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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County extends eviction moratorium until April

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Wednesday, Jan. 27.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer live. For COVID-19 updates, click 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. 27 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 1.9 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 34,300 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 66,859 cases have been reported and at least 647 people have died. At least 60,879 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 14,719 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 181 people have died. At least 12,195 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 30,038 cases have been reported in the county and at least 291 people have died. At least 28,088 people have recovered from the virus.

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

Updates:

6:20 p.m. – Travis County and the City of Austin have extended the eviction moratorium order until April 1, 2021. City and County leaders will announce the extension and additional rental assistance services in a press conference on Thursday morning.

6:05 p.m. – Travis County reported six more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday along with 650 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 66,859 cases and 647 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 60,879 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 559 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 163 in the ICU and 97 on ventilators. There are 42 people being treated at the alternative care site at the Austin Convention Center. 

5:25 p.m. – The Giddings State School confirms three new cases, two among youth and one a staff member.

5:10 p.m. – Hays County reports four more COVID-19 deaths, a Buda woman in her 70s, a Kyle man in his 70s and two San Marcos women in their 70s. The health department also reports 79 new confirmed cases along with one new hospitalization and four new hospital discharges. There are 332 additional people considered recovered.

4:40 p.m. – The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in the Austin metro area is up to 1,317 per day over the past week. The metro's positivity rate average is at 9.9%.

There are 589 COVID-19 patients in Austin-area hospitals, making up 14.4% of total capacity – the fourth day below 15%. There are 193 COVID-19 patients in Austin-area ICUs, with 11% of capacity still available.

There have been 1,518 deaths from COVID-19 in the 12-county Central Texas KVUE viewing area since the start of the pandemic.

3:30 p.m. – Texas reported 14,731 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the seven-day average to 14,490 new cases per day over the past week – up 39% from a month ago.

The state reported 467 more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 35,168. There are 12,795 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals statewide, up 13% from a month ago.

The state's positivity rate average is at 14.87%.

3:13 p.m. – KVUE confirms that the state of Texas has now surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Credit: KVUE

1 p.m. – Point of Care Health Services (POCHS) announces that it will be launching mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccine units in Central Texas to serve local workers.

“Our mobile units bring invaluable testing to your offices, campuses and various worksites,” said Wendy Garner, POCHS chief executive officer. “We provide fast, accurate results so that employers, institutions and widely used public facilities such as airports, stadiums and venues are able to better understand who can safely return to work, education and leisure, ultimately lessening the concern for contagious outbreaks which we know to have a significant impact on business and human life.”

Click here for more information.

12:15 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has deployed 80 military medical personnel from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force to assist in the COVID-19 response in Abilene, Lufkin, and Eagle Pass. The military medical personnel include nurses, respiratory therapists, and medical doctors, and will support Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, CHI St. Luke's Health - Memorial Hospital in Lufkin, and Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center in Eagle Pass. 

"Thank you to our partners at the Department of Defense for supporting Texas' COVID-19 response by providing these additional resources to Abilene, Lufkin, and Eagle Pass," said Gov. Abbott. "The medical personnel deployed to our communities will provide much needed support to our front line healthcare workers." 

12:00 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) announced the creation of the State Mobile Vaccine Pilot Program to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination efforts in underserved areas of Texas. 

As part of this pilot program, state mobile vaccination teams made up of Texas National Guard personnel will be deployed to five rural Texas counties – DeWitt, Marion, Real, Sherman, and Starr – to administer vaccinations to qualified Texans in those communities. Texas National Guard teams are prepared to begin vaccinations on Thursday and the Texas Division of Emergency Management is actively working with county officials to schedule their deployment.     

"The State Mobile Vaccine Pilot Program will help us ramp up vaccination efforts among homebound Texans, Texans 65 years of age or older, and among communities in need," said Gov. Abbott. "I thank TDEM, the Texas National Guard, as well as our participating city and county officials for working together on this important project. We will continue to develop strategies to vaccinate more Texans and keep our communities safe."

8:00 a.m. – Austin Public Health announced that its weekly media Q&A briefing, typically held on Wednesdays, was moved to Friday, Jan. 29 to accommodate schedules. 

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