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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 3 new deaths from COVID-19

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Friday, May 15.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 42,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,100 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 23,000 people have recovered from the virus.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: More than 2,300 cases have been reported and at least 74 people have died. More than 800 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 more than 219 cases reported in the county and at least three people have died. Around 140 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:

Updates:

7 p.m. – On Friday, Williamson County said five Williamson County EMS (WCEMS) employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The employees were in self-quarantine prior to the diagnosis and have not had contact with the public since testing positive, the county said. All employees are being monitored at home, according to Williamson County.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is working to identify anyone who may have had contact with the employees and advise them to take necessary precautions.

RELATED: Five Williamson County EMS employees test positive for COVID-19

6:04 p.m. – Travis County health officials are reporting 2,381 confirmed cases of coronavirus, up from 2,345 cases on May 14. Additionally, officials are reporting 77 deaths and 862 recoveries.

5:31 p.m. – Austin Ed Fund, Austin Independent School District's nonprofit public education fund, gave AISD police officers H-E-B gift cards to help support frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the nonprofit.

Austin Ed Fund is also partnering with H-E-B to continue supporting AISD workers over the next several weeks. The nonprofit said nearly 500 AISD workers will be receiving gift cards.

Additionally, H-E-B made a $100,000 contribution to the AISD Crisis Support Fund.

5:29 p.m. – Starting May 15, the Department of State Health Services said it will post updates to its website with additional information on long-term care facilities and COVID-19. Among the new information includes breaking down the cases of coronavirus by public health regions. 

5:09 p.m. – Two of the founding families of Pflugerville, the Timmerman and Hagan families, are offering matching donations of up to $15,000 to help provide grants to small businesses in Pflugerville.

“The Timmerman and Hagan families are concerned about the wellbeing of the Pflugerville community and are offering to match up to $15,000 in donations to the Pflugerville Pfund. We would like to thank the PCDC and the [Pflugerville] Chamber for their work on this outstanding endeavor,” said Tim Timmerman. “Together we will get through this.” 

Information about donating or the Pflugerville Pfund can be found on the Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce's website.

4:40 p.m. – Hays County health officials announced two new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total number of active cases up to 74. So far, 144 people have been reported recovered and four people are currently in the hospital.

3:40 p.m. – For the second day in a row, there were more than 50 deaths statewide (56 on May 15 after 58 people died on May 14). That's the two highest daily death totals since the coronavirus pandemic began in Central Texas (see third graph in gallery). There were two new deaths in the Greater Austin area, both of which happened in Travis County.

2:23 p.m. – Travis County is seeking applications from agencies for the use of Travis County’s Community Development Block Grant – COVID (CDBG-CV) funding (of approximately $700,000) to respond to COVID-19 in Travis County.

For more information, visit: https://www.traviscountytx.gov/health-human-services/cdbg.

12:10 p.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott announced local fire departments across Texas are working with local health authorities to provide testing at nursing homes across the state.

"This partnership builds upon our efforts to expand COVID-19 in the Lone Star State, especially among our most vulnerable Texans," said Gov. Abbott. "I thank our local fire departments for continuing to serve their fellow Texans throughout the COVID-19 response. By serving their communities in this new capacity, we will continue to contain the spread of this virus and protect the health and safety of all Texans."

9:30 a.m. – Austin ISD announced it has expanded hours for WiFi bus service to accommodate Advanced Placement testing through May 22. The buses will now be available to students from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. All bus locations can be found on the Austin ISD school bus WiFi locations map

For two WiFi bus service locations, WiFi is available from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those locations are:

  • 1054 Springdale Rd (Springdale Gardens)
  • 8426 Goldfinch Court (Thurmond Heights) 

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

WATCH: UT Austin program looking for COVID-19 contact tracers

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE: