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Texas reports record number of COVID-19 deaths, virus claims 4 more lives locally

Texas confirmed 313 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, eclipsing the previous one-day record of 197 reported a week ago and increasing the statewide toll from the virus to 6,190. (File)
Texas confirmed 313 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, eclipsing the previous one-day record of 197 reported a week ago and increasing the statewide toll from the virus to 6,190. (File)(WEAU)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 3:13 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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(KWTX) – Texas confirmed 313 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, eclipsing the previous one-day record of 197 reported a week ago and increasing the statewide toll from the virus to 6,190.

The virus also claimed the lives of an elderly Bell County resident and three more elderly McLennan County residents Wednesday, pushing the death toll in Central Texas to more than 90.

The total death toll jumped by 675 Monday, but only 44 of those were new deaths.

The Texas Department of State Health Services, rather than calculating the death toll using data from local health districts, is now basing the total on causes of death listed on death certificates and assigning deaths based on the county of residence.

Only deaths directly attributed to the virus are counted.

According to the revised count, 96 patients diagnosed with the virus in Central Texas have now died including 28 in Bell County, nine more than the local count of 19; two in Bosque County; five in Coryell County, one more than the local count; one in Falls County; one in Hamilton County, revised downward from two earlier; one in Hill County, revised downward from two earlier; one in Lampasas County; one in Leon County; three in Limestone County; 37 in McLennan County, five fewer than the local count of 42; four in Milam County; nine in Navarro County, revised downward from 11; and one in Robertson County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 9,042 cases of the virus Wednesday, increasing the total to 403,307.

Of that number, 145,771 cases were active and 252,346 patients have recovered.

The total count in Central Texas rose by 265 Wednesday to 10,430.

At least 9,595 patients were hospitalized statewide Wednesday.

In the two Trauma Service Regions that include most of Central Texas, at least 166 patients were hospitalized.

More than 3.5 million tests have been administered and the virus is present in all but four of the state’s 254 counties.

Nationwide, the death toll from the virus rose to more than 150,000 Wednesday

About 4.4 million cases have been confirmed

COVID-19 Information, Links and Resources

BELL COUNTY

Bell County reported 144 new cases of the virus Wednesday and an additional death, a man in his 80s who was a resident of the Indian Oaks Living Center in Harker Heights.

The county’s total now stands at 3,269.

The state report, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, which apparently didn’t include the late afternoon local update, rose by 89 to 3,231 Wednesday.

The total, however, includes “a large number...from earlier in the month,” Bell County Public Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said.

Fifty six of the 144 new cases are new, she said.

“We also added the batch of total cumulative tests from those drive through results which drove up our cumulative test number,” she said.

According to the state’s revised county Wednesday, 28 Bell County residents diagnosed with the virus have died.

The Bell County Health District’s report, however, listed a total of 19 deaths Wednesday.

Eighteen residents diagnosed with the virus died earlier including a Killeen man in his 50s in ICU died who died on April 8, a Temple man in his 60s in intensive care who died on April 6 who died on April 6, a Temple woman in her 80s who had been diagnosed with the virus died on March 26; woman in her 90s who was a resident of West Inn Nursing and Rehabilitation whose death was announced on May 30; a resident of Weston Inn Nursing and Rehabilitation whose death was announced on June 3; a woman in her 60s who was a resident of Weston Inn whose death was reported on June 9, a woman in her 70s who was transferred on June 1 from Weston Inn Nursing and Rehabilitation to Scott & White Medical Center died on June 14; two men in their 80s whose deaths were reported on June 17, both of whom were residents of Weston Inn Nursing & Rehabilitation in Temple; a man in his 60s whose was reported on June 19 who also was a former resident of Weston Inn; a woman in her 50s with underlying conditions whose death was reported on June 22; a man in his 90s who died on June 25; a Killeen woman in her 80s whose death was reported on June 29; a Bell County man in his 20s who died outside of the county whose death was reported on July 10; a Bell County man in his 70s whose death was reported on July 15; A Temple man in his 90s whose death was reported on July 17; a Killeen man in his 70s whose death was reported on July 17 and a Killeen woman in her 70s whose death was reported on July 19.

MCLENNAN COUNTY

McLennan County confirmed 84 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, raising the county’s total to 4,192.

Health officials also announced the deaths of three more residents diagnosed with the virus, a 75-year-old man, an 87-year-old woman and an 84-year-old woman.

The deaths raise the toll from the virus in the county to 42, based on local figures

The death toll, based on revised state data, stood at 37 Wednesday.

Sixty four patients were hospitalized on Wednesday, 15 of them on ventilators.

Forty nine are McLennan County residents.

The county is reporting 1,982 active cases and says 2,168 patients have recovered.

Of the latest confirmed cases, two involve residents younger than 1; four involve residents whose ages range from 1 to 10; nine involve residents whose ages range from 11 to 19; nine involve residents in their 20s; 22 involve residents in their 30s; 14 involve residents in their 40s; 10 involve residents in their 50s; two involve residents whose ages range from 60 to 64; five involve residents whose ages range from 60 to 69; three involve residents whose ages range from 70 to 74; two involve residents whose ages range from 75 to 79, and two involve residents who are 80 or older.

“What you are starting to see certainly we are coming off our peak. The positivity rate is slowing,” Waco City Manager Bradley Ford said during a virtual news conference Wednesday.

“A reduction in cases counts shouldn’t make you feel safe,” he added.

“Our hospitalizations and deaths have not told us we don’t need to let up” Ford

Outbreaks at 16 separate long-term care facilities account for 328 confirmed cases and 18 of the county’s 39 deaths, officials said

One McLennan County Jail inmate and two staff members have also tested positive, County Judge Scott Felton said.

Drive-thru testing, for which online registration is required, will be offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Toliver Chapel Missionary Baptist Church at 1402 Elm Ave. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 3 at McGregor High School at 9303 Bluebonnet Parkway.

Free COVID-19 testing with no registration required will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 at the Highlander Gym on the McLennan Community College Campus.

No more than 600 tests will be administered daily at each site.

“It is so important to get tested. It gets our positivity rate down and gives us a much better chance to control the virus,” McLennan County Medical Authority Dr. Farley Verner said during the news conference Wednesday.

On Tuesday evening, Verner rescinded an order he issued last week delaying the start of on-campus instruction and activities at public and private schools in the county until after Labor Day after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance that said local health officials don’t have the authority to order such a delay merely as a preventative measure.

The guidance was the latest example of the confusion that can result when state and federal officials put the responsibility for managing the outbreak on counties and cities and then later intercede with contradictory orders.

“It is confusing and maybe we they or all learn from our mistakes and figure out what is the best way to transmit information,” Felton said.

“I can’t say exactly what that is except being consistent primarily from the state. It started out state wanted locals to make decisions and they made it then the state changed it. And I’m not even getting to above the state level,” he said.

COVID-19 earlier claimed the lives of 39 McLennan County residents.

Among the first to die of the virus in the county were G.W. Carver Middle School Principal Phillip Perry, who died of complications from the virus on March 31; a 61-year old McLennan County man whom a neighbor found dead on April 8; a 69-year-old man who died on April 9 at a local hospital, and a 66-year-old resident whose death was announced on April 22.

The others include a 46-year-old man with no apparent underlying issues who died June 18 in a Waco hospital, a 44-year-old man who died on June 23 in a local hospital; a 53-year-old man who died on June 28 at a local hospital; an 89-year-old man who died on June 29 at a local hospital; an 87-year-old man who died June 29 at a local hospital; a 62-year-old woman and a 77-year-old man whose deaths were reported on July 4; a 71-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man whose deaths were reported on July 6; a 72-year-old man whose death was reported on July 8; a 41-year-old woman whose death was reported on July 9; a 93-year-old woman who died on July 11 at a local hospital; a 42-year-old woman who died July 12 at a local hospital; a 73-year-old man who died on July 13 at his home; an 87-year-old woman who died on July 14 at a local hospital; an 87-year-old woman who died late on July 15 at a local long term care facility; a 75-year-old man who died on July 16 at a local hospital; a 66-year-old man who died July 17 at a local hospital; a 69-year-old woman, whose death was reported on July 18; an 82-year-old woman whose death was reported on July 18; a 97-year-old woman whose death was reported on July 21, and a 43-year-old man and two 88-year-old men whose deaths were reported on July 22.

The county reported a single-day record of four deaths on July 23, a 52-year-old woman, a 70-year-old woman, a 97-year-old woman and an 83-year-old woman.

The county reported three more deaths on July 24, a 70-year-old woman, an 84-year-old woman and a 55-year old man, raising the death toll from the virus to 35, an increase of 13 since July 17.

The death of a 55-year-old woman was reported on July 27.

On July 28, the county reported three more deaths from the virus, a 72-year-old man, an 84-year-old man and a 91-year-old man.

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County reported a total of 356 cases on Wednesday, an increase of 28.

Of that number, 253 cases were active and 99 patients have recovered

The state’s report, which includes Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, rose by 10 to 585 with 395 recoveries.

The county’s death toll now stands at five, according to state data, but according to local data the virus has claimed four in the county including a Copperas Cove man in his 70s who died on April 9 at Advent Hospital in Killeen, to which he was admitted on April 2; a Copperas Cove man in his 60s who was diagnosed with the virus on April 5; a Copperas Cove man whose death was reported on July 8, and a Gatesville man in his 60s whose death was reported on July 12.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County’s total rose to 163 Wednesday, an increase of three

Ninety three patients have recovered.

A third resident has died, according to state data.

A Mexia woman in her late 50s to early 60s with underlying health conditions died on March 31 at Parkview Regional Hospital in Mexia after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County reported a total of 751 cases Wednesday, an increase of 17.

Of that number, 84 cases were active and 656 patients have recovered.

Ten patients were hospitalized Wednesday.

Eleven residents diagnosed with the virus have died in the county, according to local data, but the state’s revised count shows nine deaths in the county.

OTHER COUNTIES

According to the latest figures Wednesday Bosque County was reporting 111 cases including 35 who have recovered. Revised state data based on death certificates showed two deaths in the county.

Falls County had 106 cases with 51 recoveries Wednesday. Revised state figures show one resident has died.

Freestone County was reporting 138 cases with 66 recoveries.

Hamilton County was reporting 54 cases with 30 recoveries. The number of deaths in the county under the state’s revised formula dropped from two to one.

Hill County reported 300 cases Wednesday, an increase of four, with 133 recoveries. The number of deaths in the county under the state’s revised formula dropped from two to one.

Lampasas County reported 82 cases Wednesday with 36 recoveries. Revised state figures show one resident has died.

Leon County reported 135 cases Wednesday with 82 recoveries. Revised state figures show one resident has died.

Milam County reported 297 cases Wednesday with 253 recoveries. Local data showed two deaths, but the state report lists four.

Mills County reported 14 cases with six recoveries Wednesday.

Robertson County reported 212 cases Wednesday with 86 recoveries. Local figures showed no deaths, but the revised state data showed one. A total of 122 case are active, 90 patients have recovered and 10 patients were hospitalized Wednesday.

San Saba County reported 21 cases and nine recoveries Wednesday.

COVID-19 Information, Links and Resources

(Drake Lawson contributed to this story)

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