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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Texas State to host in-person spring commencement

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

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 May 4 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 2.4 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 49,300 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 82,566 cases have been reported and at least 854 people have died. At least 80,924 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 18,436 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 240 people have died. At least 17,636 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: At least 39,015 cases have been reported in the county and at least 464 people have died.

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

Updates

6 p.m. – Travis County reported three more COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday along with 40 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 82,566 cases and 854 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 80,924 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 112 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 46 in the ICU and 24 on ventilators.

4:45 p.m. – The City of Kyle, in collaboration with State Rep. Erin Zwiener's Office, Hays CISD and the National Guard, will be hosting a mass vaccination event at Lehman High School, 1700 Lehman Road, on Sunday, May 16, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. or until vaccines run out.

Organizers are hoping to vaccinate around 1,000 residents with the Moderna vaccine. The drive-thru event will be open to all who are 18 years and older, no appointments necessary. Those who attend the first clinic should return for their second dose on Sunday, June 13.

All attendees of the Mass Vaccination event will be required to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth.

4:10 p.m. – Texas State University has announced plans to hold an in-person, socially distancing commencement this spring.

Texas State University System Board of Regents member Alan L. Tinsley will be the keynote speaker for the ceremonies on May 13 and 14 at Bobcat Stadium.

Click here for more information.

4 p.m. – With more than 40% of adults fully vaccinated, Austin-Travis County has adjusted the criteria for the county’s risk-based guidelines. While the Austin area remains in Stage 3, the threshold is now an average of between 15 and 29 daily new hospitalizations. The Stage 2 threshold is now between 5 and 15 new hospitalizations.

RELATED: Austin-Travis County could consider incentives to combat vaccine hesitancy

“As a result of both declining length of hospital stays and declining mortality rates, we feel comfortable reassessing the transition of stages,” added Dr. Escott. “We expect that there is going to be a long tail in terms of achieving vaccine herd immunity or completely getting COVID-19 out of our community. So, we expect that we may see a slow declining plateau of cases, and as the vaccination rate improves in the community, and we hit 70% to 90% vaccinated we could look at transitioning to Stage 1 safely.”

2:45 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is providing approximately $246 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of May as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Thank you to the USDA for extending these crucial emergency SNAP benefits for the month of May," said Gov. Abbott. "Through the continued extension of the benefits, Texas families have been able to provide for their families and put food on the table throughout the pandemic."

"We will continue to provide additional support to Texans and their families during this pandemic so they can purchase nutritious foods with their SNAP benefits," added Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter.

HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size, and all SNAP households will receive a minimum of $95 in emergency allotments.

1 p.m. – Williamson County COVID-19 vaccine provider Curative said it has a surplus of vaccines and had to tell the State of Texas not to send 11,000 more doses this week.

SEE MORE: As vaccine demand drops, Williamson County provider tells State not to send more doses

According to Curative, the provider has had a surplus for around two weeks now as the trend has shifted from a lack of supply to a lack of demand.

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