic Development Department Offices

  • Address: 5202 East Ben White Blvd. Austin, TX 78741
  • Directions: Mask distribution will occur on Memory Lane near Suite 550.
  • Time: 1 – 4 p.m. or until all masks are distributed

Austin Public Health also hosts a series of free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution events. Information on upcoming events can be found on the APH website. 

3:45 p.m. – Hutto ISD said it will close all campus operations from Monday, Jan. 17 to Wednesday, Jan. 19 due to a high number of staff and students out sick with COVID-19. 

The district said that on Friday, it had 200 staff members out with 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 1,680 students out with 545 virus cases. 

UIL athletics events will continue as scheduled as long as coaches and students are healthy. Next week, cafeteria menu options will be limited due to staffing shortages, and the district clarified it does not have a food shortage. 

Transportation services will be modified when classes resume next week and those directly impacted will receive direct communication through Ride 360, the district said. Adjustments to transportation services include: 

  • There will be no bus service to the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) or River Horse Academy (RHA).    
  • Expect delays or earlier pick-up times. Delays are more likely to occur with afternoon routes. Prepare for as much as 45-minutes to an hour.
  • Parents may still opt to transport their children to avoid the earlier pickup or late return.

To read the full letter from Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas click here.

1:15 p.m. – Dr. Michael Brode, the medical director of UT Health Austin’s Post-Acute COVID-19 Program and an assistant professor at Dell Medical School, is discussing how to manage COVID-19 symptoms amid the ongoing omicron surge. Watch live below: 

10:20 a.m. – Austin ISD says national supply chain shortages are affecting the third-party vendors that run some of the district's campus-based testing hubs. Today, the issues are affecting the hubs at Kiker Elementary School, Navarro Early College High School and Norman-Sims Elementary School. 

AISD said its other eight sites are still operational. Sites are temporarily closed when testing supplies run out until they are resupplied, so the district is taking it day-by-day and evaluating where demand impacts each site.

Nomi Health is also still testing at Toney Burger Stadium, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., without supply issues. It is not expecting any interruption to its testing.

AISD also said students and staff can still get tested at their campus health rooms as the health rooms are not being impacted by supply chain issues. Those supplies are provided by the Texas Education Agency.

10 a.m. – Austin Public Health leaders are hosting a COVID-19 Q&A session, one day after new orders were announced for businesses. Watch live here or below: 

OTHER COVID-19 HEADLINES:

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