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COVID-19 claims 7 more lives in Central Texas including man, 102

Seven more Central Texas residents diagnosed with the new coronavirus have died including a 102-year-old woman, increasing the region’s death toll to more than 270 while the statewide toll rose to more than 14,700. (File)
Seven more Central Texas residents diagnosed with the new coronavirus have died including a 102-year-old woman, increasing the region’s death toll to more than 270 while the statewide toll rose to more than 14,700. (File)(KGNS)
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 4:03 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2020 at 5:11 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - Seven more Central Texas residents diagnosed with the new coronavirus have died including a 102-year-old McLennan County man, increasing the region’s death toll to more than 270 while the statewide toll rose to more than 14,700.

McLennan County reported five additional deaths Friday while state data showed additional deaths in Bell and Falls counties, as well.

According to state data Friday at least 272 area residents diagnosed with the virus have now died, including 78 Bell County residents, one more than the local count; six Bosque County residents; 12 Coryell County residents, two more than the local count of 10; five Falls County residents; one Freestone County resident; four Hamilton County residents; 13 Hill County residents; eight Lampasas County residents; five Leon County residents; 10 Limestone County residents; 95 McLennan County residents, two fewer than the local count of 97; five Milam County residents; 24 Navarro County residents, seven fewer than the local count of 31; and four Robertson County residents.

The statewide death toll increased by 123 Friday to 14,713 while 3,978 new cases of the virus were reported, increasing the state’s total to 682,241.

Of the total 66,866 cases were active Friday and 600,662 patients have recovered.

At least 3,172 patients were hospitalized Friday in Texas, about 80 fewer than on Thursday, while hospitalizations in the two Trauma Service Areas that include most of Central Texas remained steady at about 75.

More than 5.4 million tests have been administered statewide and the positivity rate was 7.94% according to lab test reported date data, an almost 1% decrease.

Three Texas counties still remain free of the virus.

Restaurants, businesses, manufacturing facilities, museums and libraries may begin to operate at 75% capacity Monday in Central Texas, but bars must remain closed under new guidelines Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday. Hospitals in the region may resume elective procedures, as well.

The reopening guidelines announced Thursday are predicated on hospitalizations in each of the 22 Trauma Service Areas in the state. The regions that include Freestone, Leon, Navarro and San Saba counties also have rates below 15%. Just three regions, Laredo, Victoria and the Lower Rio Grande Valley, have rates higher than 15%.

Nursing homes, assisted living centers and State Supported Living Centers in areas where COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15% may reopen for visitation with certain health protocols in place effective Sept. 24.

The total number of patients hospitalized

The Texas Education Agency and the state Department of State Health Services have created a website that provides an overview of COVID-19 cases in public schools. District level data will be available starting on Sept. 23.

BELL COUNTY

Bell County reported just 11 additional cases Friday, increasing the county’s total to 5,200.

Of the total 269 cases were active and 4,854 patients have recovered.

The state count, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, increased by 40 Friday to 5,295.

Bell County’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 77 deaths Friday, one fewer than the state count of 78.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard showed 40 active cases Friday and 38 closed cases.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Friday was still reporting seven positive tests involving students and four involving faculty and staff since March.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Friday showed 55 confirmed cases involving staff and 10 involving students since March 16. One active case involving a staff member was reported at Cedar Valley Elementary; one involving a student was reported at Fowler Elementary; two involving employees were reported at Harker Heights Elementary; one involving a staff member was reported at Reeces Creek Elementary; one involving a student was reported at Trimmier Elementary; one involving an employee and one involving a student was reported at Venable Village Elementary; one involving a student was reported at West Ward Elementary; one involving a student was reported at Live Oak Ridge Middle School; one involving a student was reported at Smith Middle School; one involving an employee was reported at Harker Heights High School, two involving students were reported at Killeen High School, and one involving a staff member was reported at a non-campus building.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard showed no confirmed cases Friday.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard showed three confirmed cases at North Belton Middle School and two at South Belton Middle school Friday.

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 92 additional cases of the virus Friday, raising the county’s total to 7,428.

Of the total, 456 cases were active Friday and 6,857 patients have recovered.

Health officials also reported the deaths of five more residents diagnosed with the virus including two 81-year-old men, a 73-year-old woman, a 78-year-old woman and a 102-year-old man, increasing the virus' toll in the county to 97.

Forty four patients were hospitalized Friday, five more than on Thursday, and 10 were on ventilators.

Thirty eight of the 44 are McLennan County residents.

The most recent cases include two residents whose ages range from 1 to 10; 11 who range in age from 11 to 17; 20 who range in age from 18 to 25; three who range in age from 26 to 29; 11 in their 30s; 10 in their 40s; 11 in their 50s; 12 in their 60s; four in their 70s, and eight who are 80 or older.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 118 active cases Friday, an increase of 18, and a total of 994 confirmed cases since Aug. 1. Over the past seven days, 52 cases have been confirmed for a clinical positivity rate of 5.2%

The Baylor-Houston game scheduled for kickoff at 11 a.m. Saturday was canceled Friday after Baylor failed to meet Big 12 COVID-19 cancellations.

The first meeting between the two teams since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1995 was scheduled after the team against which Baylor was originally scheduled to open, Louisiana Tech, bailed out because of positive player COVID-19 tests.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Friday showed 12 cumulative cases involving employees or visitors and 47 involving students since Aug. 31 and seven active cases.

The Waco ISD dashboard Friday showed three cumulative cases at Kendrick Elementary School; one case at Lake Air Montessori School; and one at University High School and one at Waco High School. University High School announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that its scrimmage Friday night against Waco High School won’t be open to the public.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Friday showed four active cases involving students at Midway High School; one involving a student at South Bosque Elementary School; two involving students at Hewitt Elementary School; two involving staff members at Spring Valley Elementary School; one involving a student and another involving a staff member at River Valley Intermediate School; and one involving a student at Midway Middle School.

A major event in October in Central Texas involving what would have been the first full and half Ironman races on the same weekend in the same venue in North America was canceled Friday. The Ironman Texas triathlon was to have taken place on Oct. 17 followed by the Bicycle World Texas Ironman 70.3 just hours later on Oct. 18, but organizers announced Friday the races have been canceled after “further conversations with and direction from local Waco authorities in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Waco-based Heart of Texas MHMR Center has created a web page through which area residents may access the #TexansRecoveringTogether Crisis Counseling Program, which “uses a strength-based, outreach approach that utilizes crisis counselors to meet individuals or groups in non-traditional, and virtual, settings in the community to promote resilience, empowerment and recovery.”

Free COVID-19 testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24 to Sept. 26 at the Waco Multipurpose Facility at 1020 Elm Ave. in Waco for which no registration is required; and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 2 and Waco Fire Station No. 5 at 4515 Bagby Ave. for which online registration is required.

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County reported a total of 633 confirmed cases of the virus Friday, an increase of four.

Of the total 150 cases were active and 473 patients have recovered.

State data, which include Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, showed 1,789 active cases and 1,282 recoveries.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday was reporting 228 active cases involving inmates and 38 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville where 797 inmates were on medical restriction and 229 were isolated; 15 cases involving inmates and 65 involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 1,072 inmates were medically restricted and 19 were medically isolated; five cases involving employees at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville where 53 inmates were on medical restriction and one was isolated; eight cases involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville, and one case involving an inmate and four cases involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville where one inmate was medically isolated

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard showed one case involving a student and one involving a staff member at Williams/Ledger Elementary, and one case involving a staff member at Clements/Parsons Elementary School

Twelve people have died in Coryell County, according to state data, but according to local data the virus has claimed 10 lives 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.'

A free mobile test site will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Copperas Cove Fire Department at 415 South Main St. Register online. Free testing is also available from noon to 8 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Civic Center at 301 Veterans Memorial Dr. in Gatesville. ID is required.

The Cove House Free Clinic at 806 West Avenue D, Suite H, is offering free COVID-19 testing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Appointments are required and may be made by calling (254) 289-9865.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County reported seven additional cases Friday for a total of 549.

Of the total, 424 patients have recovered.

Ten residents diagnosed with the virus have died.

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

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County was still reporting 1,217 confirmed cases and 313 probable cases of the virus Thursday for a total of 1,530.

Of the total, 120 cases were active and 1,379 patients have recovered.

Eight patients were hospitalized.

The county is reporting 31 deaths from the virus, but state data, based on death certificates and county of residence, showed 24 deaths.

OTHER COUNTIES

According to the latest figures Friday Bosque County was reporting 286 cases, an increase of 10, and 217 recoveries. Revised state data based on death certificates showed six deaths in the county.

Falls County had 217 confirmed cases, an increase of 11, and 162 recoveries Friday. State data showed a fifth death from the virus. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday reported two cases involving employees at the William P. Hobby Unit in Marlin where 124 inmates were on medical restriction. Eleven inmates were restricted at the Marlin Transfer Facility. Rosebud-Lott High School’s game Friday night against Johnson City has been canceled because of the virus.

Freestone County was reporting 403 cases Friday. Of the total, 346 patients have recovered. One case involving an employee was reported Friday at the William R. Boyd Unit in Teague where 69 inmates were on medical restriction. The county reported its first death from the virus on Aug. 31.

Hamilton County was reporting 112 confirmed cases Friday. A total of 99 patients have recovered. Four residents have died of the virus, according to state data.

Hill County reported a total of 599 cases Friday, an increase of 14, with 363 recoveries. Thirteen residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed one active cases involving a student at its Hillsboro campus. Ten students and four staff members in the Hillsboro ISD have confirmed cases of the virus including three students and three staff members at Hillsboro Elementary School; six students at Hillsboro Intermediate School, one student at Hillsboro Junior High School, and one staff member at Hillsboro High School.

Lampasas County was reporting 222 cases Friday, an increase of three, with 146 recoveries. Eight residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data. Football games between China Spring and Lampasas have been canceled because of the virus. The China Spring Middle School team was to have played Lampasas Thursday at home, the JV team was to have played Thursday in Lampasas and the varsity team was to have played Lampasas Friday night at home. Parents who purchased tickets will be reimbursed. The 2020 Wine Celebration (Tour) scheduled for Sept. 26 has been canceled, the Lampasas Chamber of Commerce announced Friday.

Leon County reported 227 confirmed cases, an increase of one, with 190 recoveries Friday. The virus has claimed five lives in the county, according to state data.

Milam County reported 479 cases Friday, an increase of one, 18 of which were active. A total of 456 patients have recovered. Five have died. Cameron High School’s game Friday night against Lexington was canceled.

Mills County reported 51 cases with 33 recoveries Friday.

Robertson County had 290 confirmed cases Friday, an increase of five. Of that number, 245 patients have recovered. State data showed four deaths.

San Saba County reported 46 cases and 36 recoveries Friday. The TDCJ reported one case involving an employee of the San Saba Transfer Facility.

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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