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Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Central Texas increase to more than 20,000

The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Central Texas since the virus first appeared in the region rose to more than 20,000 Thursday. (File)
The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Central Texas since the virus first appeared in the region rose to more than 20,000 Thursday. (File)(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 6:47 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Central Texas since the virus first appeared in the region rose to 20,056 Thursday with the addition of 177 new cases, more than 90 of them in McLennan County.

Additional deaths were reported Thursday in Bell, Hill and Limestone counties.

According to state data Thursday at least 289 area residents diagnosed with the virus have now died, including 84 Bell County residents, three more than the local count of 81; six Bosque County residents; 12 Coryell County residents, two more than the local count of 10; five Falls County residents; two Freestone County residents; four Hamilton County residents; 14 Hill County residents; eight Lampasas County residents; six Leon County residents; 12 Limestone County residents; 101 McLennan County residents, two more than the local count of 99; six Milam County residents, one fewer than the state count of five; 26 Navarro County residents, six fewer than the local count of 32; and three Robertson County residents.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 138 more deaths, raising the statewide death toll to 15,267.

Texas reported 3,840 new cases of the virus Thursday, increasing the state total to 723,919.

Of the total, 66,483 cases were active and 642,169 patients have recovered.

At least 3,204 patients were hospitalized Thursday, up slightly from Wednesday, and in the two Trauma Service Areas that include most of Central Texas, at least 95 were hospitalized, the same as on Wednesday.

More than 5.8 million tests have been administered statewide.

The Lab Test Reported Date clinical positivity rate rose to 8.63% Thursday from 7.75% Wednesday.

Only two of the state’s 254 counties are still free of the virus.

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

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

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 is now available.

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District Thursday reported 22 additional cases of the virus, raising the county’s total to 5,320.

Of the total, 261 cases were active Thursday and 4,978 patients have recovered.

The county reported 81 deaths Thursday, an increase of two.

State data showed 84 deaths.

The state count, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, rose by 33 Thursday to 5,404.

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

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

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 63 confirmed cases involving staff and 20 involving students since March 16. One active case involving an employee was reported Thursday at Cedar Valley Elementary School; one active case involving an employee was reported at Hay Branch Elementary; two active cases involving students were reported at Peebles Elementary School; one case involving an employee was reported at Sugar Loaf Elementary School; one case involving a student was reported at Venable Village Elementary School; one active case involving a student was reported at Willow Springs Elementary School; one active case involving an employee was reported at Audie Murphy Middle School, one active case involving a student was reported at Charles Patterson Middle School; one case involving an employee was reported at Palo Alto Middle School; two cases involving employees were reported at Rancier Middle School; one case involving a student was reported at Smith Middle School; one active case involving an employee and two involving students were reported at Union Grove Middle School, and two active cases involving students were reported at Shoemaker High School.

The Killeen ISD has received Texas Education Agency approval for its plan to provide asynchronous virtual learning for students who requested it during the school year. The plan is available online. Asynchronous virtual learning involves the use of prerecorded or pre-produced modules rather that real-time live instruction.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard showed 10 confirmed cases Wednesday including six at Temple High School, one at Lamar Middle School; three at Kennedy-Powell Elementary

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard showed one confirmed case Wednesday at Belton Early Childhood School, one confirmed case at North Belton Middle School and two at Belton High School.

A drive-thru state testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Saturday from Sept. 28 through Oct. 10 at the Killeen Special Events Center at 3301 South WS Young Dr.

Tests are free, but online registration is required.

Results should be provided by text or email within 48 to 96 hours.

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 91 new cases of the virus Thursday, increasing the county’s total to 7,870.

Of the total, 466 cases were active and 7,305 patients have recovered.

Forty eight patients were hospitalized Thursday, 15 of them on ventilators

Of the 48, 34 are McLennan County residents.

The new cases include eight residents who range in age from 1 to 10; four who range in age from 11 to 17; 22 who range in age from 18 to 25; five who range in age from 26 to 29; 13 residents in their 30s; 15 residents in their 40s; 14 residents in their 50s; eight residents in their 60s, and two residents in their 70s.

The virus has claimed 99 lives in the county, according to local data.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 75 active cases Thursday, 71 of them involving students and 34 new cases in the past seven days for a positivity rate of 2.4%.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Thursday showed one active case involving an employee and 14 involving students. A total of 77 cases have been confirmed in the last three weeks, including 12 involving employees or visitors and 65 involving students.

The Waco ISD dashboard Thursday showed nine cumulative cases involving students, nine involving staff and two more identified as “other.” Eight cases have been confirmed this week districtwide including two at Bell’s Hill Elementary School, two at Kendrick Elementary School, two at Lake Air Montessori School; one at Cesar Chavez Middle School, and one at a non-campus facility.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed two active cases involving employees at Spring Valley Elementary School; one active case involving a student at Midway Middle School, and three active cases involving students at Midway High School.

Parents of Robinson Elementary School students were advised Thursday in a message from the school’s principal that a staff member last on campus on Sept. 22 and went home before school started on Sept, 23 has tested positive for COVID-19.

Free COVID-19 testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Waco Multipurpose Facility at 1020 Elm Ave. in Waco for which no registration is required; 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, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct 8 through Oct. 10 at the First Baptist Church at 307 Center St. in Lorena for which online registration is required.

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coyrell County was still reporting a total of 649 cases Thursday, of which 160 were active.

A total of 479 patients have recovered.

State data, which include Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, showed 1,818 cases with 1,534 recoveries.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday was reporting 16 active cases involving inmates and 37 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville where 247 inmates were on medical restriction and 17 were isolated; 11 cases involving inmates and 65 involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 318 inmates were medically restricted and 13 were medically isolated; four cases involving employees at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville; seven cases involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville where 99 inmates were medically restricted, and one case involving an inmate and four cases involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville where 40 inmates were on medical restriction and one inmate was medically isolated

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

Friday night’s game between Gatesville and Lampasas has been canceled because of “COVID-19 concerns among Lampasas High School players,” the two districts said in social media posts. Thursday night’s JV game between Gatesville and Lampasas was also cancelled. Gatesville coaches were searching for another team to play Friday. Junior high school games at Lampasas and volleyball games Friday night at Lampasas are still scheduled to be played.

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.

Free testing is available from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday 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.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County reported 564 confirmed cases Thursday.

Of the total, 466 patients have recovered.

State data Thursday showed an 12th death in the county.

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.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County reported 1,274 confirmed and 372 probable cases Thursday for a total of 1,646.

Of the total 167 cases were active and 1,447 patients have recovered.

The county was reporting 32 deaths Thursday.

State data, based on birth certificates and county of residence, showed 26 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

According to the latest figures Thursday Bosque County was reporting 314 cases, an increase of seven, and 220 recoveries. Revised state data based on death certificates showed six deaths in the county.

Falls County had 234 confirmed cases, an increase of seven, and 168 recoveries Thursday. State data showed five deaths from the virus. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported five cases involving employees at the William P. Hobby Unit in Marlin where 476 inmates were on medical restriction and 21 were isolated. Eleven inmates were restricted at the Marlin Transfer Facility. Marlin Middle School and Marlin High School shifted shift to remote instruction from Thursday through Friday out of an abundance of caution after six COVID-19 cases were confirmed at the middle school and seven at the high school. The schools will be deep cleaned. Students must log into Google Classroom daily. Students return to classrooms on Monday.

Freestone County was reporting 404 cases Thursday. Of the total, 349 patients have recovered. One case involving an inmate and one involving an employee were reported Thursday at the William R. Boyd Unit in Teague where 226 inmates were on medical restriction and two were medically isolated.. The county reported its first death from the virus on Aug. 31 and a second death was reported on Sept. 21.

Hamilton County was reporting 124 confirmed cases Thursday. A total of 100 patients have recovered. Four residents have died of the virus, according to state data.

Hill County reported a total of 645 cases Thursday, an increase of four, with 372 recoveries. A 14th resident diagnosed with the virus has died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed two active cases involving students at its Hillsboro campus. In the Hillsboro ISD one student at Hillsboro Elementary School had an active case of the virus Thursday.

Lampasas County was reporting 245 cases Thursday, an increase of two, with 165 recoveries. Eight residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data. Friday night’s game between Gatesville and Lampasas has been canceled because of “COVID-19 concerns among Lampasas High School players,” the two districts said in social media posts. Thursday night’s JV game between Gatesville and Lampasas was also cancelled. Gatesville coaches were searching for another team to play Friday. Junior high school games at Lampasas and volleyball games Friday night at Lampasas are still scheduled to be played. The 2020 Wine Celebration (Tour) scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the Lampasas Chamber of Commerce announced Monday.

Leon County reported 238 confirmed cases, an increase of three, with 193 recoveries Thursday. The virus has claimed six lives in the county, according to state data.

Milam County reported 488 cases Thursday, 14 of which were active. A total of 468 patients have recovered. The county was reporting six deaths Thursday.

Mills County reported 59 cases with 38 recoveries Thursday.

Robertson County had 321 confirmed cases Thursday. Of that number, 58 cases were active and 260 patients have recovered. The virus has claimed three lives in the county. The Hearne Police Department’s annual Trunk or Treat Halloween event has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.

San Saba County reported 54 cases and 40 recoveries Thursday.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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