AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. To get 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 April 21 live blog.
- Amid COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 481K jobs available across Texas, Gov. Abbott says
- Oil prices plummeting: Why it's happening and what that means for Texas
- Austin-Travis County coronavirus cases reach 1,174, 26 deaths
- The state unemployment trust fund is set to run out of money, but you will get paid
- Texas will begin reopening process on Monday amid COVID-19 pandemic
- When and where you can get an 'emergency food' kit from the Central Texas Food Bank this month
- LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county
- Need a job? These Austin-area stores, other businesses are hiring right now
8:20 p.m. – According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales across the U.S. fell more than 8% in March, the steepest decline nationally since November 2015. But in Austin, sales were actually up about 2% in March and the average price of a home in the Austin area grew to $335,200.
6:50 p.m. – KVUE confirms a Burnet Whataburger location closed Monday after an employee tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. All employees have been asked to self-quarantine.
6:20 p.m. – In Travis County, 1,233 confirmed cases have been reported, including 27 deaths. A total of 331 people have recovered.
Meanwhile, Lee, Llano and Gillespie counties report their cases have decreased to zero.
5:30 p.m. – Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell signs new orders to help ensure consistency with the County's Stay Home Stay Safe Order and the State of Texas Executive Orders GA 15 and GA 16.
Williamson County's order has been amended to allow for surgeries and procedures under specific conditions, such as hospitals reserving at least 25% of their capacity for coronavirus patients. Those facilities cannot request any personal protective equipment from any public source for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster. This goes into effect at 11:59 p.m.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 24, the order is also amended to allow retail businesses not defined as essential to operate in a limited capacity, such as by pick-up or delivery. They must also operate in compliance with the terms set by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
5:25 p.m. – Hays County is now reporting 140 lab-confirmed cases. Eighty-one of those remain active and 58 have recovered. One death has been reported.
4:20 p.m. – Bastrop County is now reporting 50 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. The county has had two coronavirus-related deaths and seven recoveries.
4 p.m. – Catholic Charities of Central Texas said it was one of four organizations chosen as a recipient of the City of Austin's RISE (Relief in a State of Emergency) funding. The organization received $1.6 million to provide assistance with mortgages, rent, utilities and car payments for vulnerable Austin residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those wishing to sign up for financial assistance can do so via phone, based on last name. Those phone numbers will be published on the organization's website on April 27 at 8 a.m.
3:20 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday issued updated guidance to houses of worship conducting services during the pandemic.
The updated guidance asks houses of worship to conduct as many activities as possible remotely to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Government and faith communities throughout Texas must work together to care for our neighbors and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Paxton. “This updated guidance provides clear direction for houses of worship to protect the health and safety of their congregations as they continue to hold religious services, exercise religious liberty and serve their faith communities.”
2:11 p.m. – The governor of Texas gave an update on how the state is combating the coronavirus. Gov. Abbott announced that nearly 481,000 job openings are available across Texas amid the pandemic. Those looking for work can visit workintexas.com to see job openings across Texas.
You can watch the full press conference on KVUE's YouTube page:
12:05 p.m. – Hays County is now reporting 78 active cases, 58 recoveries, one fatality, and a total of 137 confirmed cases.
Williamson County reports its fifth death, a male in his 30s.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of our fifth victim of COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” said County Judge Bill Gravell. “Every time we have someone who loses their life to this disease, I am mindful of the families, the kids and grandkids, who have to handle this loss. For those who have lost loved ones, this is a nightmare.”
The County also announced two new positive cases, bringing the total to 158 confirmed cases. A total of 101 people have recovered.
12 p.m. – Capital Metro announces an additional bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 8 drivers and two other employees, including a fatal case for a mechanic.
11:40 a.m. – The Austin Disaster Relief Network announced it is distributing financial aid to 28 individuals and families with money raised through the organization's fundraiser. This money will help those people and families with food and gas along with other essential items.
10:30 a.m. – The Texas Workforce Commission said it will hold a live Q&A at 2 p.m. to answer your unemployment questions on its Facebook account.
9:40 a.m. – After the Austin City Council approved a $15 million fund to provide services to Austinites affected by the pandemic, Austin Public Health said the first phase of funds will be distributed in April. The second phase of funds will be distributed in May, APH said.
The Equity Fund will work with several small, community-based organizations to administer funds.
8 a.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to give an update on the state's efforts to combat the coronavirus at 2 p.m.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- IRS stimulus check status tracker is now online | Here's what you need to know
- 'It's nonsense' | City and State officials still won't name nursing homes with coronavirus outbreaks
- After closing over coronavirus concerns, San Marcos restaurant re-opening to help employees
- Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas National Guard announce mobile testing sites for COVID-19
- Federal appeals court says Texas can block pill-induced abortions during pandemic
- Unemployment expected to rise in April, Workforce Solutions says