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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County announces 232 new cases, 3 more deaths

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

Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out our new blog here.

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 July 28 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 385,900 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 5,700 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 229,100 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 19,700 cases have been reported and at least 252 people have died. At least 17,000 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 4,200 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 25 people have died. At least 1,178 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 5,300 cases have been reported in the county and at least 99 people have died. At least 4,600 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates:

7:30 p.m. – Cinemark announces it will begin opening a select number of theaters starting this Friday with enhanced sanitizing, safety and social distancing measures in place. One of those will be the Cinemark 20 and XD on 15436 FM 1825 in Pflugerville.

Staggered showtimes will be in place, along with seat buffering technology and mandatory mask policies. For more information, click here.

6 p.m. – The Travis County COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to reflect a total of 19,952 confirmed cases. Recoveries grew to 17,398 and deaths increased by three to 255.

5:30 p.m. – The Williamson County COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to reflect a total of 5,433 confirmed positive cases. Recoveries grew to 4,780 and deaths increased by one to a total of 100.

5:20 p.m. – The Hays County COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to reflect a total of 4,245 confirmed positive cases, with 2,969 of them still active. Recoveries grew to a total of 1,251 while deaths remain at 25.

5 p.m. – According to a joint statement from Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare, 2,473 staffed beds within all three healthcare systems are 73% occupied, and the 483 ICU beds are 83% occupied.

4:35 p.m. – According to Texas Health and Human Services, there is still billions of dollars in federal funding available for COVID-19 relief to Texas Medicaid and CHIP providers.

This funding can be used for anything from buying PPE to supplementing revenue lost to the pandemic. Providers need to apply for the money by Monday. As of July 15, less than 5% of eligible providers in Texas have applied.

3 p.m. – Since July 21, a total of 206 staff members and 104 children at child care facilities in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19. Since March, Texas Health and Human Services has reported a total of 1,896 staff members and 914 children at 1,678 child care facilities have tested positive.

1 p.m. – The Williamson Museum has canceled the Cattleman's Ball scheduled for Oct. 17. See the museum's statement below:

"Thank you for being a part of The Williamson Museum Community. While it was a difficult decision, our team decided to cancel the 9th Annual Cattleman’s Ball which was scheduled for October 17, 2020, because we care about your safety and the wellbeing of our community.

"Although we won’t be gathering in person, The Williamson Museum is offering an online Auction on October 17, where you can support our goal of raising funds for The Williamson Museum Educational Programs and join in on the fun from wherever you are. Please check our website for details to come on our virtual silent auction and gala. 

"Thank you for understanding during these difficult times. We’d like to thank each and every one of you for supporting The Williamson Museum through it all. Together, we’ve been able to serve over 83,126 local central Texas students in the past 5 years. 

"We believe that with your help, we can lessen the impact of coronavirus on our mission of The Williamson Museum.  Thank you for your support during this challenging time for our organization and our community as a whole. We hope to see your support with our Virtual Gala and Silent Auction on Saturday, October 17, 2020."

11:40 a.m. – Austin Public Health Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott tells local health leaders there has been a "substantial decrease" in active coronavirus cases. Dr. Escott said the Austin area has seen 12 straight days of improvement regarding the seven-day moving average in both new cases and hospitalizations.

RELATED: Austin seeing 'substantial decrease' in active COVID-19 cases, positivity rate, health authority says

10:32 a.m. –  Families who need help with meals during the 2019-2020 school year have until Aug. 21 to apply for benefits through the federal Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT), Gov. Greg Abbott announced. It's a one-time benefit of $285 per eligible child and works the same way people use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. To learn more, visit the governor's website.

9:33 a.m. – Do you or a family you know need help with meals during the 2019-2020 school year? The City of Austin said the only 70% of eligible families with children have applied for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program. The deadline ends Thursday, July 30, and resources can be found online.

6 a.m. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday afternoon that the Republicans' next coronavirus stimulus package proposal would be called the "HEALS" Act. See who qualifies for a second $1,200 stimulus check under the Senate Republicans' proposal. 

WATCH: A positive turn in Central Texas' COVID-19 stats

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