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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Austin-Travis County reports 484 COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths; APD officers required to wear masks

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Sunday, April 5.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active. To get the latest information, check out Monday's 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 5 live blog.

Top Headlines:


9:50 p.m. Bastrop County reported 10 positive cases of COVID-19. 

9:30 p.m. - Gillespie County confirmed its third case of COVID-19. The person who was the third confirmed case is isolating at home, county officials said.

9 p.m. - Fayette County has confirmed 11 cases of COVID-19 as of April 5. One person has recovered.

7:30 p.m. - In response to the recently updated guidelines from the CDC, Capital Metro has begun distribution of masks for frontline staff, the organization announced. Masks will be given to all public-facing employees including bus, rail and paratransit operations, building and vehicle cleaning crews, building and vehicle maintenance, security, and administrative and contract staff not working remotely, according to CapMetro.

6:45 p.m. - Gov. Greg Abbott has temporarily waived certain regulations to expand the health care workforce to assist with Texas' COVID-19 response. Under this waiver, physician assistants (PA), medical physicists, perfusionists, and respiratory care candidates for licensure who have completed all other requirements may enter the workforce under an emergency license working under supervision prior to taking the final licensure examination. The governor's waiver also provides for emergency licensees to undergo name-based background checks in place of fingerprint checks while fingerprint checks are unavailable due to the crisis. 

6:20 p.m. - Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Austin-Travis County is recommending the of use fabric face coverings by the general public when conducting essential activities or essential business outside of their residence in order to further slow the spread of COVID-19.

"Everybody should be using fabric face coverings as the next step in the fight against the spread of Covid-19,” recommended Mayor Steve Adler. "They’re really easy to make and everybody has everything they need to make one lying around the house. It’s important, though, to absolutely still follow the six-foot rule."  

6 p.m. - Austin-Travis County reported 484 cases in the area. Six people have died in the county from COVID-19 as of April 5.

5 p.m. - In a video addressed to APD, Manley said surgical masks would be given to APD officers and they would be required to wear them while on duty. Other personal protection equipment, such as glasses acquired by the APA, would be optional to wear, Manley said. The surgical masks are not N95-grade and Manley said to continue to maintain social distancing practices. 

4:30 p.m. - A H-E-B employee at an Austin store tested positive for coronavirus, according to a release on the company's website. The grocery store's website said the employee worked at the East Riverside location: 2508 E. Riverside Drive.

"All directly affected Partners at the location have been notified and the store has been deep cleaned and sanitized multiple times since then and we continue to enforce proper social distancing practices," the release stated.

4 p.m. - The Hays County Local Health Department confirms there are 41 active lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Since Hays County first started reporting, a total of 54 lab-confirmed cases have been reported.

All cases reported so far have been adults. As of April 5, the Hays County Local Health Department has received 338 negative test results.

The breakdown of active cases by city as of April 5 is:

  • Austin (some Hays County addresses are Austin) – 1
  • Buda – 6
  • Dripping Springs – 1
  • Kyle – 18
  • San Marcos – 14
  • Wimberley – 1

As of April 5, Hays County said it has had 54 lab-confirmed cases, 41 of which are still active. Thirteen have recovered. According to the county, there have been seven total hospitalizations, with two still hospitalized.

1 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott issues message thanking Texas grocery store workers for their hard work. Hear the governor's message in the video below:

12:30 p.m.  Austin ISD announces that starting Monday, April 6, it will no longer distribute meals to parents or caregivers in order to focus resources on serving students, 19 years old and younger. Meals may still be provided to parents or caregivers, even when the child is not present, if they have one of the following:

  • Official letter/email from school that shows children as enrolled
  • Individual student report cards
  • Attendance record from Parent Portal of school website
  • Birth certificate for children not in school
  • Student ID cards

12 p.m. – Williamson County officials confirm the second COVID-19 death and 77 total positive cases.

On March 28, Williamson County officials confirmed the county's first COVID-19 death, a man in his 70s. On April 5, the county confirmed the second death, a man in his 50s.

The breakdown of cases by city as of April 5 is:

  • Austin: 9
  • Cedar Park: 11
  • Georgetown: 10
  • Hutto: 6
  • Leander: 10
  • Round Rock: 30
  • Other cities: 1

Williamson County said as of April 5, the county has had 30 recoveries. For more information about the county's cases, click here.

11:30 a.m. – The Mexic-Arte Museum reschedules "Taste of Mexico 2020" to Wednesday, Sept. 23. As September is Hispanic Heritage Month, the event will now be "Taste of Mexico: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month." Pre-sale tickets are on sale now.

10:40 a.m. – Capital Metro confirms the death of an employee. CapMetro said the cause of death has not been confirmed, but that the company was made aware earlier this week that the employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

CapMetro said the employee worked in the bus maintenance area and did not interact with the public. His last day on the job was March 16. 

In a statement, CapMetro said, "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. We ask our Central Texas community to honor our beloved colleague by staying home and using our service for essential trips only."

The company will not be releasing the name of the employee.

Major updates from Saturday, April 4:

  • Austin-Travis County confirms fifth and sixth COVID-19 deaths, 460 total cases. For a detailed breakdown of the cases, see the Austin-Travis County online dashboard.
  • Austin Public Health has launched an interactive map to guide people who are homeless to the nearest site for basic hygiene services, including showering, hand-washing and using the restroom.
  • Williamson County confirms 76 total cases in the county.

WATCH: How local Central Texas restaurants are feeding hospital workers amid coronavirus pandemic


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