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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 306 new confirmed cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Wednesday, Nov. 18.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out our new blog here.

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 Nov. 18 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 1 million cases have been reported in the state, and more than 19,600 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: At least 35,326 cases have been reported and at least 469 people have died. At least 32,717 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: At least 6,833 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 93 people have died. At least 6,124 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: At least 11,184 cases have been reported in the county and at least 159 people have died. At least 10,621 people have recovered from the virus.


6:20 p.m. – Texas reported 187 new deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 19,883 by the state's official count. The state's positivity rate average is at 11.49%.

In the Austin area, the daily hospital admissions average is at 32.1 per day over the past week. There have now been 873 deaths from COVID-19 in the 12-county KVUE viewing area since the start of the pandemic.

5:55 p.m. – Travis County reported 306 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 35,326 cases and 469 deaths since the start of the pandemic. At least 32,717 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County currently has 204 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 63 in the ICU and 36 on ventilators.

5:35 p.m. – The Hays County Local Health Department reports one new COVID-related fatality, a Kyle woman in her 80s. The Health Department also reports 35 new lab-confirmed cases, one hospital discharge and 54 additional people now considered recovered.

Williamson County health officials report 100 new cases, bringing the total to 11,184. A total of 10,621 recoveries and 159 deaths have been reported.

4:30 p.m. – As of Nov. 17, the 2,473 staffed beds within Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David's HealthCare are 76% occupied. The 483 ICU beds within all three health care systems are 84% occupied.

4:05 p.m. – Manor ISD said on Wednesday a student at Manor Senior High School has tested positive for COVID-19. All students and staff who were identified to have come into close contact with the individual have been asked to self-quarantine until Nov. 29. Affected classrooms have been closed for sanitizing.

4 p.m. – On-campus learning will resume at Stephen F. Austin High School on Thursday. The campus was temporarily closed starting on Monday due to a "gradual but steady" rise in COVID-19 cases.

Austin ISD said in the three days the campus was closed, almost 300 students were proactively tested. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, four tests came back positive and those individuals have been notified. The district said there is no evidence of transmission from on-campus activities.

3:40 p.m. – High Five Events postpones the 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour and cancels the 2021 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. Registered participants of both events have numerous options available, including participating on the Austin Marathon's new date, April 25, or deferring to 2022, 2023 or 2024.

High Five Events said the collaborative decision to move the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and cancel the 3M Half Marathon was made after meetings with the City of Austin and Austin Public Health. The group is optimistic the April 25 event can be held in person.

2 p.m. – Bastrop County government leaders along with Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes have issued a plea for public health and safety as the holidays approach.

“We are in the ninth month of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Walkes. “All are tired of this fight and want to get back to normal, especially around the holidays. However, the timing is not right to let down our guard. Wearing a mask and social distancing will make your family gathering safer and make the memories even more precious.”

Judge Paul Pape added, “There is hope on the horizon for effective vaccines, but for now, we must remain vigilant. As families get together for the holidays, let’s be situationally aware and cautious.” 

Since the pandemic began in March, there have been 2,127 cases reported in Bastrop County, with 33 deaths. 

Mayor of the City of Bastrop Connie Schroeder wrote, “As this historic year comes to an end, I appreciate the desire to spend time with friends and family. It is important that we continue to protect those that we love by being mindful of the advice from health experts. The City of Bastrop is blessed to have citizens who know how to stay safe and I’m confident they will continue their diligence during this holiday season.”

The newly elected mayor of Elgin, Ron Ramirez, added, "The key to staying safe and healthy during this crisis is access to accurate and easily understood information and our commitment to following proper mask-wearing, social distancing and hand washing procedures. I know Elginites will do their part during these vital few months. Be safe. Be smart."

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