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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Hays County vaccine registration to reopen Friday

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Monday, Jan. 25.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer live. Click here to view the Jan. 26 COVID-19 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 Jan. 25 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 1.9 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 34,100 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 65,507 cases have been reported and at least 631 people have died. At least 59,475 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 14,482 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 175 people have died. At least 11,300 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 29,742 cases have been reported in the county and at least 283 people have died. At least 27,833 people have recovered from the virus.

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


10 p.m. – As of today, there are 28 people being treated at the alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center. See more local COVID-19 data.

7:45 p.m. – Hays County officials said the next opportunity to set up an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be on Friday, Jan. 29, at noon. Residents will be able to find the sign-up link here when the registration portal opens on Friday. Those who do not have internet access or a smartphone can call 512-938-1650. Officials said no one will answer that phone number before the portal opens on Friday. People who are part of the Department of State Health Services Phase 1A and 1B criteria will be able to make appointments. 

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said the county has set up a text alert system that residents can use to get updates on coronavirus-related information. You can text the word COVID to 844-928-3213. Officials said it is important to note that this number will not put you on a registration list to get a vaccine – it is just for updates and alerts.

Authorities in Hays County held their first COVID-19 vaccine clinic Monday. They said it went "as smoothly as possible given the myriad challenges."

6 p.m. – Austin-Travis County reports six new coronavirus-related deaths and 544 new confirmed cases. 

5:15 p.m. – Hays County reports four new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday: a Dripping Springs woman in her 80s, a Kyle man in his 70s, a San Marcos man in his 60s and a San Marcos woman in her 50s. The county also reported 567 new lab-confirmed cases, 14 new hospitalizations and 17 new discharges.

Hays County has had a total of 14,482 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and a total of 175 coronavirus-related deaths.

Meanwhile, Williamson County reported 763 new confirmed cases. The county has had a total of 29,742 confirmed cases and 283 coronavirus-related deaths.

1:30 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management has expanded the COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center in Austin. Since opening on Jan. 6 with nine infusion chairs, the center has treated 279 patients. The expansion includes 24 additional infusion chairs, staff and medical equipment.

"Expanding this infusion center will help us treat our most vulnerable in the central Texas region," Abbott said. "These treatments are essential in our fight to keep hospitalizations down and save lives, and I am grateful to our state and local partners for working collaboratively to expand this infusion center."

Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White and St. David’s HealthCare released a joint statement about the expansion, saying in part:

"Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White and St. David’s HealthCare are currently referring appropriate patients who have been identified for monoclonal antibody therapy to the regional infusion center. The center will become the primary outpatient infusion clinic for the region, with a goal of providing optimal patient treatment outside of the hospital setting while allowing hospital staff to focus on caring for critical COVID patients. With demonstrated trust and approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the three healthcare systems formed a collaborative effort with the RIC and have combined resources, including a regular supply of monoclonal antibody therapy doses, to treat more patients at the regional infusion center. The three healthcare systems will continue to have the capacity and needed resources to treat a limited number of patients with monoclonal antibody therapy, in the appropriate hospital settings."

1:25 p.m. For Texas drivers who have taken advantage of the COVID-19 waiver that doesn't require you to renew your driver's license, time is running out. The waiver ends in April, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Here's how to set up an appointment.

RELATED: Texas driver's license COVID-19 expiration waiver ends in April

1:05 p.m. – Medivolve is opening COVID-19 testing labs at The Domain, Barton Creek Square, Lakeline Mall, Round Rock Premium Outlets and San Marcos Premium Outlets to help provide same day testing results in the fight against COVID-19. The tests take no more than ten minutes to administer and provide results within 24 hours. 

The lab sites are designed to have capacity for up to 150 tests per day, per site and will charge between $59 and $179 for antibody and antigen tests. Appointments and payments will be handled through an online portal www.testbeforeyougo.com.

12:30 p.m. – The City of Austin and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) are celebrating a milestone related to the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program. They successfully deployed all $12.9 million in rental relief before the Dec. 30, 2020, federal deadline. 

This money, a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, helped more than 4,300 Austin families who were financially impacted by COVID-19. Austin City Council will vote Jan. 27 on the recommendation to allocate an additional $3.2 million in assistance to serve participants remaining in the application pipeline.

"We did it! With the help of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin and over a dozen non-profit partners, we gave $12.9 million in rent relief to 4,300 Austin families hurting from the pandemic," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "These dollars kept thousands of Austinites safe in their homes during COVID, eased the economic burden on both tenants and landlords, and will be put back into our local economy. These are the kinds of compassionate, smart choices that make Austin so resilient. We hope to make additional help available to Austinites and call on the state and federal governments for support."

12:10 p.m. – The Travis County Sheriff's Office announces 46 new cases among inmates and 21 new cases among employees. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 148 inmates and 210 employees have tested positive.

11:45 a.m.  Shaka Smart, the head coach for the Texas Longhorns' men's basketball team, has tested positive for COVID-19. He said he is in isolation. This news comes as Texas is scheduled to host Oklahoma on Tuesday. 

RELATED: Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart tests positive for COVID-19

9:55 a.m. – CVS Health announces that it is partnering with approximately 2,000 long-term care facilities across Texas. Since the state authorized the program to begin on Dec. 28, CVS has finished administering the first doses for all 581 skilled-nursing facilities, with second doses already underway. Over the coming week, CVS will finish administering the first doses for all the 1,431 assisted-living and other long-term care facilities. 

7:35 a.m. – This morning, Austin’s mayor talked about issues with vaccine roll-out in the city. 


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