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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Texas to receive more than 500,000 first doses of vaccine next week

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Friday, Jan. 29.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Saturday's blog.

KVUE is keeping you updated with the latest coronavirus and COVID-19 news in the Austin area.

Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's Jan. 29 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 2 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 35,600 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 68,020 cases have been reported and at least 655 people have died. At least 62,256 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 14,692 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 186 people have died. At least 12,218 people have recovered from the virus. 
    • Williamson County: At least 31,271 cases have been reported in the county and at least 314 people have died. At least 29,163 people have recovered from the virus.

For a look at COVID-19 data across all of the state's counties, click here.


6:10 p.m. – Travis County reported another death from COVID-19 on Friday along with 454 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 68,020 cases and 655 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 62,256 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 547 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 155 in the ICU and 88 on ventilators. There are 49 people being treated at the alternative care site at the Austin Convention Center.

6:05 p.m. – The seven-day average of new cases in the Austin metro area is at 1,018 new cases per day over the past week. The metro's positivity rate average is at 9.33%. There have been 1,564 COVID-19 deaths in the 12-county Central Texas KVUE viewing area since the start of the pandemic.

Texas reported 14,750 new confirmed cases on Friday, bringing the total to 2,033,353. The seven-day average is at 13,485 new cases per day over the past week.

5:55 p.m. – According to the DSHS, Texas will receive 520,425 first doses of the vaccine during the week of Feb. 1. These will be shipped to 344 providers across 166 counties, including 82 hub providers.

4:45 p.m. – Hays County reported another death from COVID-19 on Friday, a San Marcos woman in her 50s. The health department also reported 116 new confirmed cases along with five new hospitalizations and seven new hospital discharges. There are 185 additional people considered recovered.

4:40 p.m. – Texas reported 349 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the death toll to 35,988. There are 11,981 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals statewide, down 10% from a week ago. The state's positivity rate average is at 15.30%.

So far, 410,337 Texans have been fully vaccinated, while 1,349,475 have had one dose. Of the 16+ population of Texas, 8% have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Texas has administered 69% of its received doses.

There are 549 COVID-19 patients in Austin-area hospitals, with 180 COVID-19 patients in Austin-area ICUs, making up 33% of total capacity.

1 p.m. – Austin Public Health announces that it will be opening a third vaccination site in northern Travis County. The site, to be shared with those who have appointments only, will not accept walkups.

This week, APH began providing second doses to those who already received their doses during Phase 1A, including those in nursing homes, first responders and health care workers.

APH will receive 12,000 doses for the week of Feb. 1.

The Givens and Little Walnut Creek testing sites have now closed to better suit APH's resources. This will not impact the number of tests APH can provide in a week, which is about 11,000.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has also contracted with a new vendor for the Pflugerville test site. Appointments are still required, which can be made here.

11:30 a.m. – Williamson County leaders provide an update on vaccine distribution in the county. You can watch the meeting below:

RELATED: Williamson County expanding 'VRTAS' sites, adding new vaccination site in Georgetown

11 a.m. – Austin Public Health holds its weekly COVID-19 Q&A. Here are a few key points discussed:

  • About 30,000 vaccines have been provided as of today. 
  • About 80,000 people have signed up through the APH reservation portal. Currently, about 500,000 people in Austin-Travis County are eligible in Phase 1A and 1B.
  • There are now 49 people at the alternative care site at Austin Convention Center – two more than yesterday. It has not yet taken patients from outside the area
  • Updates to the vaccine portal are still rolling out gradually
  • Hospitalizations are still showing signs of a slight decline or flattening as of now, but daily new case counts are still higher than the July peak
  • The positivity rate among students is still higher than the rest of the community due largely to extracurricular activities

7 a.m. – The Hays County Health Department's COVID-19 vaccine registration portal will reopen at noon. Residents will be able to find the sign-up link here when the registration portal opens. 

Those who do not have internet access or a smartphone can call 512-938-1650. Officials said no one will answer that phone number before the portal opens. People who are part of the Department of State Health Services Phase 1A and 1B criteria will be able to make appointments. 

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said the county has set up a text alert system that residents can use to get updates on coronavirus-related information. You can text the word COVID to 844-928-3213. Officials said it is important to note that this number will not put you on a registration list to get a vaccine – it is just for updates and alerts.

WATCH: Austin Public Health looking to fill 100+ positions


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