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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports record number of new cases at 220

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Wednesday, June 17.

AUSTIN, Texas — 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 June 17 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 93,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 2,000 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 2,700 people are hospitalized across the state, with a rolling average that has increased 29% over the past two weeks.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 4,900 cases have been reported and at least 108 people have died. At least 3,800 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 1,000 cases have been reported and at least five people have died. At least 320 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 1,000 cases have been reported in the county and at least 30 people have died. More than 590 people have recovered from the virus.

Latest updates:  

9:40 p.m. – Several Texas State football players have tested positive for coronavirus. A reporter for our news partners at the Austin American-Statesman confirmed five players have tested positive since starting voluntary workouts on June 1.

9:30 p.m.  Manor ISD is canceling all strength and conditioning camps for student-athletes after a string of COVID-19 cases at its campuses. School athletics staff say they're working on creating virtual workouts.

8 p.m. – Cafe 290 in Manor is permanently closing its doors on Sunday, June 21, after 73 years in business.

7:05 p.m. – H-E-B has confirmed an employee at its Kyle location tested positive for COVID-19. The grocery chain said the worker was last in the store on June 9. The person is quarantined at home and recovering well, H-E-B said. All directly affected workers at the location have been notified and the store has been deep cleaned and sanitized multiple times since then.

"At our stores, we continue to enforce proper social distancing practices, strict sanitation and require the use of masks or facial coverings by all our Partners and vendors in customer facing and close contact positions," an H-E-B spokesperson said. "H-E-B requests all our customers to wear masks or facial coverings while shopping in our stores. Social distancing, wearing masks, proper hand washing, and sanitization are all things we do to help keep Texas healthy. Our primary focus is keeping our Partners and customers safe."

6:25 p.m. – The Central Texas Food Bank said from January to May of this year, it had a 220% increase in first-time households using its services.

"Thanks to the support from our community, last month we served approximately 362,000 individuals – that's more than 90,000 individuals each week," the food bank said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

6:15 p.m. – Mayor Adler confirms that starting tonight at 11:59 p.m. and lasting through Aug. 15, businesses will be required to ensure that all patrons and employees are wearing face coverings. Some exceptions are in place.

RELATED: City leaders issue direct order on face masks for Austin businesses, mayor says

5:55 p.m. – Travis County reports a record high number of new cases at 220. Two new deaths were also reported. Totals now stand at 4,991 cases, 108 deaths and 3,817 recoveries. The last highest number was June 9 with 161 cases.

5:45 p.m. Hays County reports 145 new cases and eight new recoveries. A total of 1,238 cases and 330 recoveries have now been reported. Deaths remain at five.

4:50 p.m. – The Lockart City Council has voted to cancel its annual Independence Day fireworks show out of an abundance of caution due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Our council made this decision with regard to keeping our community safe and to make sure the residents of Lockhart and others stick around to enjoy holidays and celebrations in the future,” said Mayor Lew White. “We can still celebrate responsibly this year by practicing physical distancing or wearing face coverings when keeping our distance isn’t possible.”

City parks and trails will remain open during the holiday weekend with social distancing highly encouraged.

4:45 p.m.  Williamson County confirms two new COVID-19 deaths, a man in his 60s and a man in his 70s. A total of 32 people have now died from coronavirus in Williamson County.

As of June 17, the county has had a total of 1,068 cases, 415 of which are still active. At least 621 people have recovered from the virus in Williamson County.

4:05 p.m. – Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the City will be entering an order directing businesses to come up with a simple safety plan over the next several days regarding wearing masks.

"Austin businesses are great and many of them, if not most, have already done this," he said on Wednesday. "During this time, we will transition to a more direct order on masks, working with our business community so our whole city moves forward together and so that everyone can get prepared." 

4 p.m. – A youth development coach at the Giddings State School juvenile correctional facility has tested positive for COVID-19, Texas Juvenile Justice Department executive director Camille Cain revealed on Wednesday. The agency said it was identifying any youth or staff members who might have had contact with the employee to administer COVID-19 tests and ask them to self-isolate.

The case is the third time a staff member at Giddings has tested positive for COVID-19 since April 2.

3 p.m. – KVUE confirms that between June 12 and 16, at least three employees in three different locations of the Austin IRS complex tested positive for COVID-19. Cleanings were conducting after the IRS was notified of these cases, and each workspace was closed for a number of days. 

The offices include:

  • Austin Connection Warehouse
  • Austin Submission Processing
  • Austin South Park Office Center

2 p.m. – Hays County Epidemiologist Eric Schneider speaks about recent trends in COVID-19. On June 16, Hays County had a record high of 155 new reported cases of COVID-19 in a single day. 

1 p.m. – The ACLU of Texas, along with other advocacy groups, has sent a letter asking state and local government officials to expand access to voting as COVID-19 cases rise in Texas.

The letter asks measures to be put in place to protect the health and safety of Texans exercising their right to vote in the July runoff election and November general election.

RELATED: Organizations urge Gov. Greg Abbott to extend early voting, increase polling places amid COVID-19 pandemic

12 p.m. – El Chile on Manor Road announces that it has closed its dine-in services after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has not been scheduled at the restaurant for over a week and no other staff members are currently showing symptoms. Curbside and delivery options remain open as the restaurant allows some members to self-quarantine and to deeply sanitize the restaurant.

The Travis County Justices of the Peace have issued a new stay on hearing eviction cases, except for evictions regarding imminent threat, until July 22. They have halted the execution/issuance of writs of possession until July 29, and continued their freeze on issuing/executing Cass C misdemeanor warrants from their courts until Aug. 15. Click here for more information.

10:30 a.m. – Austin Public Health (APH) is answering questions as coronavirus numbers continue to rise. 

WATCH: Coronavirus in Texas: Austin Public Health provides COVID-19 update on June 17

10:21 a.m. – As of June 17, 2,793 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19. That's an increase of 275 from the day before. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average for hospitalizations has increased by 29%.

9:20 a.m. – An agent with the Transportation Security Administration at Austin-Bergstrom international Airport has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the TSA. The screening officer's last day at work was May 27.

8 a.m. – Hays County will temporarily close its Justice of the Peace and county clerk offices after employees came into contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19. No word yet on when those offices will reopen.


LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county

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Austin enters Stage 4 COVID-19 risk-based level after spike in hospitalizations

City of Austin 'Stay Home, Work Safe' order extended to Aug. 15 after surge in hospitalizations

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, 8 other Texas mayors ask Gov. Abbott for authority to enforce use of face coverings

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