TEXAS, USA — Editor's note: This blog is no longer updating. See the latest Central Texas coverage in KVUE's March 17 live blog.
KVUE has been working to provide coverage and information regarding COVID-19 locally and worldwide.
Top headlines for March 16:
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott waives STAAR testing requirements
- Coronavirus: Gov. Abbott postpones special election for Kirk Watson's Texas Senate seat
- Bell County confirms second presumptive positive case of coronavirus
- COTA confirms layoffs after closing indefinitely over coronavirus
- Kendra Scott closing all stores due to coronavirus concerns
- List: Central Texas public service buildings closed due to coronavirus
- Central Texas colleges react to coronavirus concerns
- Homeless shelters taking extra precautions to combat coronavirus
- Local, national restaurants changing their service due to coronavirus
- VERIFY: Is there a drive-thru coronavirus testing clinic in Austin?
- Texas Health and Human Services provides new guidance to child care facilities
- Texas Health and Human Services bans non-essential visitors at hospitals
- Coronavirus: Gov. Abbott waives vehicle registration, titling and parking placard regulations in Texas
- List: Central Texas schools canceling classes after spring break due to coronavirus
- H-E-B now hiring short-term workers to help with increased demand due to coronavirus
- Millennials are 'core group' that will stop coronavirus, White House task force head says
March 16, 9:07 p.m. — Sherwood Forest Faire announces it is closing.
March 16, 9:00 p.m. — Llano County enters Phase 2, "persons under investigation (testing in process)," according to Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham. Cunningham said there are still no confirmed cases in Llano County.
March 16, 8:40 p.m. — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announces all locations are closed until further notice. All shows have been canceled and all tickets will be refunded.
March 16, 8:18 p.m. — Mayor of Hutto issues a declaration of disaster for the City of Hutto, effective immediately.
March 16, 8:16 p.m. — Favor waives commission fees for restaurant partners through the end of March. The company said they will also not increase delivery fees during high-demand times and will provide four weeks of financial assistance to eligible "runners" diagnosed or put under quarantine by a medical professional.
March 16, 7:50 p.m. — Gov. Abbott postpones the special election for Texas Senate District 14. The special election would ordinarily be held in May but will now be held in July.
March 16, 7:40 p.m. — City of Austin postpones meetings and action related to the Land Development Code revision, including the meetings scheduled for March 24, 28 and 31 and April 1, 2 and 7.
March 16, 7:00 p.m. — Austin-Travis County coronavirus case count rises to 10.
March 16, 5:41 p.m. — Numerous events held at Pease Park, including Eeyore’s Birthday Party, have been canceled to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the Austin community and flatten the curve. Here is a list of Pease Park events that have been canceled:
- Red Yarn Concert — March 18th
- PUBLIC PROPERTY Play — March 28th
- GenerationServe Volunteer Day — April 11th
- Pease & Love — April 18th
- Eeyore’s Birthday Party — April 25th
- All Volunteer Days — until further notice
March 16, 5 p.m. — The 2020 Austin Reggae Fest scheduled for April 17-19 has been canceled. Event refunds will be offered through Eventbrite.
The Hays County Commissioners Court votes to extend Judge Bacerra's local state of disaster for the county to a period not to extend 120 days unless the declaration is rescinded or there is subsequent action by the court.
March 16, 4:35 p.m. — City of Taylor closes the public library, all City buildings and the municipal court through March 31; cancels all scheduled programs, activities and rentals at Taylor parks through May 11; and cancels Kite Day on March 28 and the Easter egg hunt on April 11. The City also said the animal shelter will only be open for reclaims and adoptions and no owner surrenders will be accepted through March 31.
March 16, 4:20 p.m. — Mayor of San Marcos probits gatherings of 50 people or more anywhere within the City of San Marcos, effective at 2 a.m. Tuesday and continuing until May 11. The order does not pertain to transit, retail establishments, offices, medical offices or facilities or schools. The City is also closing the public library, activity center, senior center and discovery center until May 11, effective at 5 p.m. on March 16, and canceling all City-sponsored public gatherings, senior programs and programs of more than 50 people.
March 16, 4:19 p.m. — Gov. Abbott allows virtual and telephonic open meetings to maintain government transparency and continue government operations while reducing face-to-face contact.
March 16, 4:00 p.m. — Bastrop County announced it had suspended school for two weeks following spring break, made a local disaster declaration, banned gatherings of 50 people or more and said violators of the banned gatherings prohibition would be subject to fines.
March 16, 4:00 p.m. — Lockhart ISD suspends normal school operations beyond spring break at least through Friday, April 3.
March 16, 3:40 p.m. — Texas Cable Association says it is working to provide members with high-speed broadband. The organization stated that Altice USA, Charter Communications, Comcast and Sparklight have all signed the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," which promises that they will not cut off broadband or telephone service to any customers for the next 60 days, they will waive late fees incurred because of economic circumstances related to coronavirus and they will open Wi-Fi hotspots to all.
March 16, 3:30 p.m. — Texas Health and Human Services releases new guidelines for hospitals. These include only granting facility access to essential visitors.
March 16, 3:00 p.m. — Texas Health and Human Services releases new guidelines for state child care facilities. These include new screening practices for parents and children.
March 16, 2:10 p.m. — Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell has issued an order stating community gatherings of 50 people or more anywhere in Williamson County has been prohibited for the next eight weeks to slow the transmission of COVID-19.
March 16, 2 p.m. — Hays County has reported its second case of coronavirus. Officials released limited details about the second patient but said the first patient is believed to have contracted the illness while traveling on the West Coast of the United States.
March 16, 11:50 a.m. — School districts such as Austin, Pflugerville, Hays and Round Rock ISD begin announcing extended class cancellations. Click here for updates.
March 16, 11:16 a.m. — The Old Settler's Music Festival announced it was postponed and would reschedule for the fall. Organizers said the date will be announced as soon as it's confirmed.
March 16, 11:16 a.m. — Caldwell County issues a declaration of local emergency. Read more.
March 16, 10:30 a.m. — The United States surgeon general said the number of cases in the U.S. is level with the level of cases that were in Italy two weeks ago. Read more.
March 16, 10:24 a.m. — Bell County has confirmed its second "presumptive positive" case of COVID-19 after a first case tested "presumptively positive" on Friday, March 13. Read more.
March 16, 10:12 a.m. — The City of Taylor issued a declaration of a local state disaster, giving the City the ability to “take measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to disease, control the risk and promote the health and safety of individuals in Williamson County,” according to the declaration.
March 16, 9:55 a.m. — The United States Supreme Court announced it is postponing oral arguments scheduled for March, including arguments over President Donald Trump’s financial records subpoena. Read more.
March 16, 9:30 a.m. — Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in an interview with KVUE that the City was considering changing Sunday’s ban of gatherings of 250 people or more to gatherings of 50 people or more. Read more.
March 16, 9:09 a.m. — Circuit of the Americas has confirmed they have laid off some of its employees after it canceled several events due to concerns surrounding coronavirus.
March 16, 12:18 a.m. — City officials have confirmed the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Austin-Travis County area is now up to six. Read more.
March 15, 4:15 a.m. — The City of Buda issued a disaster proclamation.
March 15, 8:59 a.m. — An order from Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt banned gatherings of 250 people or more until at least May 1. Read more.
KVUE is working to continue providing accurate information and will update this blog as more information becomes available.
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