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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Wednesday stat tracker

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates in Central Texas for Wednesday, Dec. 29.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated.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

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: 
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Austin-Travis County: The seven-day moving average for new hospital admissions is 43, and an average of 232 people are hospitalized. The seven-day moving average for new cases is 1,084. Since the beginning of the pandemic,129,518 cases have been reported and at least 1,218 people have died.
    • Hays County: There are currently 2,154 active cases, and 16 people are currently hospitalized. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 32,888 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 413 people have died. 
    • Williamson County: There are 327 new cases of coronavirus in Williamson County. Sixteen percent of hospital beds are available, and 6% of ICU beds are available. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 71,312 cases have been reported and at least 752 people have died.

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

TEXAS

  • Cases
    • 11,928 new cases reported today
      • New 7-day average: 11,904 new cases per day
        • Up 3.9% from yesterday
        • Up 75% from one week ago
        • Up 519% from one month ago
  • Positivity rate
    • 24.42% among PCR tests
    • 13.41% among antigen tests
  • Hospitalizations
    • 4,917 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Texas
      • Highest number since Oct. 18
        • Up 11% from yesterday
        • Up 51% from one week ago
        • Up 76% from one month ago
    • Texas Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations are up – 173 statewide today
      • That's up 23.6% from yesterday alone
  • Deaths
    • 71 new deaths statewide
    • 74,401 COVID-19 deaths in Texas since the start of the pandemic

LOCAL

  • Cases
    • Austin metro:
      • 1,170 new cases reported in the Austin metro (Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties)
        • New 7-day average for new cases in the Austin metro: 1,171
          • Up 124% from a week ago
          • Up 709% from one month ago
  • Hospitalizations
    • Austin-Travis County:
      • 70 new COVID-19 hospitalizations today
        • Brings the new average to 42.6 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day
          • Up 18% from yesterday
          • Up 166% from one week ago
          • Up 235% from one month ago
  • Austin region (Trauma Service Area O)
    • 200 adult COVID-19 patients
      • Up 7% from yesterday
      • Up 67% from one week ago
      • Up 67% from one month ago
    • Only 4 pediatric COVID-19 patients in hospitals
    • COVID-19 patients take up 6.41% of hospital beds in TSA O

VACCINES

  • Around 56% of the entire state population (regardless of vaccine eligibility) that's fully vaccinated
  • 66% of the entire population with one dose

Updates:

7 p.m. – A spokesperson for Ascension Texas, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare released the following statement:

Ascension Texas, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare have seen an increase in the number of COVID-positive patients requiring hospitalization and intensive care. The omicron variant is the most contagious strain we have seen yet, and the increase in cases is putting further stress on hospital staffing.

Each of our hospitals has a surge plan that includes the utilization of all available patient care space within our hospitals and in other settings across our healthcare systems. Additionally, we have worked closely with Austin Public Health to develop an alternate care site that is ready to open should the need arise. 

As has been widely reported, COVID-19 testing is limited across the country. We ask those seeking COVID-19 testing who are asymptomatic or who have mild symptoms to call 2-1-1, or 877-541-7905 or visit 211texas.org to find a testing site. Please reserve our emergency departments for those who are seriously ill or injured so that our hospitals are ready for those who need care most during this time.

We urge the community to help us and each other by getting vaccinated, getting boosted, distancing and wearing a mask.

2:15 p.m. – ACL Live announces the cancellation of its Dec. 31 New Year's Eve show with Spoon.

RELATED: ACL Live New Year's Eve show with Austin's Spoon canceled due to COVID-19

The City of Manor announces the cancellation of its New Year's Eve and 150th Birthday Celebration concert and fireworks show.

"At this time, the remaining scheduled Sesquicentennial events are still moving forward, and we hope our community participates in celebrating our rich history," a city spokesperson said.   

10:10 a.m. – Judge Nick Chu (Travis County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 5) has announced extended eviction protections to Travis County renters due to the pandemic.

The judge's new order will require trials regarding evictions for unpaid rent to be paused for 30 days so that renters can seek rental assistance, consult a pro bono attorney through a JP Court program set up for indigent tenants and negotiate a settlement without the need for an eviction.

According to Travis County, the order will stay in effect through March 1, the day the JP Courts lose the ability to modify rules and procedures under a Texas Supreme Court Emergency Order. 

9 a.m. – Austin-Travis County leaders announced that the area has moved from Stage 3 to Stage 4 of its COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. 

The main difference between the stages is that masking becomes recommended in all circumstances, regardless of vaccination status or if you're considered low risk or high risk.

OTHER COVID-19 HEADLINES:

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