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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Austin-Travis County reports 2,171 total cases, 65 deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Monday, May 11.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 11 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 39,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,000 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 21,000 people have recovered from the virus.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: More than 2,100 cases have been reported and at least 60 people have died. More than 700 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 370 cases have been reported and at least 13 people have died. More than 200 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: There have been more than 200 cases reported in the county and at least two people have died. Around 130 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:

Updates:

9:20 p.m. – More than 525,000 people have been tested for coronavirus in Texas, about 1.8% of Texans according to federal data that puts the state's population at just under 29 million.

To compare to Texas' neighbors, in Louisiana, they've performed more than 220,000 COVID-19 tests – but their state population is much smaller, so they've tested about 4.7% of the population. And in New Mexico, they've performed around 102,000 tests, just under 5% of the state population. 

8 p.m. – Austin-Travis County is now reporting 2,171 cases of COVID-19, with 65 deaths. A total of 720 have recovered.

5:57 p.m. – Texas State University President Denise Trauth announced in a letter to Bobcat Nation Monday that the university spring and summer commencement ceremonies would be held virtually. 

Here is Dr. Trauth's letter: 

Dear Bobcats,

When the decision was made to move classes to remote delivery after spring break to protect our Texas State University community from the spread of the coronavirus, we also decided to postpone spring commencement to August 6 and 8, 2020, to coincide with August 7, 2020, summer ceremonies.

The commencement feasibility work group, which included student representatives, faculty senators, a dean representative, the registrar, the commencement coordinator, the associate vice president for academic affairs, and the chief medical officer, has searched for the safest options to hold commencement events for more than 6,000 graduates and their families and friends over three days of ceremonies. After exhausting every possible scenario, we have made the hard decision that it will not be possible to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in August 2020 for spring and summer graduates while adhering to the required social distancing measures. Instead, we will share virtual commencement ceremonies on August 6, 7, and 8, 2020.

As President, Commencement is my favorite time of year. Like many of you, I am disappointed that we cannot come together in person to celebrate this special occasion. However, I take comfort in knowing that we are doing the right thing to protect our Bobcat family and the greater San Marcos community.

I know this may feel like a diminished experience, but by no means does it lessen the accomplishments of our graduates. Commencement is important because it is the ceremony to celebrate and formally recognize the degrees you have earned as graduates of Texas State University.  No matter what form commencement takes, those degrees are yours now, and for the rest of your lives.

Planning is underway to ensure we have a very special experience to honor our graduates during a virtual commencement. We want to honor our brave students who persevered and graduated despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.

To our graduates, I offer you a sincere and heartfelt congratulations. Your dedication and tenacity have shown the world what it means to be a Bobcat.

Sincerely,

Denise M. Trauth
President

5:44 p.m. – The Travis County Sheriff's Office announced that as of May 11, there were no COVID-19 positive cases among the inmate population at the Travis County Jail. According to TCSO, four corrections officers have tested positive and one administrative & support employee had tested positive at the jail.

4:55 p.m. – The Bastrop County Health Authority and the Office of Emergency Management have been monitoring the nursing home facilities in Bastrop County. The results of a recent survey for the COVID-19 virus showed one positive out the 94 tests taken. The person with the positive result is being monitored by their physician and is now in isolation.

In early April, the Buda City Council authorized the Still Budaful Stimulus Program to assist businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. The total contributions between the City of Buda and the Buda Economic Development Corporation amounted to $380,000. Since then over $300,000 in grants have been issued to roughly 70 applicants. Applications are still being accepted at www.stillbudaful.org.

4:50 p.m. – Hays County is reporting five new cases of coronavirus since May 10, bringing the county total to 209 cases. 67 of those cases remain active. Two people have died from COVID in Hays County and 140 people have recovered.

4:45 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to test every resident and staffer at Texas nursing homes, a spokesperson for the governor's office told KVUE Monday. 

Texas HHSC said as of Monday, they have received reports of 281 nursing facilities and 100 assisted living facilities in Texas with one or more COVID-19 confirmed positive residents and/or facility staff. HHSC has received reports of 425 resident deaths related to COVID-19 in nursing facilities and 89 resident deaths related to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities located in Texas. 

There are 1,224 licensed nursing facilities and 2,004 licensed assisted living facilities statewide.

4:40 p.m. – Wilco Forward, Williamson County’s grant program to provide financial relief to local business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, has issued 198 checks as of today. That accounts for $2.8 million of the $25 million allocated by the Commissioners Court for the program. Wilco Forward is funded through the approximately $93 million the County received from the CARES Act. Currently, the County has received 2,423 applications. Applications are still being accepted. Applications can be submitted online through the county’s website at www.wilco.org/forward to the Williamson County Auditor’s Office. The money will be issued as applications are processed until the $25 million in budgeted funds are exhausted. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020. 

4:35 p.m. – Here are the latest Texas coronavirus data from the Department of State Health Services. Numbers show Texas had its fewest "new deaths" since April 2 (12 new, 1,100 total), new daily cases is hovering around 1,000, hospitalizations are down and positivity rate remained average

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, Vice Chair Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, and House Appropriations Committee Chair Giovanni Capriglione and Vice Chair Oscar Longoria today sent a letter to city and county leaders announcing $5.06 billion in funding available to local governments in Texas through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of this $5.06 billion, the U.S. Department of Treasury has directly sent over $3.2 billion to the six cities and 12 counties in Texas with a population greater than 500,000. The remaining $1.85 billion will be available to other cities and counties throughout the state. Funding will go towards reimbursement of direct expenses incurred by cities and counties due to COVID-19.

3:25 p.m. – Buda City Hall and the Buda Public Safety Building will reopen to the public with limited capacity on Monday, May 18. The City of Buda strongly recommends visitors wear masks and says social distancing practices will be in place. Phone and online communication are still encouraged.

City-sponsored meetings will resume with strict social distancing practices in place, including a room capacity limited to 25% for city council and boards and commissions meetings. The Buda Public Library will remain closed to the public but is providing curbside service Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

3:20 p.m.  CapMetro says the MetroExpress will begin commuter service on Monday, May 18. The following routes will start that day: Route 935 Tech Ridge Express and Route 985 Leander/Lakeline Express. For more information, click here.

2:55 p.m. – As of Monday, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received reports of 281 nursing facilities and 100 assisted living facilities in Texas with one or more COVID-19 confirmed positive residents and/or facility staff. HHSC has received reports of 425 resident deaths related to COVID-19 in nursing facilities and 89 resident deaths related to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities located in Texas. 

There are 1,224 licensed nursing facilities and 2,004 licensed assisted living facilities statewide.

2:50 p.m. – According to the TSA, the Department of Homeland security is extending the Real ID enforcement deadline to Oct. 1. At that time, travelers 18 years or older will need a Real ID-compliant driver's license, state-issued driver's license or acceptable form of ID.

1:56 p.m. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Texas’ plan to provide SNAP benefits to households with children eligible for free and reduced price school meals, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act required states to submit their plans for expanding SNAP benefits to these families to USDA.  Texas officials will distribute Pandemic – Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards to families with children whose schools were closed for at least five consecutive days during the emergency designation and who would have received free or reduced price meals.  Because distribution of school meals is limited due to school closures, families with children in the school meals program be able to instead use EBT cards at grocery stores and online through the SNAP EBT program.

12 p.m. - Williamson County health officials have announced the county's 14th death, a woman in her 90s. Additionally, 12 people are hospitalized and 4 are on ventilators due to COVID-19. The total number of people that have recovered from COVID-19 has increased to 217 from 213.

11:41 a.m. - Capital Metro is helping Austin Independent School District provide Wi-Fi students by sending MetroAccess vehicles to various locations throughout the week. Austin ISD has been providing 110 district buses to serve as Wi-Fi hotspots from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the CapMetro vehicles will operate from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

9:43 a.m. - On Tuesday, May 12, free COVID-19 testing will be taking place at a mobile testing site in Marble Falls. The tests are by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marble Falls Fire Rescue at 700 Avenue N. To confirm whether you need an appointment, go to txcovidtest.org or call 512-883-2400.

5:25 a.m. - As of Sunday, May 10, numbers show Texas' new daily case numbers and new deaths both dropped. Meanwhile, active hospitalizations dropped as well and the test positivity rate edged down ever so slightly.

Here's a look at the data from the Texas Department of State Health Services:

WATCH: Coronavirus in Texas: Gov. Abbott gives update on COVID-19 response May 5

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