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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County confirms 64 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, May 12.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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

KVUE is keeping you updated with the latest coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, news in the Austin area.

Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's May 12 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 39,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,000 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 21,000 people have recovered from the virus.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: More than 2,100 cases have been reported and at least 60 people have died. More than 700 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 390 cases have been reported and at least 16 people have died. More than 200 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: There have been more than 200 cases reported in the county and at least two people have died. Around 140 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:

Updates:

8:30 p.m. – TxDOT says Austin saw a 42% decrease in traffic for the end of April, and the Austin Transportation Department said travel times are down about 22% during the evening commute. In response, the City has been tweaking traffic signal timings so drivers aren't sitting at stoplights as long.

8 p.m.  A Drexel University study says staying home is saving lives in Travis County. Their research estimates that the first 45 days of the AUstin-Travis County "stay home" order helped keep more than 45,000 people out of the hospital – which prevented nearly 5,000 people from dying.

6:15 p.m. – Travis County on Tuesday confirmed six more deaths related to COVID-19 and 64 new confirmed cases of the virus. There are now 2,235 confirmed cases and 71 deaths in the county. At least 760 people have recovered.

5:50 p.m. – Here are the latest Texas coronavirus data from the Department of State Health Services.

Numbers show Texas' new daily cases and daily deaths increase today after a two-day dip. The 7-day average for positivity rate is still trending back upward.

5:40 p.m. – Austin Public Health confirms 60 new cases of COVID-19 inside Austin nursing homes since last week, bringing the total to nearly 400 cases in 15 facilities. One facility has had 18 resident deaths and two facilities have had 98 confirmed cases each. The City and State still say they cannot release the names of the facilities.

4:50 p.m. – As of May 12, the Hays County Local Health Department confirms there are 69 active lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Since Hays County first started providing numbers, a total of 214 lab-confirmed cases have been reported, including three deaths, a woman in her 80s who had been living in Buda with a relative, a Wimberley resident in their 90s and a San Marcos resident in their 60s.

As of May 12, the Hays County Local Health Department has received 2,016 negative test results.

At least 142 people have recovered from the virus in Hays County. According to the county, there have been 20 total hospitalizations, with three still hospitalized as of May 12.

To view a breakdown of the age range of these cases, visit Hays County's interactive dashboard here.

4:30 p.m. – Gov. Abbott extends COVID-19 disaster declaration for all Texas counties. Originally issued on March 13 and extended on April 12, the declaration provides the state a number of resources to effectively serve residents as Texas continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

"As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, our top priority remains the health and safety of all Texans," Gov. Abbott said. "By extending the disaster declaration, we are ensuring that Texas has the resources and capabilities in place to safely and strategically open the state while containing the spread of this virus. As we move forward in our response, I urge all Texans to continue following the health and safety guidelines laid out by the CDC and Texas’ team of medical experts."

3:15 p.m. – The Austin Zoo will open on a limited basis on Monday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m., subject to new policies. The zoo says that: 

  • Visitors should refrain from going to the zoo if they are not feeling well or have a temperature over 100.4.
  • Masks are required. If you're not wearing a mask or face covering, you will not be admitted. Masks will be available for purchase.
  • Social distancing will be strictly enforced.
  • Limited zoo admission tickets will be available to purchase online only and with a specified check-in time. Train tickets must also be purchased online.

3:10 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott said the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide more than $1 billion in food benefits through the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to families with children that have lost access to school meals amid coronavirus-related school closures.

The program will provide a one-time $285 benefit per child and can be used in the same way as the SNAP food benefits to purchase groceries.

More information can be found on the HHSC website.

2:15 p.m. – Premier ER and Urgent Care announced on Monday they have antibody testing capabilities at all their locations, including San Marcos. This is in addition to their drive-thru nasal swab tests outside their San Marcos location.

1:30 p.m. – On Tuesday, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced the launch of a statewide pilot program allowing SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online at certain retailers for curbside pickup or delivery. The program will begin on Wednesday. Walmart and Amazon will be included in the program.

“As we respond to this pandemic, the state of Texas is committed to helping SNAP recipients throughout the state access nutritious food for their families,” said Gov. Greg Abbott.

RELATED: Pilot will allow Texas SNAP recipients to order groceries online by May 18

1:20 p.m. – The Texas Department of State Health Services said it will distribute 1,200 vials of the drug remdesivir to hospitals to tread patients with COVID-19. The drug has shown promise in early trials to speed up recovery times among hospitalized patients. The federal government has provided the supply via a donation from manufacturer Gilead.

RELATED: White House to direct supply of COVID-19 drug remdesivir amid access fears

1 p.m. – Austin Public Health said its Interstate 35 COVID-19 testing site is closed due to the weather.

12:20 p.m. – Williamson County has confirmed two more deaths from COVID-19, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s. There have now been 16 deaths from the virus in the county and 397 confirmed cases. At least 223 people have recovered, while 11 people are currently hospitalized, six of them in an ICU with four on a ventilator.

WATCH: How coronavirus spreads

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