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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 9 more COVID-19 deaths, 603 new cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, July 21.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer active.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 21 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 332,400 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 4,000 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 177,800 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 18,300 cases have been reported and at least 218 people have died. At least 15,005 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 3,900 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 17 people have died. At least 880 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 4,800 cases have been reported in the county and at least 74 people have died. More than 3,700 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:


7:20 p.m. – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department said one more youth and one more youth development coach at the Giddings State School juvenile detention center have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 37 staff members and 75 youth have tested positive for the virus at Giddings since the start of the pandemic.

5:50 p.m. – Travis County reported another nine deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, as well as 603 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 18,394 cases with 218 deaths.

Travis County has 459 people hospitalized from the virus, with 153 in the ICU and 106 on ventilators.

5:10 p.m. – Hays County reports four new COVID-related fatalities, all residents of San Marcos. The county also reported 25 new cases, 57 more recoveries and one new hospitalization.

4:39 p.m. – As of July 21, Williamson County is reporting a total of 4,981 confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 115 people are currently hospitalized. Seventy-seven people have died from COVID-19 in Williamson County. At least 3,960 people have recovered. For more information about these cases, including age ranges and locations, click here.

4:25 p.m. – The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved agreements for "Wilco Forward Phase III" to provide rent and utility assistance to residents that are in need through partnerships with local nonprofits. Terms of agreement were approved between Williamson County and The Caring Place, The Salvation Army and the Round Rock Serving Center. Phase III is funded with $5 million from a combination of Community Development Block Grant funds and the approximately $93 million the County received in federal CARES Act funds. 

“Now that we have assisted thousands of small businesses in our community, it is important to turn our attention to supporting the residents in Williamson County that have been dealing with the financial burdens COVID-19 has caused. We hope this assistance gives those in need some relief,” said Williamson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey. 

4:20 p.m. – In a joint statement, Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare said the 2,473 staffed beds within all three health care systems are 75% occupied. The 483 ICU beds are 83% occupied.

4 p.m. – Austin ISD will provide free produce boxes to families at AISD curbside meal sites beginning on Wednesday. The boxes will feature locally grown produce and will be available at no cost to families with kids under the age of 19. The free produce box distribution program is made possible by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

The boxes will be available at each curbside meal site one time in July or August. Boxes can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the following days at the specified locations, while supplies last:

  • Wednesday, July 22: Burnet Middle School, Dobie Middle School, Padron Elementary School and T.A. Brown Elementary School
  • Wednesday, July 29: Akins Early College High School, Crockett Early College High School, Dawson Elementary School and Pleasant Hill Elementary School
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5: Anderson High School, Eastside Memorial Early College High School, LBJ Early College High SChool, Blanton Elementary SChool and Blackshear Elementary School
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12: Travis Early College High School, Govalle Elementary School, Oak Hill Elementary School, Perez Elementary School and Uphaus Early Childhood Center

Boxes may be accepted by the children, or they will be provided to the adults accompanying children or with documentation of the children they are picking meals up for.

1:40 p.m. – The City of Austin announces a $17 million rental assistance program for residents impacted by COVID-19. Click here for more information.

12:45 p.m. – UIL releases an updated schedule for 2020 fall sports in Texas. 1A through 4A schools will start on time. 5A and 6A schools with football will be allowed to practice on Sept. 7 and hold games on Sept. 24.

12:40 p.m. – During a Travis County Commissioners meeting, Dr. Mark Escott said the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Austin area are on a downward trend, but the community needs to continue using protective measures.

11:30 a.m. – There have not been any mask citations filed at the Austin Municipal Court during the time period from July 3 to July 20, according to officials.

WATCH: Mayor Ader talks COVID-19 and schools on Daybreak ATX