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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Williamson County moves to 'orange phase' as new cases rise

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Wednesday, Nov. 11.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 and COVID-19 news in the Austin area.

Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's Nov. 11 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 974,200 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 18,800 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 33,769 cases have been reported and at least 462 people have died. At least 31,824 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 6,486 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 91 people have died. At least 5,983 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: At least 10,676 cases have been reported in the county and at least 158 people have died. At least 10,187 people have recovered from the virus.

Updates: 

10:15 p.m. – Manor ISD reports two new COVID-19 cases among staff members, one at Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School and one at Presidential Meadows Elementary School.

According to MISD's COVID-19 Dashboard, the district has had 15 total cases among staff members,13 of which are still active, and two total cases among students, both of which are still active.

6:10 p.m. – The positivity rate average in the Austin metro area is at 3.96% and trending upward. New cases in the Austin metro area are at a seven-day average of 245 per day, which is up 53% from a week ago. Average daily hospitalizations in the Austin metro area are at 26.7 per day over the past week.

6 p.m. – Travis County reported another death from COVID-19 on Wednesday along with 210 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 33,769 cases and 462 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 31,824 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 156 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 52 in the ICU and 20 on ventilators.

5:35 p.m. – Pflugerville High School’s varsity football game at Cedar Park High School on Friday night has been postponed due to a positive case of COVID-19 with Cedar Park’s program.

PfISD and Leander ISD have rescheduled the game for Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. Pflugerville HS is currently 5-1 overall and Cedar Park is undefeated at 6-0. 

This also impacts Weiss High School’s schedule, with the Wolves slated to play Cedar Park next week. That game has also been postponed and both sides are working to reschedule the game.

5:10 p.m. – Texas saw a spike in hospitalizations on Wednesday, with 609 new hospitalizations bringing the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide to 6,779, the most since Aug. 13, up 15% from a week ago and up 87% from a month ago.

The state's positivity rate average is now at 12.13%. 

4:45 p.m. – Williamson County said a quality assurance check of data import systems has identified approximately 600 confirmed and 800 probable cases of COVID-19 date between July and October that were unintentionally excluded in the county's reporting. The unreported cases will be dispersed by the actual dates reported on the county's dashboard and daily report graphs.

The corrected numbers change the county's cases from 10,011 on Nov. 9 to 10,676 for Nov. 10, and 189 probable cases on Nov. 9 to 1,023 probable cases on Nov. 10.

The county said the data meets the requirements for Williamson County to move to orange phase, indicating high community COVID-19 transmission. The rolling 7-day average for incidence rate (rate of new reported infections) has increased from 6.88 to 9.22 per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, Williamson County said.

The risk-based guidelines set out four distinct stages of risk, from the lowest threat, green/minimal community spread, through the most serious, red/uncontrolled community spread. Under orange phase, residents are asked to avoid gatherings of more than five people in addition to wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

4:40 p.m. – Texas reported 10,097 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday – the second day with more than 10,000 new cases statewide – bringing the total to 985,380 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the State's official count.

The seven-day average for new cases statewide is up to 7,630 per day, the highest since Aug. 7, up 23% from a week ago and up 126% from a month ago.

Credit: KVUE

3:50 p.m. – Manor ISD reports two additional COVID-19 cases. A campus staff member at Decker Middle School has tested positive, as has a staff member at the Manor ISD Central Office building. 

12:20 p.m. –  The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Marcos are distributing thousands of dollars to local businesses to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, Revive SMTX, will provide local businesses with Community Development Block Grant funds, the City said on Wednesday.

Applicants will be eligible for up to $5,000 per business. Funds may be used for operational safety, sanitation training, PPE and digital redesign for social distancing. The business must be located within the city limits of San Marcos, operate with fewer than 50 full-time employees and 51% of employees must make less than $26.30 per hour, the City said.

11 a.m. – Austin-Travis County Health Authority extended the existing emergency rules that promote the health and safety of Austin-Travis County residents in the fight against COVID-19. The extension takes effect on Nov. 10 and will last until Dec. 31. This means masks are required until the end of 2020.

8 a.m. – Austin ISD begins rapid testing for on-campus students and staff. The tests are free and will be given to individuals who are showing symptoms. Testing will be expanded to other students and staff members not showing symptoms at a later date.

Students do need permission from a parent to get tested.

RELATED: Masks required in Austin through the end of 2020, health officials say

WATCH: COVID-19 spreading in Texas jails, prisons

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