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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 7 new COVID-19 deaths

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Monday, July 6.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. For the latest updates, check out our new 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 July 6 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 195,200 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 2,630 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 100,800 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 11,600 cases have been reported and at least 137 people have died. At least 8,400 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 3,000 confirmed cases have been reported and at least seven people have died. At least 494 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 2,400 cases have been reported in the county and at least 42 people have died. More than 970 people have recovered from the virus.

Latest updates:

7:05 p.m. – Capital Metro releases a statement upon learning that another staff member has died from COVID-19:

"We are deeply saddened to share that we lost a member of the Capital Metro family who tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked as a bus operator and his last day on the job was June 21. He died on July 5. He was employed as a driver for Capital Metro since 2007 and known as a reliable and dedicated employee. His supervisors called him a shining example of the essential service and care we provide to the community. The Capital Metro family mourns the passing of our friend and colleague and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time. Everyone who came in close contact with this employee has been notified."

7 p.m. – The Travis County Sheriff's Office provides updates on its COVID-19 data.

  • Total jail population: 1,791 
  • Inmates in quarantine: 32 
  • Inmates in quarantine – confirmed positive: 2 
  • Inmates in isolation: 226
  • Inmates tested: 353
  • Inmates negative: 319
  • Inmates positive: 12
  • Inmates pending results: 25
  • Law enforcement staff: 50 tested; 35 negative; 5 positive; 10 pending
  • Corrections staff: 153 tested; 102 negative; 27 positive; 24 pending
  • Administration and support staff: 49 tested; 38 negative; 10 positive; 1 pending

6:25 p.m. – Travis County will be reopening some of its parks on July 7 at 8 a.m. No commercial/rental use of Travis County Parks boat ramps on Lake Travis or Lake Austin will be allowed. The launching or retrieving of rental watercraft or watercraft for hire is still prohibited, as well as the loading or unloading of passengers.

On Tuesday, the following parks will open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily for walking, hiking, biking and other permitted activities:

  • Allen Park
  • Arkansas Bend Park 
  • Barkley Meadows Park
  • Ben E. Fisher Park
  • Cypress Creek Park 
  • East Metro Park 
  • Fritz Hughes Park
  • Little Webberville Park 
  • Milton Reimers Ranch Park
  • Northeast Metro Park 
  • Pace Bend Park 
  • Richard Moya Park 
  • Selma Hughes Park
  • Southeast Metro Park 
  • Tom Hughes Park
  • Webberville Park
  • Windmill Run Park

Amenities in these parks are closed or not operational:

  • Athletic fields, swimming pool
  • Pavilions/group shelters
  • Park playscapes
  • Picnic tables and barbecue grills

The following Travis County parks remain closed:

  • Bob Wentz Park (including sailboat ramp)
  • Del Valle Softball Fields
  • Dink Pearson Park
  • Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Hippie Hollow Park 
  • Loop 360 Park (including boat ramp)
  • Mansfield Dam Park (including boat ramp)
  • Mary Quinlan Park (including boat ramp)
  • Sandy Creek Park (including boat ramp)

6 p.m.  Travis County reports seven new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 144. The county is reporting 11,926 total cases and 8,905 recoveries.

4:57 p.m. – Williamson County reports three more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county's total to 45. The three victims were man in his 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 70s. 

Williamson County has 2,070 active cases, according to its dashboard.

4:40 p.m.  Hays County reports three more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county's total to 10. Two of the deceased were a father and son, in their 70s and 50s, respectively. The third deceased was a man in his 80s.

There have been 3,193 lab-confirmed cases of the virus in Hays County, 2,655 of which are still active. At least 528 people have recovered.

1:45 p.m. Williamson County and Family Emergency Room have entered a partnership to provide COVID-19 testing to residents.

Family Emergency Room will provide a scheduling process, with residents no longer having to wait to call back to schedule an appointment. The agreement also allows for more Family Emergency Room sites to be used. 

Currently, Family Emergency Room provides two testing locations in Cedar Park and Round Rock. Initially, Family Emergency Room will schedule appoints for people who are symptomatic only. Testing will be free to Williamson County residents without health insurance. 

The charges for the tests are currently covered by most insurance companies and Family Emergency Room will be billing patients' insurance companies at no added cost. Tests for any resident without insurance will be paid for by the county.

“Williamson County is grateful to the team at Family Emergency Room for continuing to partner with the County to provide COVID testing to our community.  Dr. Henry Higgins and his colleagues have stepped up and met a huge need in the community for COVID testing,” said Williamson County Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long.

For more information, click here.

11:25 a.m. – The 12-county KVUE viewing area saw 29 COVID-19 deaths in the week of June 29 to July 5, the deadliest single week since the pandemic began. For more information, read the story here.

11:22 a.m. – Following the announcement of Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order 29 on July 2, requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces, Leander Mayor Troy Hill has canceled the July 7 special meeting and will allow his disaster declaration to expire Wednesday. 

10:54 a.m. – As city leaders eye Austin's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations following another holiday weekend, the mayor said he's concerned about intensive care units

10:30 a.m. – In as soon as 10 to 14 days, Austin-area hospitals could be "severely stressed" by coronavirus cases, Austin's mayor told KVUE July 6. 

9:30 a.m. – Starting this week, residents in Bastrop County can fill out Austin Public Health's testing enrollment form and, if they qualify, they can schedule a free drive-thru test in Bastrop. If residents do not qualify, they will need to try again if their symptoms change.

The Bastrop County site is expected to test nearly 200 people per day.

7:43 a.m. – This week, Williamson County officials will host multiple free COVID-19 testing sites from 10 a.m. until supplies last. Monday's testing site will be at Hutto Middle School. From Tuesday through Wednesday, testing will take place at Jarrell Middle School. And on Thursday and Friday, testing will happen at Taylor Main Street Intermediate School.

7 a.m. – Starting Monday, July 6, amenities and facilities at all Austin parks are closed until further notice due to an uptick in cases and hospitalizations.

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