This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Wednesday, Aug. 19. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.
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Travis County sees 303 new cases and nine more deaths
Austin Public Health reported 303 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, down from 350 reported the day before. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 234.
The health authority said yesterday that it’s been reporting an increase in cases since last week because of a backlog of data it received from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“APH will continue to process the backlogged lab results and will not know the true impact of the reporting error until processing is complete,” the authority said in a press release.
Nine new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, bringing the county’s death total to 346.
APH says there are now 215 people hospitalized with the virus in the five-county region (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell), 15 fewer than yesterday. Despite that net decrease, APH reported 23 new COVID-19 hospital admissions Wednesday. The seven-day average of new admissions is 27.3.
Local officials are keeping an eye on that average and adjusting restrictions based on it and other factors, like ICU and ventilator capacities. An average below 40 could push the region down to stage 3 of APH’s risk-based guidelines, but officials have recommended the area remain in stage 4, the second-highest level, for now.
Round Rock ISD begins distributing meals Thursday, Austin ISD extends free produce box program
The Round Rock Independent School District will begin giving out meals at some campuses tomorrow as students kick off the school year learning from home.
Families are asked to fill out a form online requesting meal service or bring student documentation during pickup. They’ll be required to pay for breakfast and lunch items if students don’t qualify for free meals.
Meal distributions run Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Austin Independent School District has extended its free produce box program until Oct. 7. Boxes include melons, peppers, carrots and squash.
Children 18 or younger or parents with student documentation can pick up a box today at some AISD campuses, including Anderson High School, Burnet Middle School, Dobie Middle School, and Guerrero Thompson Elementary from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Central Texas Food Bank distributes food boxes Thursday
The Central Texas Food Bank is distributing pre-packed food boxes tomorrow to families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Drivers are reminded to make space in their vehicles before arriving.
The drive-thru event will be at the Nelson Field in East Austin from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
For those who are unable to attend, the food bank has a map of places where people can find food now.
Correction: An earlier version incorrectly said Nelson Field was in South Austin.
San Marcos CISD applies to extend remote learning
The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a waiver this week to extend online classes for an additional four weeks after the first four weeks of school.
The waiver will be sent to the Texas Education Agency for consideration. If approved, the district will have the flexibility of keeping classes remote-only if local COVID-19 case numbers don’t improve.
The board says it’s working with the City of San Marcos and the Hays County Health Department to guide a safe transition to on-campus instruction. All students begin virtual learning in the San Marcos school district on Sept. 8.
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