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Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County reports 7 more deaths from COVID-19, 239 new cases

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Saturday, July 18.

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 July 18 live blog.

COVID-19 numbers:

  • Texas: More than 307,500 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 3,700 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 162,100 people have recovered.
  • Central Texas counties: 
    • Travis County: Over 17,400 cases have been reported and at least 203 people have died. At least 13,862 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Hays County: Over 3,800 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 17 people have died. At least 830 people have recovered from the virus.
    • Williamson County: More than 4,400 cases have been reported in the county and at least 70 people have died. More than 3,300 people have recovered from the virus.

Top headlines:

Updates:

11 p.m. – Austin restaurant Wu Chow said it will remain closed until Tuesday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant said the employee last worked on July 11 and is now under strict quarantine.

6:15 p.m. – Travis County reported another seven deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, as well as 239 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 17,454 cases and 203 deaths. At least 13,862 people have recovered from the virus.

Travis County has 466 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 151 in the ICU and 105 on ventilators.

4:10 p.m. – Williamson County reported three more deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total to 70. The victims were a man in his 60s, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 80s.

“Sadly, we have three more families that are mourning the loss of a loved one today due to COVID-19. We must all take preventative measures to protect our families, our neighbors, and our community. One of the most important things you can do is to wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth when you are in public and continue to keep about six feet of distance between yourself and others,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.

4 p.m. – Texas reported 130 more deaths statewide from COVID-19 on Saturday. Around 19.4% of all deaths in Texas have come in the past seven days.

The state also reported 10,158 new cases on Saturday – the fifth straight day over 10,000. On Friday, Texas accounted for 14% of all new cases reported nationwide.

On Saturday, Texas also hit a new high for hospitalizations at 10,658. The statewide positivity rate average fell to 16.05%.

10 a.m. – Austin Public Health and the City of Austin Equity Office are hosting a Facebook Live virtual forum to hear from the Black community about their concerns regarding COVID-19. 

Watch below:

8:15 a.m. – Teachers from across Texas will rally in Downtown Austin to protest against the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) plan to reopen schools. The teachers will drive around the Capitol and TEA headquarters at 17th Street and Congress Avenue. The rally starts at 11 a.m.

RELATED: Texas schools can stay online only for first 4 weeks, TEA says in new guidelines

8 a.m. – The Sobering Center will return to 24/7 operation starting on Monday, July 20. The facility gives people a place to stay and sober up, instead of having to go to a hospital or to jail. In May, the center reduced its hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The center is located at 12th and Sabine streets in Downtown Austin.

WATCH: No hazard pay for Austin first responders 

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE: