AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 May 27 live blog.
- Texas: More than 55,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,500 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 35,200 people have recovered from the virus.
- Central Texas counties:
- Travis County: More than 2,900 cases have been reported and at least 88 people have died. At least 1,040 people have recovered from the virus.
- Williamson County: More than 580 cases have been reported and at least 22 people have died. More than 330 people have recovered from the virus.
- Hays County: There have been at least 270 cases reported in the county and at least three people have died. Around 161 people have recovered from the virus.
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6:20 p.m. – The number of COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County has passed 3,000, with a total of 3,057. Of those, 1,084 have recovered, while 91 have died.
4:45 p.m. – Hays County has had 297 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 129 of those still active as of today and 165 recoveries now reported. The county has had three coronavirus-related deaths.
In Williamson County, there have been a total of 588 confirmed cases, with at least 221 of those still active and 345 recoveries being reported. The county has had 22 coronavirus-related deaths. Fifteen people are currently hospitalized with the virus in Williamson County.
4:11 p.m. – Here are the latest COVID-19 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas' new daily cases and daily deaths were both back up after Memorial Day weekend. The positivity rate is down to 4.27% and hospitalizations went up to 1,645.
GRAPH: Texas coronavirus data May 27
3:30 p.m. – The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) says certain regulatory requirements have been temporarily suspended statewide to extend inspection time requirements for elevators and boilers. This includes inspection requirements for elevators with permits that expire in March, April, May and June. A boiler Certificate of Operation that expires between March 13 and June 30 will not receive any penalty for failing to get an inspection before the certificate expires. The TDLR is also extending all building inspection deadlines in the "Elimination of Architectural Barriers Program" for any inspections due in March, April, May and June.
Additionally, the TDLJ has waived all continuing education requirements for individual licenses expiring in March, April, May or June. However, licensees still need to submit renewal applications, pay the required fees and TDLR will still check their criminal histories.
3:10 p.m. – Williamson County officials announced its plan to reopen will go into effect on June 1. According to Williamson County, county buildings will begin to reopen while following procedures to keep the public and county employees safe.
Face coverings are recommended, but not required when inside county buildings. However, cloth face-coverings are mandatory when in a courtroom. The Williamson County Historic Courthouse will stay closed to the public until further notice, except for Commissioner Court meetings.
Elected officials may require temperature checks in order to enter the Williamson County Justice Center, facilities where essential employees are working and when visiting the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.
2:45 p.m. – Gov. Abbott says the State is preparing for second and third-level COVID-19 spikes in the fall or winter. In a press conference addressing the efforts to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Texas Panhandle, the governor said the State is aggregating masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment to make sure Texas is ready for a potential spike in the future.
1:10 p.m. – The City of Austin has announced two grant programs to help support local musicians, artists and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Austin Music Disaster Relief fund is a $1.5 million fund offering $1,000 grants to Austin's musicians to accommodate immediate emergency needs. The Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program is a $1 million fund offering grants of up to $50,000 to organizations and people who have been displaced and are having difficulties paying rent for their creative spaces.
12:20 p.m. – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is cutting the Texas Department of Agriculture budget by 10% after Gov. Greg Abbott requested agencies to reduce budgets by 5%.
“This is going to be a tough year for Texas families,” Miller said, “and state government needs to tighten its belt along with everyone else. While TDA is already a lean, efficient agency that pays its own way, I’ve directed my staff to cut 10% without affecting our farmers and ranchers or our rural communities.”
12:15 p.m. – The Pflugerville City Council has recommended a phased approach to the reopening of Lake Pflugerville. The lake is currently open for fishing from banks, and small boats may be launched from the banks. Additionally, trails have also reopened.
Swimming, pavilion use, beach and the public restroom facility will be reopened in future phases, according to the City.
12 p.m. – State Rep. Erin Zwiener has donated 12,000 face masks to several communities across Hays and Blanco counties.
“For reopening Texas to succeed, we all must change our day-to-day habits,” said Rep. Zwiener. “Wearing a face mask out in public is one piece of that. It’s a simple way we can all show that we care about our neighbors, our community, and our local businesses, and I don’t want access to masks to prevent one Texan from doing their part.”
11:25 a.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced $3.6 million in funding to allow nursing facilities to purchase tablets, webcams and headphones for their residents to connect with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing facilities can submit applications to the HHSC and receive up to $3,000 in federal funding. Guidance for the application can be found here.
Austin Public Health held a live question-and-answer session. Watch it here:
9:50 a.m. – The Texas Supreme Court announces the following amendments to its April 27 emergency order:
- Deadlines extended. Extending no later than Sept. 30 the time when Texas courts may modify or suspend deadlines for civil and criminal cases (except in child-welfare cases).
- Deadlines in child-welfare cases. In all proceedings in child-welfare and parental-rights termination cases, courts may modify or suspend a deadline or procedure imposed by statute, rule or order for a period not to exceed 180 days and extend the dismissal date for any case previously retained on a court’s docket for no longer than 180 days.
- Continued remote proceedings. Continue to permit remote proceedings for all participants, including by this order trial jurors. But if courts hold in-person proceedings, those proceedings must follow guidance by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size and other restrictions and precautions. Before holding in-person proceedings, no earlier than June 1, a court must submit a plan consistent with the Office of Court Administration’s Guidance for All Court Proceedings issued May 4.
- No jury proceedings before Aug. 1, generally. A court must not hold a jury proceeding, including jury selection or a jury trial, before Aug. 1, except as authorized by this order.
- Provision for limited jury proceedings. The Office of Court Administration, in coordination with the state’s regional presiding judges and local administrative judges, should assist trial courts in a limited number of jury proceedings before Aug. 1, whether in-person or by remote proceedings involving trial and grand jurors. No later than July 31 the Office of Court Administration must report to the Court on recommendations for jury proceedings.
- Civil service and filing deadlines extended. Any deadline for the filing or service of any civil case that falls on a day between March 13 and July 1 is extended until Aug. 15. This does not include deadlines for perfecting appeal or for other appellate proceedings, requests for relief from which should be directed to the court involved and should be generously granted.
- Grand juries may meet remotely or in-person. Existing grand juries may meet remotely or in-person as long as adequate social distancing and other restrictions and precautions are taken to ensure the health and safety of court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors and the public. Courts should consider extending a grand jury’s term under Texas Government Code section 24.0125 and reassembling discharged grand juries under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 19.41.
- Other deadlines. All deadlines, whether by statute, rule or order, that expired or would have expired between March 13 and July 1, are extended until Aug. 15 in attorney professional-disciplinary and disability proceedings and those relating to the issuance or renewal of certifications, licenses or registrations issued by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission, or for fulfilling mandatory continuing education.
This order expires on July 31 unless the chief justice decides to extend it.
9:20 a.m. – YMCA of Austin announced it will reopen seven area branches in phases on Monday, June. 1. This comes after it closed all facilities on March 18 due to COVID-19 concerns. For more information, go here. Phases on of reopening include the following locations: TownLake, southwest, northwest, Springs, Bastrop and Hays communities.
6:10 a.m. – Austin Public Health will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. to answer some COVID-19 questions. You can watch the press conference live on KVUE's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, or in the video above when it starts.
Check back on this live blog for the latest updates Wednesday.
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