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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 44 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Saturday, May 16.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out our new live 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 15 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 45,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,200 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 25,000 people have recovered from the virus.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: More than 2,400 cases have been reported and at least 77 people have died. More than 870 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 397 cases have been reported and at least 19 people have died. More than 220 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: There have been at least 221 cases reported in the county and at least three people have died. Around 140 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:


9:40 p.m. – On Monday morning, the Austin Emergency Supply Foundation, in partnership with the City of Austin, will donate face masks to be distributed by the Consulate General of Mexico and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Diocesan Council of Austin. The city said the donation is part of an effort to protect Austin construction workers.

6 p.m. – Travis County reported another 44 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 2,425. There have been 77 deaths in the county, while 879 people have recovered from the virus.

4:10 p.m. – The latest data for coronavirus in Texas show a jump in daily cases, which is expected as the state conducts more testing. Meanwhile, the seven-day positivity rate average is below 5% for the first time since tracking began.

3:45 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas health officials are responding to a surge in cases in Amarillo meat packing facilities uncovered as part of a targeted testing strategy. Abbott said Texas is seeing the results of tests conducted by personnel from the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force and 70 members of the Texas National Guard, who were sent to Amarillo on May 4.

On Saturday, Amarillo reported more than 700 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, which Abbott said was a result of targeted testing. He said plants with widespread outbreaks have temporarily shut down for disinfection. The Texas Department of State Health Services is maintaining an alternate care site for patients who do not require hospitalization, while those who test positive and cannot isolate are offered area hotels. The governor said he is sending an additional allotment of antiviral drug remdesivir to the Amarillo area.

"As Texas continues ramping up its testing capabilities, there will be an increase in positive cases as the state targets the most high-risk areas: nursing homes, meat packing plants and jails," said Abbott. "That is exactly why I established Surge Response Teams. By immediately deploying resources and supplies to these high-risk areas, we will identify the positive cases, isolate the individuals and ensure any outbreak is quickly contained, which is the strategy being deployed in Amarillo."

11 a.m. – Austin Public Health will be performing maintenance and upgrading its COVID-19 tracking digital dashboard on Sunday, May 17. The site will be down throughout Sunday and the work is expected to be completed by 6 p.m.

According to APH, the updated dashbard will feature more data, including the following:

  • Demographic data of all confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths 

  • Breakdown of COVID-19 symptom onset in comparison to local policy implementations  

  • Number of confirmed cases and deaths reported each day since the first reported case (March 13) as well as the first symptom onset date (March 2) 

  • Updates to visuals representing the progression of cases and hospitalizations since the first reported case 

  • Further clarification and context on information provided on the dashboard

8 a.m. –  The Central Texas Food Bank food distribution event that was scheduled for Saturday will now be held Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at ACC Highland. Volunteers ask that everyone stay in their cars so they can bring the emergency food kits to them. Here's how the process works.

WATCH: Evidence shows coronavirus hit Central Texas earlier than expected


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