This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Monday, Sept. 28. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.
- Do you think you have the coronavirus? Here's how to get tested.
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- Find mental health support
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Travis County sees 91 new cases and no new deaths
Austin Public Health reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 in Travis County on Monday, down from 122 reported Sunday. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 107. No new deaths were reported, so the county’s death total remains at 426.
There are now 78 people reported to be hospitalized with the virus in the five-county region (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell), down from 84 on Sunday. Despite that net decrease, APH reported four new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the region Monday. The seven-day average of new admissions is 13, down from 16.
The area is in stage 3 of APH’s risk-based guidelines. At this level, people are encouraged to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
UT president encourages community to get tested regularly to prevent virus from spreading
UT Austin is working to ramp up its voluntary COVID-19 testing program.
In a letter to the community Monday, President Jay Hartzell said the effort has allowed more cases to be identified, as expected. He also said it is helping to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
As "kinks" are worked out, Hartzell said, the goal is to get members of the UT community tested as frequently as every two weeks. He said there will be an incentive program to encourage people to get tested, but the details have not yet been announced.
The current plan is for the spring semester to look similar to this semester, with a combination of online and in-person instruction, and with staff who are able to work from home at a “high level” continuing to do so.
Leander ISD proceeds with phase 3 of its reopening plan
The Leander Independent School District is allowing more students on campus Monday as part of its phased reopening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district started phasing students back to school buildings after Labor Day weekend, including students without home internet access, those in special education programs, pre-K students, and kindergarteners.
Leander ISD officials added second, seventh and 12th grades during phase 2. Starting Monday, third-, eighth- and 11th-graders were able to resume on-campus instruction.
All students who opted for in-person learning can return Oct. 5, including fourth, fifth and 10th grades. Students who selected virtual instruction will continue school remotely. Families have the option of changing their student’s learning preference at the end of each grading period. Find more reopening information here.
Hays CISD opens for in-person learning
Hays Consolidated Independent School District is open for in-person learning starting today for students who opted to come back to the classroom instead of remaining online. Parents are expected to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms daily before sending them to school.
Students and staff will be required to wear masks with at least two layers throughout the school day except while eating, playing outside away from others or taking a mask break in a designated location.
Hand sanitizer will be located throughout campuses, and classrooms will be sanitized at least four times a day. Students will continue to use tablets or laptops in the classroom. The district says parents can change their decision for online or in-person instruction every nine-week period.
— Sangita Menon
Buda reopens most of its public facilities today
The City of Buda is reopening most public facilities today due to a decline in local coronavirus cases. In-person public meetings can resume in Buda's City Hall and Public Safety building, but rooms will be limited to 25% capacity.
The Buda Public Library will reopen for limited "grab and go" services, and will still offer curbside pick-up service.
The Visitor Center remains closed to the public. Officials remind people to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering. Read more about the reopening plans on the city's website.
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