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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Record number of patients in hospitals, on ventilators in Austin area

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates in Central Texas for Friday, Aug. 20.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Monday's blog.

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 Aug. 20 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 2.8 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 53,500 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Austin-Travis County: The 7-day moving average for new hospital admissions is 78, and an average of 606 people are hospitalized. The 7-day moving average for new cases is 565. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 99,009 cases have been reported and at least 924 people have died. 
    • Hays County: 132 new cases of the coronavirus were reported Friday. There are currently 2,231 active cases, and 55 people are currently hospitalized (47 unvaccinated, 8 fully vaccinated). Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 23,759 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 296 people have died. At least 21,232 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: There are 244 new cases of the coronavirus in Williamson County. 11% of hospital beds are available, and 1% of ICU beds are available. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 49,549 cases have been reported and at least 516 people have died.
  • Central Texas school districts:
    • Austin ISD: As of 5 p.m. on Aug. 19, there are a total of 48 new COVID-19 cases (23 students, 22 employees, three other) and a total of 162 new exposures (156 students and six employees). At its mass testing clinics on Monday, AISD said 188 people were tested with 25 coming back positive.
    • Round Rock ISD: As of Aug. 19, there are zero new positive cases and zero new "close contact" cases. **Data will be updated starting 08/20/2021**
    • Leander ISD: For the week of Aug. 20 (Saturday through Friday), there are 169 new positive cases. 
    • Pflugerville ISD: For the week of Aug. 20, there are 107 new positive cases.
    • Hays CISD: Hays CISD's data posts on Monday, Aug. 23.
  • Texas Public Schools (2021-22 school year)
    • Cumulative positive student cases: 4,729
    • Cumulative positive staff cases: 3,373

For a look at COVID-19 data across all of the state's counties, click here. KVUE is tracking COVID-19 data from five school districts in Central Texas. Many school districts have their own COVID-19 dashboard.


3:20 p.m. - As Austin Public Health pushes for more people to get vaccinated, the following locations are open this weekend, starting Friday:

Friday, Aug. 20:

Austin Community College Eastview Campus (Travis County) 

Ana Lark Center, Central Texas Allied Health Institute (APH - NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GIFT CARD INCENTIVE) 

Southeast Library (APH) 

Little Walnut Creek Library (APH) 

Covington Middle School (Travis County) 

Huston-Tillotson University (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market (Travis County) 

QC Market (Travis County) 

Saturday, Aug. 21:

Travis County Expo (Travis County) 

Ana Lark Center, Central Texas Allied Health Institute (APH - NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GIFT CARD INCENTIVE) 

Dailey Middle School (Travis County) 

Del Valle High School Opportunity Center (Travis County/APH) 

La Moreliana Meat Market (Travis County) 

La Buena Supermercado (Travis County) 

Southeast Library (APH) 

Little Walnut Creek Library (APH) 

Turner Roberts Recreation Center (APH) 

Wells Branch Community Center (Travis County) 

Video Super (APH) 

Huston-Tillotson College (Travis County) 

Sunday, Aug. 22:

Travis County Expo (Travis County) 

3:11 p.m. – Here's a closer look at today's COVID-19 data:


  • 13,452 cases/day over the past week
    • Up 25% from a week ago
    • Up 401% from a month ago (2,684)
  • 174 new deaths – 53,738 total to date
  • 12,841 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals
    • Up 14% from a week ago
    • Up 260% from a month ago (3,566)


  • 698 (+23) COVID-19 patients in TSA O hospitals
  • 251 (-6) COVID-19 patients in TSA O ICUs
    • 3 available beds out of 511 – 0.6% availability
  • New pandemic highs for Austin MSA (APH numbers)
    • 162 (+9) COVID-19 patients on ventilators
    • 620 COVID-19 patients in the hospital
  • 77.6/day hospital admissions for the MSA
  • Cases still climbing – 1,127 cases/day over the past week
    • Up 34% from a week ago
    • Up 358% from a month ago

2:26 p.m. – Has Austin-Travis County reached its peak for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations? Local experts say it's not clear – and things could get worse before they get better. 

10:38 a.m. – Austin-Travis County health leaders are giving a COVID-19 update and answering questions. Watch in the video above or on KVUE's YouTube channel.

9:30 a.m. – The University of Texas Division of Student Affairs says that free face masks will be available at two locations. Masks will be available at the Texas Union until 8 p.m. today and from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Masks will also be available at the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center until 6 p.m. today.

7 a.m. – Round Rock ISD is considering making masks a part of the dress code. On Thursday night, board members gathered student and parent input. 

This comes after Paris ISD in northeast Texas made masks a dress code requirement earlier this week. RRISD didn't take any further action on the item, but the issue will be revisited sometime in early 2022.

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