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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: 160 confirmed cases in Travis County, one death

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Friday, March 27.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates for Saturday, March 28, check out this article.

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 March 27 live blog.

Top headlines:


9:40 p.m. – Hays CISD has announced a new date for its high school graduations, which will now take place on June 26.

9:20 p.m. – The Burnet Economic Development Corporation and the City Council approved programs to provide financial assistance for businesses within the city that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for emergency loans will begin on Tuesday, March 31 and will be considered on a first-come basis.

9:15 p.m. – Harmony Public Schools statewide will remain online-only until further notice, HPS said on Friday night. HPS Austin will continue to offer free lunch and breakfast pick-up each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to every child under the age of 18, regardless of enrollment status.

7 p.m. – A client at the Salvation Army's Downtown Austin shelter reportedly has the coronavirus. The individual is being isolated at a local hotel, according to the Salvation Army.

6:07 p.m. – Texas State University health officials reported that a faculty member has tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said the faculty member lives in Austin and is recovering well.

5:40 p.m. – The Travis County Civil and Family Courts have suspended in-person hearings until at least May 11 and all jury trials until at least June 15. There will be exceptions for emergency hearings as determined by a judge.

5:40 p.m. – Caldwell County reported its first case of COVID-19.

5:20 p.m. – Eanes ISD said it donated 70 iPad 4s to Dell Seton Medical Center on Friday after a request. The iPads are not assigned to students currently and the school district said it was preparing to sell them in the coming months.

5 p.m. – Pflugerville ISD announces it will begin serving dinner meals starting Monday. These will be offered with breakfast and lunches at previously established times at nine locations across the district.

Breakfast hours are currently 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the same days.  

The program serves students 18 years old and below regardless of Pflugerville ISD residency or enrollment. Families can pick up meals curbside in the carpool lanes at any of the nine campuses. Students do not need to be present. 

4:15 p.m. – Daycare centers in Buda are now considered essential businesses after Mayor George Haehn amended his previous orders to fall in line with Hays County's "Stay Home, Work Safe" orders.

4 p.m. – Austin-Travis County is now reporting 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There has been one death caused by the virus in Travis County.

3:45 p.m. – Austin Ed Fund, Austin ISD's nonprofit public education foundation, has announced an AISD Crisis Support Fund to help support school communities through access to food services, health programs and remote learning.

The fund will help expand student meal services and add a weekend pack to these services, the nonprofit said on Friday. Several local companies and organizations have already contributed to the fund, including $100,000 from H-E-B and support from the Whole Kids Foundation, Parsley Energy and the Austin Ed Fund Board. Donations can be made online.

3:20 p.m. – Gov.  Abbott announced the deployment of three National Guard Task Force Brigades to operate 10 support units throughout the state.

The units will assist drive through testing sites and help to bolster the state's infrastructure, according to a press release from the Governor's office.

3 p.m. – Nonprofit Opportunities for Williamson & Burnet Counties (OWBC) is offering an energy assistance program for any community member in the two counties who needs assistance paying their heating and air conditioning bill, the organization said on Friday. The program will look at the past 30 days of household income and qualifying households will be considered for assistance through the remainder of the year. Applications are available on the OWBC website and can be submitted to utilities@owbc-tx.org.

2:30 p.m. – Austin Public Health (APH) confirms the first death of an Austin-Travis County resident related to the coronavirus.

The patient was a woman over the age of 70 with significant underlying health conditions. 

2:10 p.m. – The city of San Marcos is offering to withhold disconnects and late fees on utilities and will defer bill payments for up to 90 days if requested by a customer, the City said on Friday. A request form is available on the City's website.

On Friday, San Marcos also said its Parks and Recreation staff will be making phone calls to check on the local senior population. The initial rollout of calls will be based on contacts for seniors who have completed a transaction with the Parks and Recreation Department since Oct. 1, 2017. Seniors can opt to be taken off the list. Anyone who wishes to be added to the program can call 512-393-8412 and leave a message.

2:10 p.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday he waived certain Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) regulations to preserve and extend child care capacity for front line workers. These waivers will allow TWC the flexibility to respond to child care needs, and are part of the Governor's work through the Supply Chain Strike Force to strengthen child care infrastructure for critical workers during the COVID-19 response, according to Abbott. The waivers also ensure that families using child care subsidized through TWC will not lose their slots during this interim period while the state battles COVID-19, and it secures payment to child care providers throughout this coronavirus crisis. 

2 p.m. - Yellow Cab announced it would remain open to serve the Austin residents and businesses including the ADA community. The company said it intends to remain open and continue full-time operations in the cities of Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Galveston, Pasadena and in the Rio Grande Valley region to serve those who rely on daily transportation to access care, food, jobs and other essential resources. 

12:52 p.m. - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion stating that local governments cannot use emergency powers to regulate or restrict the sale of firearms.

12:00 p.m. Williamson County announces seven new cases, bringing total to 34.

RideAustin announces it will temporarily suspend services beginning on March 30 at 12 a.m.

10:00 a.m. - A New Braunfels man in his 40s who died at an Austin hospital marks Comal County's first COVID-19 death.

The University of Texas holds a virtual press conference to answer questions about the university's preparation for online learning, shelter-in-place conditions on campus and other challenges affecting students and their families. 

6:30 a.m. - The Round Rock Independent School District announced it will start at-home instruction on April 6 through Google Classroom and the district's email system.

Check back on this live blog for the latest updates on Friday.

WATCH: Gov. Abbott issues new quarantine orders for some travelers


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