Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Thursday, May 21.
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 May 21 live blog.
Texas: More than 51,000 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 1,400 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The department estimates more than 30,300 people have recovered from the virus.Central Texas counties: Travis County: More than 2,600 cases have been reported and at least 82 people have died. More than 920 people have recovered from the virus.Williamson County: More than 510 cases have been reported and at least 20 people have died. More than 280 people have recovered from the virus.Hays County: There have been at least 250 cases reported in the county and at least three people have died. Around 155 people have recovered from the virus.
2:15 p.m. – Gov. Abbott has directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to expand COVID-19 testing to cover all patients, residents and staff at state-operated inpatient psychiatric hospitals and living centers. This affects 23 facilities.
According to the governor’s office, 161 patients and residents have tested positive for COVID-19 as of May 20. 107 of those residents have reportedly recovered from the virus.
1:20 p.m. – Gov. Abbott has lifted all mandatory 14-day self-quarantine restrictions for travelers arriving in Texas from Washington, California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Miami in a new executive order. The restrictions are lifted immediately.
RELATED: Texas DPS troopers are enforcing Gov. Abbott’s travel rules
12:50 p.m. – Williamson County announces seven new cases and 12 new recoveries. A total of 520 cases have now been confirmed, with 292 recoveries now reported.
RELATED: LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county
12:30 p.m. – Gov. Greg Abbott announces that the Texas Department of Public Safety will begin a phased reopening of driver’s license offices starting on May 26 with limited offerings by appointment only.
As a part of this plan, the DPS will launch a statewide appointment system that allows appointments to be made six months in advance.
“This phased opening of our driver license offices and the launch of DPS’ online appointment system prioritizes the health and safety of our communities and ensures Texans have access to the services they need at their local driver license offices,” said Gov. Abbott. “I thank DPS for developing this safe and strategic plan to open their offices and for launching a new appointment system to streamline our driver license services.”
The four-phase plan is as follows:
Phase 1: Offices in DPS’ Northwest and West Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning May 26, 2020. Customers who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a driving test, can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 22 at 1 p.m.Phase 2: Offices in DPS’ South and Central Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning May 29, 2020. Customers who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a driving test, can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 26 at 1 p.m.Phase 3: Offices in DPS’ North and Southeast Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning June 3, 2020. Customers who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a driving test, can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 29 at 1 p.m.Phase 4 will allow customers to schedule an appointment for all DL office transactions anywhere in the state and is expected to begin midsummer. DPS will announce details on this phase at a later date. Extension for expiration dates will remain in effect until phase 4 is implemented.
11:45 p.m. – Austin ISD announces that it will continue to serve meals to children under the age of 19 throughout the summer at 70 different locations.
Breakfast and lunch will be offered Monday through Friday at curbside and bus stop meal sites. Weekend meal packs will be served on Fridays, providing breakfast and lunch for Saturday and Sunday.
Starting on June 1, curbside meal sites will be open at an earlier time, moving service to 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. Adjustments will also be made for the bus stop meal delivery schedule.
Meals will not be served while the district is closed from July 6 through 10.
For more information, click here.
10:15 a.m. – CapMetro announced its free fare period will be coming to an end on May 31, and fares will resume starting June 1. In addition, CapMetro introduced its Workforce Aid Pass, a program that will offer fare-free service to anyone who is experiencing unemployment for the month of June.
6:10 a.m. – The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute 28-pound boxes of food and hygiene products at Del Valle High School Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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