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5 more COVID-19 deaths reported in Central Texas, total cases near 20,700

Ordered capacity rollback in 5 area counties apparently in limbo
Five more COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday in Central Texas as the total number of confirmed cases approaches 20,700, and the status of an ordered rollback in business and restaurant capacity in five area counties apparently remains in limbo. (File)
Five more COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday in Central Texas as the total number of confirmed cases approaches 20,700, and the status of an ordered rollback in business and restaurant capacity in five area counties apparently remains in limbo. (File)
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:04 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2020 at 11:36 AM CDT
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(KWTX) - Five more COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday in Central Texas as the total number of confirmed cases in the region rose by 233 to 20,678, and the status of an ordered rollback in business and restaurant capacity in five area counties apparently remains in limbo.

McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties were ordered to roll back business and restaurant capacity from 75% to 50% effective Sunday after the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Trauma Service Area to which they’re assigned rose to more than 15% of total hospitalizations.

An executive order Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 allowed businesses and restaurants to expand operating capacity to 75% provided they are in Trauma Service Areas where the percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is 15% or less for seven consecutive days.

Elective surgeries would also have to be discontinued under the provisions of the Sept. 17 order.

The number of COVID-19 patients as a percentage of total hospitalizations dropped from almost 17% to about 12% Tuesday in the Trauma Service Area that includes the five counties, but the counties are still listed among almost 20 Texas counties in which rollbacks were ordered.

“Our numbers show something different. We aren’t saying the state numbers are wrong,” McLennan County Judge Scott Felton said Tuesday.

“We are trying to audit our numbers and show those to the state.”

The patient numbers are provided by the hospitals, a Texas Department of State Health Services representative said.

“If those numbers are being reported incorrectly, we’d happy to work with hospitals to ensure the issue is corrected.”

New deaths were reported Tuesday in McLennan, Limestone and Milam counties.

The death toll in Central Texas may be as high as 305, but according to state data Tuesday at least 296 area residents diagnosed with the virus have now died, including 85 Bell County residents, three more than the local count of 82; 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; 14 Limestone County residents; 104 McLennan County residents, seven fewer than the local count of 122; seven Milam County residents, one fewer than the state count of six; 27 Navarro County residents, six fewer than the local count of 33; and three Robertson County residents.

The statewide death toll rose by 71 to 15,604 Tuesday while the total number of confirmed cases increased by 3,812 to 743,284.

Of the total, 68,032 cases were active Tuesday and 661,038 patients have recovered.

Statewide, at least 3,251 patients were hospitalized Tuesday, an increase of 50.

About 6.2 million tests have been administered statewide.

The Lab Test Reported Date clinical positivity rate rose slightly to 8.66% Tuesday.

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

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District reported 17 additional cases Tuesday for a total of 5,445.

Of the total 327 cases were active Tuesday, 5,036 patients have recovered and 82 have died, according to local data.

The state count, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post showed 5,534 cases, an increase of 61, and 85 deaths.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Tuesday showed 28 current cases and 75 closed cases.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Tuesday was reporting that seven students and four employees have tested positive since March. So far this week, no cases have been confirmed.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed a total of 28 cases involving students and 68 involving employees have been confirmed since March 16. On Tuesday one active case involving a student was reported at Fowler Elementary School; one involving an employee and one involving a student were reported at Hay Branch Elementary School; one case involving an employee and one involving a student were reported at Meadows Elementary School; one case involving a student was reported at Montague Village Elementary School; two cases involving employees were reported at Sugar Loaf Elementary School; one case involving a student was reported at Willow Springs Elementary School; one case involving a student and one involving an employee were reported at Nolan Middle School; one case involving an employee was reported at Rancier Middle School; one case involving a student was reported at Smith Middle School; one case involving an employee and one involving a student were reported at Union Grove Middle School; one case involving a student was reported at Harker Heights High School; one case involving an employee and one involving a student were reported at Killeen High School, and one case involving an employee was reported at Shoemaker High School

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard showed six cases Tuesday including five at Temple High School and one at Kennedy-Powell Elementary

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed one case at Sparta Elementary School, one at Belton Middle School, one at South Belton Middle School and four at Belton High School.

Temple police and firefighters plan to take part in National Night Out celebrations on Oct. 6 while following health and safety guidelines amid the pandemic. Neighborhoods where more than 10 residents plan to gather must submit applications no later than seven days before the event.

A drive-thru state testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday 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.

The Central Texas Food Bank announced Monday it will distribute food from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 17 at Temple College.

The Killeen ISD will serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students on all campuses on scheduled school days not including holidays or weekends beginning Oct. 5 through Dec. 18, funded through U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers as part of the Coronavirus Relief Act. Students may go through cafeteria lines to receive free meals and virtual learners may continue to pick up meals without any documentation provided children are present. If the USDA discontinues the waiver before Dec. 18, the district will notify parents. Normal meal prices resume at the start of the spring term in January.

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported three more deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday, a 95-year-old man, a 49-year-old man, and a 58-year-old woman.

The county’s death toll now stands at 111, according to local data.

State data based on death certificates and county of residence showed 104 deaths in the county.

County health officials have reported 13 deaths since Sept. 22, when the death toll, according to local data, was 98.

The county also reported 61 additional cases of the virus Tuesday, raising the county’s total to 8,122.

Of the total. 437 cases were active Tuesday and 7,574 patients have recovered.

Forty five patients were hospitalized Tuesday, 13 on ventilators.

The latest cases include five residents whose ages range from 1 to 10; three whose ages range from 11 to 17; 18 whose ages range from 18 to 25; four whose ages range from 26 to 29; 10 residents in their 30s; 11 residents in their 40s; four residents in their 50s; four residents in their 60s, and three residents in their 70s.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 56 active cases Tuesday, an increase of nine and 999 total cases since Aug. 1, an increase of 18. Over the past seven days, 30 cases have been confirmed for a seven-day positivity rate of 1.8%.

The McLennan Community College dashboard showed 19 active cases Tuesday, 18 of which involved students, and a total of 93 confirmed cases in the past three weeks, 80 of which involved students.

The Waco ISD dashboard Tuesday showed 16 cumulative cases involving students, 13 involving staff and three involving individuals classified as “other.” So far this week, one case has been confirmed at Alta Vista Elementary School, one case has been confirmed at Bell’s Hill Elementary School, one case has been confirmed at Lake Air Montessori School, one case has been confirmed at G.W. Carver Middle School, one case has been confirmed at Tennyson Middle School and two cases have been confirmed at University High School.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed one case involving a staff member at South Bosque Elementary School, two involving staff members at Spring Valley Elementary School; three cases involving students and one involving a staff member at Midway Middle School; three cases involving students and one involving an employee at Midway High School, and one case involving an employee at a non-campus building.

The Central Texas Food Bank announced Monday it will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 1 at Waco ISD Stadium.

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coyrell County reported 674 cases Tuesday, an increase of five.

Of the total 112 cases were active and 552 patients have recovered.

State data, which include Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, showed 1,824 cases with 552 recoveries.

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.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday was reporting 19 active cases involving inmates and 33 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville where 179 inmates were on medical restriction and 21 were isolated; four cases involving inmates and 47 involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 91 inmates were medically restricted and four were medically isolated; four cases involving employees at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville; two cases involving inmates and five cases involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville where 99 inmates were medically restricted and two were medically isolated, and one case involving an inmate and four cases involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville where 71 inmates were on medical restriction and two inmates were medically isolated.

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

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 572 cases Tuesday.

Of the total, 483 patients have recovered.

State data showed a 14th death Tuesday.

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 1,303 confirmed and 396 probable cases Tuesday for a total of 1,699.

Of the total 156 cases were active and 1,510 patients have recovered.

The county is reporting 33 deaths from the virus.

State data, based on birth certificates and county of residence, showed 27 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

According to the latest figures Tuesday Bosque County was reporting 335 cases and 247 recoveries. Revised state data based on death certificates showed six deaths in the county.

Falls County had 282 confirmed cases Tuesday. Of the total, 176 patients have recovered. State data showed five deaths from the virus. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported 18 cases involving inmates and eight cases involving employees at the William P. Hobby Unit in Marlin where 551 inmates were on medical restriction and 18 were isolated. Marlin High School students returned to the classroom Monday after three days of remote learning, but Marlin Middle School students will remain at home until Oct. 5 after two more positive cases involving staff and two more involving students were reported.

Freestone County was reporting 414 cases Tuesday. Of the total, 389 patients have recovered. Two cases involving inmates were reported Tuesday at the William R. Boyd Unit in Teague where 144 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. Teague city and police officials say they’ve decided to postpone National Night Out events, but are considering another date when the “community can come together without concerns for health and safety matters.”

Hamilton County was reporting 144 confirmed cases Tuesday. A total of 102 patients have recovered. Four residents have died of the virus, according to state data.

Hill County reported a total of 670 cases Tuesday, an increase of 20, and 434 recoveries. Fourteen residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard Tuesday showed two active cases involving students at its Hillsboro campus. In the Hillsboro ISD one student at Hillsboro Elementary and one student at Hillsboro Junior High School had active cases of the virus Tuesday.

Lampasas County was reporting 254 cases Tuesday with 187 recoveries. Eight residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data.

Leon County reported 244 confirmed cases with 198 recoveries Tuesday. The virus has claimed six lives in the county, according to state data.

Milam County reported 501 cases Tuesday, just 10 of which were active. A total of 484 patients have recovered. The county reported a seventh death Tuesday. State data showed six deaths.

Mills County reported 59 cases with 40 recoveries Tuesday.

Robertson County reported 355 cases Tuesday, an increase of 34 since its last report. Of that number, 74 cases were active and 278 patients have recovered. The virus has claimed three lives in the county.

San Saba County reported 65 cases Tuesday and 41 recoveries.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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