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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 2 more deaths from COVID-19, 273 new cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, Aug. 4.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This live blog is no longer updating. For the latest coronavirus updates in Central Texas, check out KVUE's Aug. 5 live blog.

KVUE is keeping you updated with the latest coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, news in the Austin area.

Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's Aug. 4 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 440,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 7,000 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 21,800 cases have been reported and at least 287 people have died. At least 19,570 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: More than 4,800 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 29 people have died. At least 1,900 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 5,900 cases have been reported in the county and at least 80 people have died. More than 5,200 people have recovered from the virus.


6:10 p.m. – Williamson County reported another 98 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 5,930 cases with 80 deaths. At least 5,299 people have recovered.

6 p.m. – Travis County reported another two deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 273 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 21,822 cases and 287 deaths. At least 19,570 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 309 people hospitalized from COVID-19, with 113 in the ICU and 74 on ventilators.

5:50 p.m. – Hays County health officials report two more deaths from COVID-19 today, along with 38 new cases. There have now been 4,931 confirmed cases, 2,022 recoveries and 31 fatalities.

4:50 p.m. – Austin Emergency Center announced it will be offering a full day of free COVID-19 testing on Thursday, Aug. 4. The free testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Center’s South Lamar and Anderson Mill locations, officials said in a press release. No appointment will be required to get a free test. 

4:30 p.m. – The 9th Annual Moontower Comedy Festival has been rescheduled again. The festival, which was originally set for this past April, had been previously rescheduled to Sept. 16-19. Now, it will be held as three weekends of headliner performances in spring 2021. 

"Moontower 9" will now be held on April 16-17, May 15-16 and June 25-26. Then Moontower 10 will be held in the fest's usual four-day format from Sept. 22-25, 2021. The festival is scheduled to return to its usual four-day spring festival timeline in 2022. Learn more.

3:45 p.m. – Austin Java said it will be permanently closing three locations because of the impact of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the coffee shop closed the doors to its City Hall, Met Center and Dripping Springs locations.

"We intend to keep serving up your favorite Java and Eats at our Manchaca location AND find some new spots to rebuild post-COVID," Austin Java said in a post on social media.

2:15 p.m. – The University of Texas at Austin said around 45% to 50% of students will be taking exclusively virtual classes this upcoming fall semester.

Thousands of classes, including the 400 largest unique classes, will meet online only. Classes will be more evenly distributed throughout the day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to UT's plan. UT said rooms will be assigned to classes so that when all students registered for that class attend, no more than 40% of seats in that classroom will be occupied. 

The university plans to conduct around 5,000 COVID-19 tests on campus each week.

RELATED: 'Protect Texas Together' | University of Texas at Austin releases fall 2020 COVID-19 plan

1:10 p.m. – On Aug. 4, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission was notified of 56 newly reported positive cases of COVID-19 (29 staff, 27 children) at 45 child care operations. Since March, the HHSC has been notified of a total of 3,050 reported positive cases of COVID-19 (2,031 staff, 1019 children) at 1,781 child care operations. There are currently 12,466 open child care operations in Texas. 

For comparison, on July 28, the HHSC was notified of 52 newly reported positive cases of COVID-19 (35 staff, 17 children) at 44 child care operations.

12:35 p.m. – The Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA) said a partnership with Texas State University has allowed organ donation and recovery services to continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

TOSA said a loan of ventilators from Texas State allowed the organization to continue operations and transfer patients in need. Before the loan, TOSA was short of ventilators after providing them to University Hospital in San Antonio to treat COVID-19 patients.

12:07 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott announced that President Trump has extended federal funding for the Texas National Guard's mission to help combat COVID-19 in communities across the state. This extension of the Texas National Guard will be fully funded by the federal government through the end of 2020. 

"The Texas National Guard plays a vital role in our response and recovery efforts, and I thank President Trump for extending this federal funding,” said Gov. Abbott. "The Lone Star State remains vigilant in our efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and we will continue to work alongside our federal partners to keep Texans safe."

11:56 a.m. – Researchers with the University of Texas at Austin are looking into how many students could show up to schools in the first week already infected with the coronavirus. The New York Times turned that information into a map, showing how many students in each Central Texas county would have the virus.

11 a.m. – In San Antonio, Gov. Abbott holds a press conference in which he says Texas will pay for and distribute personal protective equipment to local schools. He also spoke about reopening schools in Texas.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott says Texas will pay for and distribute PPE to local

7:21 a.m. – Those looking for free coronavirus testing have options in Del Valle and Pflugerville. Until Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., those in need of a COVID-19 test can go to the free, walk-up testing site at Del Valle Middle School. Until Aug. 8 from 8 a.m. to noon, The Pfield at 1440 W. Pecan St. will be open for testing.

WATCH: Defenders Q&A: Will school closures and continued remote instruction affect taxes?


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