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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 7 more COVID-19 deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, Jan. 28.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Friday'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 Jan. 28 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 2 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 35,100 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 67,566 cases have been reported and at least 654 people have died. At least 61,614 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 14,911 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 185 people have died. At least 12,368 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 30,838 cases have been reported in the county and at least 310 people have died. At least 28,726 people have recovered from the virus.

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


6:15 p.m. – Travis County reported seven more deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday along with 707 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 67,566 cases and 654 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 61,614 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 564 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 153 in the ICU and 97 on ventilators. There are 47 people being treated at the alternative care site at the Austin Convention Center.

4:55 p.m. – The Hays County Local Health Department reports four COVID-related fatalities, two Buda men in their 70s, a San Marcos man in his 80s, and a San Marcos man in his 60s. The department also reports 192 new lab-confirmed cases along with 12 new hospitalizations and seven new hospital discharges. There are 173 additional persons considered recovered. The total number of persons considered recovered is 12,368.

4:20 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) launched an application for the Supplementary Special Education Services (SSES) program, which allows eligible families of children with significant cognitive disabilities and complex educational needs to apply for a $1,500 online account to be used in the SSES marketplace.

The goods and services in the marketplace can help families mitigate educational setbacks resulting from the extensive disruptions to education prompted by COVID-19, Gov. Abbott said.

At least 18,000 students with significant cognitive disabilities statewide will be in position to receive a one-time grant of up to $1,500 for the purchase of a broad range of educational resources and services. Priority will be given to Texas families receiving income assistance and to families that have documented financial needs.   

3:55 p.m. – Texas reported 14,445 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 2,018,127 since the start of the pandemic. The seven-day average is at 13,929 new cases per day over the past week, down 19% from a week ago and up 17% from a month ago.

The state reported 471 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 35,369. January has passed August and November to become the third-deadliest month so far.

There are 12,380 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals statewide, down 9% from a week ago and up 5% from a month ago. The state's positivity rate average is at 15.50%.

Austin-area hospitals have 564 COVID-19 patients, making up 13.7% of total capacity. There are 194 COVID-19 patients in Austin-area ICUs, making up 37.5% of total capacity.

The seven-day average of cases in the Austin metro area is at 1,054 per day over the past week. The metro's positivity rate average is at 9.23%. There have been 1,543 COVID-19 deaths in the 12-county Central Texas KVUE viewing area since the start of the pandemic.

2:30 p.m. – The DSHS confirms that of the more than 3 million doses that have been administered in Texas, less than 2,000 have been "wasted."

RELATED: Less than 2,000 COVID-19 doses have been 'wasted,' State says

1:30 p.m. – FEMA awarded $2.5 billion to the Texas Division of Emergency Management for Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) costs related to the COVID-19, the agency said in a press release. 

In response to COVID-19, DSHS provided medical care and transport in support of hospitals, nursing homes and long-term health care facilities. Department staff purchased and distributed commodities, such as personal protective equipment, medical supplies and ventilators. Grants for emergency protective measures are funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant program, which reimburses communities for actions taken in the immediate response and during recovery from a disaster. Eligible applicants include states, federally recognized tribal governments, U.S. territories, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.  

11:55 a.m. – Capital Metro’s vaccine access program is booking requests Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. These trips are free, and community members do not need to be MetroAccess customers to schedule their free ride. To schedule transportation, call 512-369-6050. 

RELATED: How to get a free ride to COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Austin

Capital Metro also announces that it will restart its UT Shuttle Service beginning on Feb. 1 now that UT has announced classes will resume in-person.

11:05 a.m. – The Texas Department of State Health is giving an update on the state of the vaccine allocation and distribution in the state.

9:54 a.m. – Leaders with the Texas Department of State Health Services will give an update on vaccine allocation and distribution at 11 a.m. You can watch in the video above and on KVUE's YouTube channel when it begins.


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