AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out Saturday's 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 April 3 live blog.
- Gov. Abbott announces hospital capacity, new testing capabilities
- Want to find out how many COVID-19 cases are near you? Here's how
- Austin-Travis County coronavirus cases reach 351, 3 deaths
- West Campus near UT Austin is now a 'hot spot' for COVID-19 cases, mayor says
- In live Q&A with KVUE, Austin mayor says city could adopt stricter social distancing measures
- Group of Austin spring breakers tests positive for coronavirus after trip to Mexico
- Company urged UT students to take Mexico spring break trip despite coronavirus pandemic
- Gov. Greg Abbott issues essential services-only order until April 30; schools to remain closed until May 4
- LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county
- Austin media outlets announce joint telethon to raise funds for All Together ATX
8:30 p.m. – Texas State University said a student tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30. The university said the student returned to campus with a parent to move out on March 27. The student was reportedly asymptomatic at that time and did not have close contact with anyone other than the parent.
Texas State said the risk of exposure to others was "very low" and no further action will be taken.
8 p.m. – UT Austin has confirmed at least 49 students have tested positive for COVID-19 after a group of 211 spring breakers traveled to Mexico in March.
5:45 p.m. – Austin-Travis County has reported a fourth death from COVID-19, a woman in her 70s. There are now 430 confirmed cases.
For a breakdown of those 430 cases, see the Austin-Travis County online dashboard.
5:45 p.m. – In continued efforts to keep everyone safe, H-E-B said it will provide employees masks and gloves for use while at work. H-E-B said employees who work in stores, warehouses, manufacturing and transportation facilities will be strongly encouraged to wear masks, which will be provided starting Saturday, April 4.
5 p.m. – On Friday, Austin Parks and Recreation announced the spillway at Barton Springs in Austin, also known as “Barking Springs,” has been closed after people were gathering in groups, against the City’s stay-at-home orders.
“Park users were gathering in groups and not allowing enough physical distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Austin Parks and Recreation said.
The department urged Austinites to follow the City’s health guidelines, avoid team sports and leave 6 feet of distance when visiting parks.
4:30 p.m. – Austin ISD announced on Friday it will close all its campuses indefinitely to help stop the spread of the coronavirus in Austin.
In a letter sent to the AISD community, Superintendent Paul Cruz said the district is taking steps to ensure the health and safety of students, staff and families.
“With this in mind, I have determined that our 129 campus buildings will remain closed for an indefinite period of time, as part of the district’s ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19,” Cruz said in the letter.
The school district will compensate all staff through the end of their contracts or the fiscal year.
Cruz said AISD will also be offering options to teachers for content delivery, including take-home and virtual learning opportunities.
4:15 p.m. – Hays County reported two new positive COVID-19 but the total number of active cases in the county has dropped from 34 to 32 as some start to recover.
According to the county, 13 people have already recovered from the virus in the county.
3:55 p.m. – The city of Georgetown and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has approved funding for the city's COVID-19 Small Business Resource Grant.
According to a joint press release from the City and Chamber, both parties have committed $100,00 to the grant to provide relief grants up to $5,000 to local small businesses.
Businesses can find more information and apply for funding on the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce's website.
3:50 p.m. – Caldwell and Lee counties are now reporting two positive cases of COVID-19 each.
3 p.m. – On Friday, Ascension Seton said it has received more than 180 iPad donations. The health care group said the iPads are rapidly being disinfected and repurposed to provide medical staff and COVID-19-positive patients a safe and efficient way to communicate electronically.
Anyone wishing to donated is asked to visit AscensionTXCovidDonations.org. The community is urged not to drop off iPads at Ascension Texas facilities.
2:25 p.m. - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update on the state's hospital capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He confirmed that 91 people have died in Texas as a result of the coronavirus and 5,478 Texans have tested positive. The number of Texans who have been hospitalized has increased to 827, which means that 15% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 have gone to the hospital.
Abbott also confirmed that Texas has the following medical supplies:
- 8,741 ventilators
- 2,107 ICU beds
- 47,585 total hospital beds
- 1.4 million face masks
- 190,000 face shields
- 2 million gloves
- 160,000 hospital gowns
You can watch the full press conference on KVUE's YouTube page.
12:05 p.m. - Williamson County officials announced eight new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 71 cases.
12 p.m. - Starting on April 6, IDEA Public Schools will now offer free dinner curbside meals to all children under the age of 18. All IDEA schools in Austin will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner available for pick-up from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
11:50 a.m. - Gillespie County reports its second coronavirus case.
Dress for Success Austin, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women secure employment and advancement through career and image consulting, announces its client services will now be available virtually. DFS Austin is offering its usual client services via phone, email and video conference with trained volunteers. The nonprofit is also adapting to help clients who have been recently laid off due to COVID-19.
10:30 a.m. - In one day, the case count in Fayette County more than doubled, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office said April 3. Cases went from four to 10 confirmed cases, the sheriff's office said.
"We expect this number to continue to rise because of the amount of contact some infected individuals had with each other, and with the community," the office said. "This contact is being investigated closely, and all affected businesses have been notified and appropriate sterilizations actions performed."
9:23 a.m. - Lyft announced it is offering free scooter rides for first responders, and people in the health care and transit workforce through its Scooter Critical Workforce Program. Interested employers should email HeroScooters@Lyft.com to receive enrollment information.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- Wall Street futures, global markets down Friday on US job losses, pricier oil
- Navy hospital ship in New York with 1,000 beds has 20 patients
- Costco to limit number of customers who can enter starting Friday
- On the front lines: What additional steps APD is taking to protect its officers from COVID-19
- Texas school districts will not be rated for 2019-20, TEA says