AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 26 live blog.
- Texas: More than 55,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,500 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 35,200 people have recovered from the virus.
- Central Texas counties:
- Travis County: More than 2,900 cases have been reported and at least 85 people have died. At least 1,020 people have recovered from the virus.
- Williamson County: More than 560 cases have been reported and at least 22 people have died. More than 320 people have recovered from the virus.
- Hays County: There have been at least 270 cases reported in the county and at least three people have died. Around 158 people have recovered from the virus.
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10 p.m. – Austin Mayor Steve Adler told KVUE if the daily hospitalizations rate rises in our area, the reopening process may have to be put on pause. Adler said, "If new hospitalizations in our city rise above 20, then we have to pull things back," adding that if that happens, we would be headed for a spike that would overwhelm hospitals.
But Gov. Greg Abbott doesn't agree. He said the state can handle more cases and that he doesn't "foresee going backward right now."
7:30 p.m. – Travis County is now reporting 2,984 total cases of COVID-19. A total of 1,040 recoveries have been reported, as well as 88 deaths. This is three deaths more than the day prior.
Meanwhile, Williamson County is reporting a total of 584 cases, 334 recoveries and 22 deaths.
5:42 p.m. – The Travis County Sheriff's Office said there were no COVID-19 cases among the inmate population at the county jail. TCSO said one additional COVID-19 positive case was announced among TCSO employees, bringing that total to seven (five corrections officers and two administrative and support staff). In all, 103 inmates have been tested, 94 tests came back negative and nine tests were pending. 76 TCSO employees have been tested. 66 TCSO employees have tested negative and there were three tests pending as of May 26.
5:20 p.m. – Over Memorial Day weekend, Austin 311 received a total of 314 coronavirus-related complaints. There were 128 calls reporting social distancing issues and places that were over capacity, 182 calls asking for COVID-19 information, two calls about evictions and notices to vacate and two calls about sanitation concerns.
4:50 p.m. – As of May 26, Hays County has had 279 lab-confirmed cases. Of those, 115 remain active with 161 recoveries now reported.
The county has had three COVID-19 deaths, the first was a woman in her 80s who had been living with a relative in Buda. The second death was announced on May 8, a Wimberley resident in their 90s. The third death was a San Marcos resident in their 60s (officials did not release the person's gender).
As of May 26, the Hays County Local Health Department has received 3,588 negative test results.
Hays County officials announced on March 31 it had launched an online dashboard online which keeps track of the county's COVID-19 numbers. The online tool, along with other important information about the response to the COVID-19 crisis, is available here: www.sanmarcostx.gov/covid19info. County residents may visit https://hayscountytx.com/covid-19-information-for-hays-county-residents/.
For more information on the previously reported Hays County cases, click here.
4:30 p.m. – Here are the latest coronavirus data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). There were 589 new cases, the lowest mark of new daily cases since April 20, and Texas' new daily death count was in the single digits for the second straight day. The positivity rate slid back up above 5% and hospitalizations were slightly up, as well, but has remained in the same general range for weeks.
GRAPH: Texas coronavirus data May 26
4 p.m. – Apple confirms it is gearing up to welcome customers again this week in its U.S. locations. Most stores will be offering curbside or storefront service only. Some will be open for walk-in customers, but visitors are urged to check their local store's webpage.
In the Austin area, the Barton Creek and Domain Northside locations will be open for in-store service and sales.
Click here for more information.
3:40 p.m. – The Texas Secretary of State's Office has released guidance on the minimum recommended health protocols for Texas election officials and voters, including maintaining a 6-foot social distance when feasible, considering utilizing curbside voting if possible if you're exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 and considering bringing your own marking instruments such as a pen, pencil with eraser or stylus to use when checking in to vote and when marking a ballot. Read the full checklists for voters and election officials.
3:20 p.m. – In partnership with the City of Austin and the College of Pharmacy at UT Austin, Texas State University is using its idled 3D printers to produce swabs for COVID-19 tests.
"The City of Austin has been planning how to ramp up testing so people can start going back to work. They noticed what was delaying testing was a lack of swabs – there is a huge shortage of swabs," said Juan Gomez with the Department of Physics "We wanted to find a way to work together and try to cover that shortage.
Together, Texas State's two 3D printers can print 7,000 swabs per week. One condition of Texas State's participation is that the swabs produced must be used in Texas. The swabs are first sent to a company in Illinois that is sterilizing and packaging them. Once they are packaged, they are delivered to Gov. Abbott's Strike Force to Open Texas for use throughout the state.
3:15 p.m. – Gov. Abbott says the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is distributing an additional 13 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to eight hospitals across the Austin area. Ten cases will go to hospitals in Travis County and three will go to hospitals in Williamson County.
Last week, DSHS distributed 10 initial cases in the Austin area. This additional distribution will bring the total number of cases distributed by DSHS to Texas hospitals to 484.
3 p.m. – Even more Texas businesses now have reopening dates. Gov. Abbott said today that driver education programs and food courts can reopen immediately. Malls must ensure proper social distancing, limit tables to no more than six people and clean tables after each use.
On Friday, water parks can reopen at 25% capacity, but any video arcades at the parks must remain closed. And adult recreational sports programs can resume beginning May 31, although games can’t be played until June 15.
2:50 p.m. – Hays County is now reporting 276 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 158 recoveries and three deaths. Of those, 115 cases remain active.
1:40 p.m. – The Moody Foundation announces the donation of laptops to 15 Moody Scholars at Juan Navarro High School and Northeast Early College High School as part of its Moody Scholars program.
For more information, click here.
11:50 p.m. – Starting May 27, visitors will be able to make camping reservations at parks with arrival dates between June 1 and Sept. 7. This gradual reopening of overnight reservations will be limited to varying degrees at individual parks to align with safe business practices currently followed in Texas. All guests, including annual pass holders, need to pre-purchase day passes and overnight reservations in advance through the Texas State Parks Reservation System. Reservations can be made online at www.texasstateparks.org or by calling 512-389-8900. Callers should expect longer than normal wait times when trying to make reservations. Visitors are encouraged to use the online system to help reduce the volume of calls to the customer service center.
10:55 a.m. – The Sun Radio Foundation is now accepting applications for its Sun Radio Recharge COVID-19 relief program. The group is pledging $20,000, giving Central Texas musicians and community radio stations nationwide the opportunity to apply for grants toward paying their electricity bills.
To apply, click here.
10:50 a.m. – The Buda Public Library will be launching a "Grab & Go" service starting Monday, June 1.
In addition to curbside services, patrons will be allowed to enter the library for brief visits while following CDC guidelines. It is strongly encouraged that guests wear masks and observe social distancing.
Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Curbside is only offered Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Library capacity will be limited to 30 guests at a time.
10:30 a.m. – The Arboretum will be partnering with Meals on Wheels to hold a 3-day pet food and essentials drive to collect pet food for seniors with pets in the Meals on Wheels PALS program.
The drive will be held at the Arboretum from May 26 to May 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – The Texas Lottery Commission is planning to reopen its claim centers on an appointment basis starting on June 1.
To make an appointment, click here. You can also make an appointment by phone at 800-375-6886.
8:15 a.m. – The Austin-based real estate firm Journeyman Group announces that it is accepting applications to help families who are suffering financial hardships during the pandemic. The group is pledging $300,000 to help 2,000 Austin families.
To apply, click here.
7:40 a.m. – The YMCA of Austin is partnering with Brighter Bites and DiMare Fresh to host free fresh produce distributions starting May 19 at North and East Austin YMCAs.
This program runs every Tuesday through August at 1000 W. Rundberg Lane (9 a.m.) and 5315 Ed Bluestein Blvd. (10 a.m.).
Area residents can receive a 20-pound box of fruits and vegetables via drive-thru or walk-up.
7:15 a.m. – Honor Flight Austin announces that it will be postponing all trips for the remainder of the year due to COVID-19 concerns.
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