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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Texas reports lowest number of cases in a single day since June

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Monday, March 8.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 8 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 2.3 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 44,400 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 76,638 cases have been reported and at least 766 people have died. At least 74,312 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 16,574 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 229 people have died. At least 15,617 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 35,865 cases have been reported in the county and at least 408 people have died. 

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

Updates:

5:13 p.m. – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department provided the following updates today related to COVID-19:

  • One youth at the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility, in Mart, tested positive on March 8
  • One staff member at the Giddings State School tested positive for COVID-19 on March 6.
  • As of March 8, TJJD has five active staff cases and one active youth case across its facilities

5 p.m. – Hays County reports two new coronavirus-related deaths, a San Marcos man in his 60s and a San Marcos woman in her 80s. The county also reported 84 new lab-confirmed cases.

4:30 p.m. – Texas reports 1,084 new COVID-19 cases, the fewest in a single day since June 8. The 7-day average is at 3,669, down 22% from a week ago and down 71% from a month ago.

The state reported 32 new coronavirus-related deaths for a total of 44,483. The number of COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, 4,329, is the fewest since Oct. 18 and is down 23% from a week ago and 57% from a month ago. The positivity rate statewide is down to 6.72%, the lowest since Sept. 29.

Locally, the cases per day metric for the Austin metro area is 376 per day over the past week, down 58% from a month ago. The positivity rate for the area is down to 5.52%. 

3:55 p.m. – On Wednesday, March 10, Williamson County businesses will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity per Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34. Following Gov. Abbott’s order, Williamson County government buildings and facilities also will be open to the public at 100% capacity with no additional requirements to enter buildings. Gov. Abbott’s order also lifted the mask mandate. The public will have the ability to choose if they wear a mask or not in county buildings. 

“I've always been a huge proponent of personal choice and the ability for individuals to make their own decisions,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell. “I appreciate the governor lifting the mask mandate and allowing individuals to make choices. Our citizens can choose to wear a mask or not.” 

The reopening of all county buildings and facilities includes all Williamson County parks and trails.  

  • All group pavilion rentals will return to original occupancy limits. 
  • All overnight campsites at Berry Springs Park and Preserve and Williamson County Expo Center will be available for use. 
  • Expo Center events will return to original occupancy limits, but the hall will remain closed due to winter storm damage. 
  • The Cedar Rock Railroad concession at Southwest Regional Park is not managed by the county and will require train riders (ages 10+) to continue wearing masks until further notice.

2:45 p.m. – Fifty percent of Texans 65 years old or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Two Central Texas counties are ahead of that pace – Mason County at 54% and Hays County at 51% – but the rest are behind.

Overall, 19% of Texans 16 years old or older have received at least one dose of vaccine. Of the counties in the KVUE viewing area, Mason (27%) and Gillespie (23%) are ahead of that pace, while Burnet, Lee, Caldwell and Bastrop counties lag behind with an average of 12 to 15%.

With updated vaccine allocations this week, Gillespie continues to be way out in front with 749 doses per 1,000 population 16 or older.

11:40 a.m. – As of Monday, the Travis County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a total of 314 positive cases of COVID-19 among its jail population. A total of 25 inmates are now in quarantine, with seven confirmed positive, and 275 are in isolation. Since the start of the pandemic, 255 employees have also tested positive.

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