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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 7 more deaths from COVID-19, 224 new cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Friday, Aug. 7.

Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated.

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. 7 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 460,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 7,800 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 22,400 cases have been reported and at least 295 people have died. At least 20,874 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: More than 5,000 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 34 people have died. At least 2,175 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 6,200 cases have been reported in the county and at least 86 people have died. More than 5,500 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

6:30 p.m. – Austin Regional Clinic is seeking volunteers to take place in a COVID-19 vaccine trial study. Click here for more information.

RELATED: Austin Regional Clinic recruiting Central Texans for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

5:50 p.m. – Travis County reported another seven deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, as well as 224 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 22,480 cases and 295 deaths. At least 20,874 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 279 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 105 in the ICU and 74 on ventilators.

5:10 p.m. – Williamson County reported another 187 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total to 6,245 cases and 86 deaths. At least 5,577 people have recovered from the virus.

4:45 p.m. – Hays County reported 23 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, one person was released from the hospital and 49 additional individuals have now been considered recovered. As of Aug. 7, the Hays County Local Health Department confirms there are at least 2,803 active lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. To view a breakdown of the age range of these cases, visit Hays County's interactive dashboard here.

4:10 p.m. – As of Friday afternoon, the 2,473 staffed beds within all three health care systems – Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David's HealthCare – are 72% occupied and the 483 ICU beds are 82% occupied.

3:15 p.m. – The City of Georgetown has nearly $1 million in funding available to help residential utility customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic pay their utility bills. Anyone who has lost their income since the start of this year may qualify for assistance. The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program offers up to $1,500 to residential utility customers who have past due balances in 2020 and can show their income or employment has been affected by the pandemic or any resulting restrictions, such as the stay home orders that were in effect. Financial assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last. As of July 31, the City has provided $3,800 to help a total of eight customers. More information about the program and applications are available on Opportunities for Williamson and Burnet Counties’ website.

3:00 p.m. – The trail at Lake Pflugerville will reopen starting at noon on Monday, Aug. 10. All other park amenities, including the north parking lot, fishing piers, boat ramp, open space, playground area, pavilion, beach and lake access will remain closed, city officials said. Visit pflugervilletx.gov/reopen for more information on city services and facility reopenings.

1:30 p.m. – Austin leaders unveil guidance for reopening local music venues. Though they are not advocating for venues to open just yet, they hope the guidelines will give venue operators the time to prepare for future reopenings. Click here for more information.

RELATED: Austin leaders unveil guidance to help music venues with future reopenings

1 p.m. – Gov. Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announce that $1.1 billion in Quality Incentive Payment Program (QIPP) funds have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support Texas nursing facilities that provide care for individuals receiving Medicaid. QIPP provides performance incentive Medicaid payments to nursing facilities that provide care for persons with Medicaid and rewards quality improvements in staffing, infection control and other key long-term care quality indicators.

"This funding will improve the quality of care and strengthen infection controls at Texas nursing facilities," said Gov. Abbott. "I thank our partners at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for providing these critical funds."

7:56 a.m. – On Saturday, leaders with the Central Texas Food Bank are hosting another free food distribution event at Nelson Field located at 7105 Berkman Drive. It's happening from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. When you arrive, just pop the trunk of your car, and volunteers will load the boxes for you.

5:53 a.m. – Austin ISD voted overnight to push back the start of school to Sept. 8. There are a few other Central Texas school districts that have decided to start on the same date.

Pflugerville ISD's school board met as well and decided to submit a waiver to the Texas Education Agency to have one additional week of solely-remote classes. If approved, Pflugerville students will have remote-only instruction for a total of four weeks.

WATCH: Visitors allowed in Texas nursing homes again

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