AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 April 30 live blog.
- Texas 'stay home' order will expire April 30, Gov. Abbott says
- LIST: These Austin area restaurants are reopening for dine-in on Friday, May 1
- How opening businesses again will impact your unemployment | Q&A with Texas Workforce Commission
- Reopening Texas: Your questions answered
- Retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants and malls able to reopen May 1, Gov. Abbott says
- LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county
- Austin-Travis County coronavirus cases reach 1,591, 44 deaths
- LIST: Austin businesses close permanently during COVID-19 pandemic
8 p.m. – The Diocese of Austin has announced that parishes can resume public Mass starting on May 5. The diocese issued the following safeguards to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• All attendees should maintain six feet of distance between each other, except for members of the same family or household.
• Those who are sick or over the age of 65 should not attend Mass.
• Parishes should continue to broadcast or livestream at least one Mass each weekend for those who are unable to attend or promote another broadcast or livestream Mass.
• Hand sanitizing stations are to be provided at entrances and for liturgical and altar ministers.
• The faithful are encouraged to wear facemasks during the liturgy.
• Pews and regularly touched surfaces should be disinfected after each Mass.
• Liturgical and hospitality ministers should be trained to follow new protocols and signs should be posted to remind parishioners of the hygiene protocols.
6 p.m. – Austin-Travis County is now reporting 1,654 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 462 reported recoveries and 47 reported deaths.
5:25 p.m. – Hays County is now reporting 68 active cases of COVID-19 after five more people are reported recovered. There are currently 5 people hospitalized.
4:45 p.m. – Texas driver's license offices will not reopen on Friday, TxDPS told KVUE. While there is no set date for reopening, when offices do open they will offer appointments for customers to book up to six months in advance, DPS said.
4:05 p.m. – Williamson County said its offices will continue to operate on a limited basis while some businesses reopen in limited capacity on Friday. County offices and departments will limit in-person interactions by scheduling appointments, working remotely and conducting business via telephone, email, mail, technology and drop-box services until June 1.
The county said all offices open to the public will require everyone to have their temperature taken before entering the building. Visitors will also have to fill out an information sheet. Face coverings are encouraged and hand sanitizer will be provided, the county said.
The Williamson County Justice Center in Georgetown will remain open only for required judicial activities, and jury trials have been canceled until further notice. Tax Assessor-Collector offices remain closed and are offering limited services. The Williamson County Department of Infrastructure in Georgetown is closed to the public. Commissioners Court meetings will continue being conducted virtually.
3:55 p.m. – The LBJ Presidential Library announced it would not be reopening on May 1 despite the governor issuing an executive order that would allow it to do so. The National Archives and Records Administration issued the following statement:
"At present, all our facilities in the State of Texas remain closed to our staff and the public. As a federal government agency, we will only open our facilities when our assessment aligns with the criteria and requirements laid out by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management, as detailed in M-20-23, 'Aligning Federal Agency Operations with the National Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.'"
3:40 p.m. – Faith in Action Georgetown, a nonprofit that provides transportation services to the elderly, is suspending its regular rides to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Instead, the organization will help its clients with online grocery orders, setting up prescription deliveries and calling to check in on the well being of its clients.
2 p.m. – The Travis County justices of the peace have issued a sixth order regarding the COVID-19 state of disaster that was issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas.
The new order resets all scheduled court proceedings, with an exception for essential court proceedings, to a date after June 1. Additionally, no eviction settings will be able to be held until after June 1.
The order also temporarily suspends "active warrants for all misdemeanor Class C offenses from their courts, until July 15." This is in an attempt to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in county jails.
Regarding marriage ceremonies, the order authorizes justices of the peace to perform the ceremonies via video conference as land as all participants are within Travis County.
1:55 p.m. – The Round Rock Chamber released the results of a business survey analysis that was conducted across Williamson County businesses. According to the Round Rock Chamber, the analysis includes observations and recommendations in four categories: clarity and consistency in communication; regional considerations; uncertainty about customers, supply chains and employees; and continued financial assistance.
The Williamson County Business Survey results summary can be found online.
1:50 p.m. – The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas said it would "sue any political subdivision, law enforcement agency and individual who rules any COVID-19 death as non-Duty related."
12:15 p.m. – Williamson County announces the county's ninth death. They say 175 people have recovered and 301 cases in total have been reported. Ten people remain hospitalized.
11:40 a.m. – Greater Austin Merchants Cooperative Association (GAMA) announces it has donated $25,000 to the Central Texas Food Bank. Its gift will provide 200,000 meals to Central Texans who are facing food insecurity.
“So many of our customers and their families have been affected by this pandemic,” said Shane Walker, COO at GAMA. “People need help now more than ever and are having to make hard decisions for their families, while dealing with loss of income. GAMA is very pleased to be able to assist the Central Texas Food Bank and the good work they do in our community.”
11:25 a.m. – Two weeks after Baylor Scott & White Health announced the expansion of its employee emergency assistance fund, more than $1.5 million has been raised by the health system's board members, executive team, employees and the community.
This fund provides relief to staff who have been impacted by unexpected costs associated with COVID-19.
“We have seen a tremendous response from our board members, system leaders, team members and outside organizations and individuals who have stepped up with contributions to support our frontline caregivers through this expanded fund,” said Jim Hinton, chief executive officer of Baylor Scott & White Health. “This gives so many of us a direct way to do more for those who are fighting this virus on a daily basis.”
11:20 a.m. – Tso Chinese Delivery says it will continue its #TsoGiving outreach campaign by launching the #50kForTeachers initiative on May 1. The initiative aims to give 1,000 teachers $50 in free food throughout the month.
“The need to homeschool our children has shed a bright light on the incredible work our teachers put in,” said Tso’s co-founder and CEO, Min Choe. “Often underappreciated and underpaid, we wanted to let our teachers know that they are loved and that we appreciate them.”
To apply, teachers can visit tsogiving.com.
11 a.m. – The Round Rock Express is partnering with RS3 Strategic Hospitality, Nolan Ryan Beef and the Nolan Ryan Foundation to donate weekly meal kits to doctors, nurses and hospital administrators at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.
"We are proud to be able to assist some of our local heroes fighting the Coronavirus pandemic right here in Round Rock," Express General Manager Tim Jackson said. "Our goal is to grow this program through additional community support so that we can help alleviate some of the stress of grocery shopping and meal preparation for our doctors, nurses and hospital administration staff."
Those interested in donating can learn more here.
9:25 a.m. – Fayette County is now reporting 16 cases with one death. Only five of those cases remain active.
On Friday at 9 a.m., mobile testing at the county fairgrounds will begin with assistance from the Texas State Guard. They aim to test between 60 and 80 people by appointment only. TO sign up, visit TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or call 512-883-2400.
6:10 a.m. – From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Central Texas Food Bank will be distributing food to families in need at the Toney Burger Stadium in South Austin located at 3200 Jones Road. For those planning to go to the Toney Burger Stadium, cars must enter at the north side of the facility from the eastbound Highway 290 frontage road between Brodie Lane and West Gate Boulevard, the food bank said.
6 a.m. – Texas' "stay home" order will expire Thursday. Gov. Abbott announced that he wasn't going to extend the order after he revealed his plan to reopen more businesses.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- Worldwide coronavirus cases surpass 3.2 million
- Weekly jobless claims could push US total past 30 million for COVID crisis
- The number of COVID-19 tests in Texas continues to be low compared to its population
- Positivity amid the pandemic: Sharing your good news
- Local firefighters testing mask for helping COVID-19 patients in the field
- Costco to require face masks for customers at all stores