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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: 4,000 Austin Public Health vaccine appointments filled, more available Tuesday

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Monday, March 1.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest 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 March 1 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 2.2 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 42,700 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 75,636 cases have been reported and at least 743 people have died. At least 73,519 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 16,345 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 216 people have died. At least 15,619 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 35,634 cases have been reported in the county and at least 398 people have died. 

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

Updates:

9:45 p.m. Austin Public Health (APH) said all 4,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments that were released Monday night have been filled. There are still 200,000 people who are pre-registered through APH and eligible to receive the vaccine.

APH said more COVID-19 vaccine appointments will become available Tuesday. If you belong to the Phase 1A or 1B groups, you can pre-register on APH's website.

5:45 p.m. – Austin Public Health (APH) will release 4,000 additional COVID-19 vaccine first dose appointments Monday night. A spokesperson said a pre-queue will open at 6:15 p.m., which will allow people to begin getting in line to schedule. Appointments will officially open up around 6:30 p.m. APH said staff has done "an exceptional job of catching up on the vaccine appointment backlog that followed the winter weather delays," so the agency is releasing new appointments tonight. Typically, APH releases first dose appointments on Tuesday and Thursday nights. 

People who have pre-registered for the vaccine through APH and are in the Phase 1A and 1B groups will be able to schedule appointments. Once registration opens, people will be added to a queue to schedule an appointment. You can pre-register on APH's website

If you received your first dose through APH and it has been 42 or more days since your first dose and you have not received a second dose appointment, you can walk-up to APH vaccine sites and present your vaccine card to receive your second dose.

5:30 p.m. – Travis County leaders are working to organize more drive-thru vaccination events like the one this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Travis County Judge Andy Brown said 3,000 people were vaccinated with the help of appointments made by CommUnityCare.

Brown is working with the logistics team at COTA to hold another drive-thru event, possibly as soon as this weekend. The goal is to make these events larger and vaccinate up to 10,000 people over two to three days.

5:15 p.m. – Hays County reports three new coronavirus-related deaths: a Buda man in his 50s, a Kyle man in his 60s and a San Marcos man in his 90s. The county has had a total of 216 coronavirus-related deaths.

The county also reports 75 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases since Friday for a total of 16,345. At least 15,619 people have recovered from the virus in Hays County. 

Meanwhile, Williamson County is now reporting a total of 398 coronavirus-related deaths, up from 362 on Friday. The county has had a total of 35,635 confirmed cases.

4:30 p.m. – Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said that the Texas Department of State Health Services has been awarded a federal grant of $106,083,659.50 to boost COVID-19 vaccination capabilities. The funding comes through FEMA as part of the Robert T. Stafford Act.

"As we look to turn the corner on this deadly pandemic, it’s critical that we make vaccine distribution a priority to ensure we keep Texans safe and healthy," Cornyn said. "I applaud this announcement and will continue to do everything I can to make sure Texans have access to these lifesaving vaccines."

11:30 a.m. – The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) has been awarded $16,433,306 in federal grants to combat the spread of COVID-19 at the airport and provide economic relief. The funding comes through the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2020.

“Quality transportation services are vital for boosting local economic growth, and now, more than ever, we must ensure airports have the support they need to get Texans from point A to point B,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I will continue doing everything I can to bolster our response to these unprecedented hardships, and I look forward to seeing the impact this funding will have on Austin and the rest of our great state.”

10:50 a.m. – The Travis County Sheriff's Office provides an update on COVID-19 data. After 2,687 tests, a total of 308 inmates have now tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 853 employees have also tested positive.

10:40 a.m. – Austin Public Health confirmed to KVUE Monday that anyone who has received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose from APH, and has not had their second in 42 or more days, may walk up to an APH vaccination site to get that second dose. APH said this is only a temporary process due to a backlog of second appointments from the winter weather storms. APH said that since the sites that are open vary day-to-day, it recommends that people who meet the above criteria call 311, who will be able to provide information on sites that are open on a given day. 

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