Coronavirus update in Austin, Central Texas: April 22, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas — 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 22 live blog.

Top Headlines:


1:30 p.m. – San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson ordered parks to remain closed until further notice. Hughson also issued a new public health advisory, strongly recommending San Marcos residents follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks in public.

Hughson said natural areas will remain open, but visitors must observe CDC recommendations for social distancing.

The following San Marcos parks remain closed until further notice:

San Marcos River parks: Rio Vista Park, City Park, Plaza Park, Veramendi Park, Bicentennial Park, Children’s Park, Crook Park, Veteran’s Memorial Park, Dog Beach, Capes Park, Thompson’s Island, Stokes Park, Ramon Lucio Park and Wildlife Annex/Wilderness ParkOther park facility closures: Children’s Park Playscape, City Park Playscape, all neighborhood park playscapes, neighborhood park basketball courts, Dog Park and Skate Park.Public restroom facilities and water fountains in all city parks and natural areas will remain closed until further notice.

These natural areas remain open, but visitors must keep at least 6 feet of distance and not gather in groups of more than five people:

Natural areas: Blanco Shoals Natural Area; Prospect Park Natural Area; Purgatory Creek Natural Area; Ring Tail Ridge Natural Area; Schulle Canyon Natural Area; Sessom Creek Natural Area; and Spring Lake Natural Area.

1 p.m. – Capital Metro said three bus drivers who tested positive for COVID-19 have since recovered and returned to work. There are no new cases of COVID-19 at CapMetro.

12:45 p.m. – Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative announced that its board of directors approved $4.2 million in capital credits and assistance for members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Credits will be returned to all of the member-owners of the cooperative. Starting in May, members will receive a credit on their electric bill for their share of $4.2 million, an increase of $500,000 from last year’s amount. 

Directors also approved assistance to nonprofit organizations that are part of Bluebonnet’s energy assistance program. Over 24 nonprofit organizations provide financial assistance for Bluebonnet’s members to help pay their electric bills.

12:30 p.m. – Williamson County announces nine new cases, bringing total to 167.

11 a.m. – Austin health leaders confirmed during a live interview that one nursing home has more than 35 residents and a “number of staff,” that have been infected with COVID-19. Officials did not release the name of the facility. When KVUE asked why Austin refuses to release information on locations of nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks, Dr. Mark Escott said personal health privacy laws in Texas laws prevent them from releasing that information.

RELATED: ‘We have to do better’: 1 nursing home has more than 35 residents with COVID-19, Austin leaders say after updating orders

10 a.m. – Austin health authority Dr. Mark Escott broke down the new guidelines set for nursing homes and other facilities. You can watch the full press conference on KVUE’s YouTube page:

9:20 a.m. – At 10 a.m., Austin health authority Dr. Mark Escott is scheduled to break down new guidelines that have been updated in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities. You can watch the press conference in the video above when it starts.

WATCH: Governor says nearly 481K jobs available amid COVID-19


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