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Record number of new COVID-19 cases has local health official worried as Thanksgiving nears

The county’s previous one-day high was 184 on Nov. 17. (File)
The county’s previous one-day high was 184 on Nov. 17. (File)(Pixabay | MGM)
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 3:21 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:08 PM CST
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(KWTX) - Nearly 850 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Central Texas since Friday and 10 more area residents have died.

Bell County reported a record number of new cases Monday, McLennan County reported a record number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations, and one local health official says she’s increasingly concerned about a further spike in the virus as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

“Please take care this holiday by taking every available measure to prevent COVID-19,” health district Director Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell said Monday.

“Gatherings among family are a way this virus has been spreading and continues to spread. Please take care by avoiding gathering, particularly in very large groups and particularly as it pertains to high risk people.”

Five more McLennan County residents have died since Friday and additional deaths were reported Monday in Navarro, Freestone, Hill and Limestone counties, as well.

The Central Texas death toll may now be as high as 486, but according to state data Monday at least 471 area residents diagnosed with the virus have now died including 112 Bell County residents; 15 Bosque County residents; 16 Coryell County residents, one more than the local count of 15; 14 Falls County residents; 11 Freestone County residents; seven Hamilton County residents; 18 Hill County residents; 10 Lampasas County residents; 14 Leon County residents; 18 Limestone County residents; 176 McLennan County residents, five fewer than the local count of 181; nine Milam County residents; four Mills County residents; 35 Navarro County residents, 10 fewer than the local count of 45; six Robertson County residents, and six San Saba County residents.

The total number of confirmed cases in Central Texas has increased by 847 since Friday to 32,153.

Statewide, 28,281 cases have been confirmed since Friday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 6,704 additional cases Monday, 6,576 of them new, increasing the statewide total to 1,100,979.

At least 8,353 patients were hospitalized statewide Monday, about 200 more than on Friday, and in the two Trauma Service Areas that include most of Central Texas, at least 168 patients were hospitalized Monday.

In the TSA that includes McLennan County, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations as a percentage of available beds was 15.9% Monday and the number as a percentage of total hospitalizations was 24%, which, under Gov. Greg Abbott’s current executive orders, should trigger some capacity reductions.

At least 292 more deaths have been reported in Texas since Friday including 32 on Monday, increasing the statewide total to 20,588.

About 10.1 million tests have been administered statewide.

The Lab Test Report Date clinical positivity rate dropped to 12.38% Monday from 12.8% Friday.

Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services Monday announced guidelines for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the state. Vaccines could be available in Texas as early as next month.

Brookshire Grocery Co., announced Monday it will provide free COVID-19 vaccinations when the vaccine is available. The Tyler-based chain has stores at 100 Peplow Dr., in Robinson, 900 FM 3220 in Clifton, 1310 North Brazos Ave. in Whitney, 120 South Waco St. in Hillsboro, 519 East Yeagua St. in Mexia and 800 North Main St. in Corsiciana.,

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District reported a record 195 new confirmed cases of the virus Monday, breaking the previous one-day record of 184 set on Nov. 17, and increasing the county’s total to 8,112.

Of the total, 1,184 cases were active Monday, 6,928 patients have recovered and 112 have died, according to local data.

State data, which include Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 8,018 cases.

The City of Temple has closed some facilities to walk-in traffic through Jan. 18 including the Municipal Building/City Hall; Human Resources; Temple Public Library; Historic Post Office; Parks and Recreation Administration Building; Public Works Service Center; Hillcrest Cemetery, and the Utility Business Office/Municipal Court. Services at the facilities will be available online, by phone, by appointment at curbside or via drive-thru.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Monday showed nine active cases of the virus and a total of 178 since Aug. 1.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Monday showed two active student cases and a total of 12 involving students and four involving staff since March.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed a total of 199 cases involving students and 221 involving staff since March 16 and 26 involving students and 24 involving staff in the past seven days. The district Monday reported two cases involving students at Alice Douse Elementary; one involving a student at Clarke Elementary; one involving an employee at Fowler Elementary; two involving employees at Hay Branch Elementary; two involving students at Haynes Elementary; one case involving an employee at Maxdale Elementary; two involving students and one involving an employee at Meadows Elementary; two involving students at Mountain View Elementary, three involving employees and one involving a student at Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary; one involving an employee at Pershing Park Elementary; one involving an employee at Reeces Creek Elementary; two involving students at Richard E. Cavazos Elementary; one involving an employee at Skipcha Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Venable Village Elementary; two involving employees and one involving a student at Willow Springs Elementary; one involving a student at Audie Murphy Middle School; one involving an employee at Easter Hills Middle School; one involving a student at Nolan Middle School; one involving an employee at Rancier Middle School; two involving students and one involving an employee at Smith Middle School; two involving students and one involving an employee at Union Grove Middle School; two cases involving students at Ellison High School; one involving a student at Harker Heights High School; four involving students and one involving an employee at Killeen High School; one involving an employee at the KISD Career Center; two involving employees at Shoemaker High School, and two involving employees at non-campus facilities.

The Killeen ISD will offer free COVID-19 screening to students and employees starting from 7 a.m. to 11 .m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on regular school days starting on Dec. 3 at the former Nolan Middle School building at 505 Jasper Dr. in Killeen, using the 2nd Street entrance. Screening is by appointment and students younger than 18 require signed waivers from parents or guardians. The state-funded testing uses BinaxNOW nasal swab tests, which provide results in 15 minutes. Information will be available online.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed one case at Temple High School; one at Lamar Middle School; one at Travis Middle School; one at Garcia Elementary, and one at Kennedy-Powell Elementary.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed one case at the Early Childhood School; three at Lakewood Elementary; two at Miller Heights Elementary; one at Pirtrle Elementary; four at Sparta Elementary; one case at Tarver Elementary; one at Belton Middle School; one at Lake Belton Middle School; one at North Belton Middle School; one at South Belton Middle School; six cases at Belton High School; one at Belton New Tech High School; three at Lake Belton High School, and two at non-campus facilities.

The health district has created a guide for safe holiday practices that’s available online.

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District Monday reported a total of 181 deaths from the virus, an increase of five since Friday.

On Saturday the health district reported the deaths of an 83-year-old man, an 87-year-old woman and an 85-year-old woman and on Monday the health district reported that a 64-year-old man and an 88-year-old woman diagnosed with the virus died on Sunday.

State data, based on death certificates and county of residence, showed 176 deaths.

The health district reported a record 93 hospitalizations Monday, five more than the previous record of 88 on Nov. 19.

Seventeen of the 93 were on ventilators.

Seventy one of the 93 are McLennan County residents.

The health district reported a total of 13,630 confirmed cases of the virus Monday, an increase of 474 since Friday.

The district reported 219 new cases Saturday, 110 from surge testing and 145 new cases on Sunday, 78 from surge testing.

Another 110 cases were confirmed Monday, none of which were from the ongoing surge testing.

Of the total, 1,255 cases were active Monday and 12,194 patients have recovered.

The new cases Monday include two residents who range in age from 1 to 10; seven who range in age from 11 to 17; 22 who range in age from 18 to 25; nine who range in age from 26 to 29; eight residents in their 30s; 20 in their 40s; 16 in their 50s; 11 in their 60s; seven in their 70s and eight who are 80 or older.

Free COVID-19 test sites are in operation in the Waco area after the federal government provided 40,000 test kits to McLennan County as part of the effort to stem the spread of the virus. Additional details are available online.

The health district has contracted with Aardvark Mobile Health to provide mobile COVID-19 tests, using a small truck that can accommodate two testing lines with the capacity to administer as many as 500 tests daily. Additional details are available online.

For those experiencing disabling feelings of loss, change and sadness, short-term counseling is available through the Texans Recovering Together Crisis Counseling Program. A counselor can be requested using an online form or by calling 1-866-576-1101.

Ascension Providence in Waco announced Friday it has received an allotment of Bamlanivimab, Eli Lilly & Company’s monoclonal antibody COVID-19 therapy that mimics the human immune system’s ability to fight off viruses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for treatment of mild to moderate cases of the virus in adult and children who are 12 or older and weigh at least 88 pounds.

Bamlanivimab isn’t authorized for hospitalized COVID-19 patients or those who require oxygen therapy. Ascension Providence said it is working to set up an outpatient infusion clinic site and could provide the antibody, which is administered by IV and requires a physician order, as early next week.

The Mayborn Museum in Waco announced Friday it’s canceling its annual Christmas Lights in the Village event because of COVID-19 concerns.

The museum’s visitor services staff will contact those who’ve already purchased tickets.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 125 active cases Monday, 125 involving students, 10 involving staff, five involving faculty and four involving contractors. Over the past seven days, 75 cases have been confirmed for a clinical positivity rate of 4.1%. Since Aug. 1, 1,492 cases have been confirmed. Baylor is offering free voluntary rapid testing for the virus through Wednesday for students, faculty and staff ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays. Fall semester on-campus instruction ends Wednesday. After Thanksgiving, remote instruction is scheduled on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Spring classes begin on Jan. 19.

The McLennan Community College dashboard showed 28 active cases Monday, 19 involving students, and a total of 193 in the past three weeks, 165 involving students and 28 involving employees.

The Waco ISD dashboard Monday showed a cumulative total of 106 students, 114 staff members and eight classified as “other” have tested positive for the virus since Sept. 28. The district reported no active cases at any of its schools at the start of the Thanksgiving holiday week.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 31 active cases at Midway High School, 22 of them involving students and nine involving staff. The district also reported two cases involving students and two involving employees at Castleman Creek Elementary; two involving students and seven involving employees at Hewitt Elementary; three cases involving students and four involving employees at South Bosque Elementary; one involving an employee at Speegleville Elementary; one involving a student at Spring Valley Elementary; two involving students and three involving employees at Woodway Elementary; three involving students at Woodgate Elementary; nine involving students and two involving employees at Woodway Middle School, and one involving an employee at a non-campus facility.

The Lorena ISD dashboard Monday showed two cases involving students at Lorena Elementary and two involving students at Lorena High School.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed five active cases at Mart Elementary and one at Mart High School. Seventeen cases have been confirmed since Aug. 19.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed one active case at McGregor Primary; one at McGregor Elementary; two at Isbill Junior High and one at McGregor High School.

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County was still reporting 1,137 confirmed cases Monday, 308 of which were active.

At least 814 patients have recovered and 15 have died, according to local data.

State data, which include Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, showed 2,310 confirmed cases, an increase of 29 since Friday, 2,027 recoveries and 16 deaths.

The latest cases include a Copperas Cove boy younger than 10; two male Copperas Cove residents who range in age from 10 to 19; four Copperas Cove women in their 20s; two Copperas Cove men in their 20s; two Copperas Coe women in their 30s; two Copperas Cove men in their 20s; two Copperas Cove women in their 40s; four Copperas Cove men in their 40s; three Copperas Cove men in their 50s; two Copperas Cove women in their 50s; two Copperas Cove men in their 60s, and a Copperas Cove man who’s 80 or older.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 19 cases involving students and six involving employees at Gatesville High School; eight involving junior high students and one involving a junior high employee; three involving intermediate students and three involving employees; three involving elementary students; three involving primary students and four involving employees, and one involving an administration building employee.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 19 active cases at Copperas Cove High School, four of them involving employees and 15 involving students; one involving an employee at Crossroads High School; two involving students and one involving an employee at Cove Junior High; two involving students and four involving employees at S.C. Lee Junior High; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Clements-Parsons Elementary; two involving employees at Fairview Jewell Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Hettie Halstead Elementary; one involving a student at House Creek Elementary; one involving a student at Martin Walker Elementary; one involving an employee at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy, and one involving an employee at the District Service and Training Center.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday showed 52 cases involving inmates and 29 cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville where 207 inmates were on medical restriction and 52 were isolated; four cases involving employees at the Hilltop Unit in Gatesville where 43 inmates were restricted; three cases involving inmates and seven involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 213 inmates were medically restricted and three were medically isolated; seven cases involving employees at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville where 10 inmates were medically restricted; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville, and one case involving an inmate and four involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville where 161 inmates were restricted and two were isolated.

The Refuge Mobile Food Pantry will distribute free food from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at 916 West Highway 190 in Copperas Cove.

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

FALLS COUNTY

Falls County reported 772 cases Monday, an increase of 24 since Friday.

Of the total, 684 patients have recovered.

Fourteen have died.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported 32 cases involving employees at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin where 79 inmates were medically restricted, and 30 cases involving inmates and seven involving employees at the Marlin Transfer Unit where 348 inmates were medically restricted and 30 were medically isolated.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County reported 764 cases Monday, an increase of 12 since Friday.

Of the total, 675 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed an 18th life in the county, according to state data.

The first resident to die 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 two more deaths and 30 additional cases of the virus Monday, raising the county’s total to 1,759.

The county also reported 769 probable cases.

Of the 2,528 confirmed and probable cases, 2,172 patients have recovered and 311 cases were active Monday.

Six patients were hospitalized.

The county’s death now stands at 45, according to local data.

State data showed 35 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

According to the latest figures Monday Bosque County was reporting 507 cases and 411 recoveries. State data based on death certificates and county of residence showed 15 deaths.

Freestone County reported a total of 591 cases Monday, an increase of eight since Friday. Of the total 458 patients have recovered. An 11th resident has died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported four cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.

Hamilton County reported 278 cases Monday, an increase of three since Friday. Of the total 210 patients have recovered. State data showed seven deaths in the county.

Hill County reported a total of 1,150 cases Monday, an increase of 49 since Friday, and 879 recoveries. An 18th resident has died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard Monday showed two active cases involving students and two involving employees at the school’s Hillsboro campus. The Hillsboro ISD reported three cases involving students at Hillsboro Elementary; three cases involving students at Hillsboro Intermediate; six cases involving students and one involving an employee at Hillsboro Junior High and 14 involving students and two involving employees at Hillsboro High School.

Lampasas County reported 363 cases Monday, an increase of seven since Friday, and 317 recoveries. Ten residents have died.

Leon County reported 427 cases Monday and 390 recoveries. State data showed 14 deaths.

Milam County reported 621 confirmed cases, an increase of six since Friday. Of the total, 21 cases were active, three patients were hospitalized and 591 have recovered. Nine residents have died.

Mills County reported 129 cases Monday and 87 recoveries. State data showed four deaths. The county’s first death from the virus was reported on Oct. 21.

Robertson County was reporting 535 confirmed cases Monday. Of the total, 62 cases were active and 467 patients have recovered. Six residents have died, according to state and local data.

San Saba County reported 295 cases Monday and 223 recoveries. Six residents have died, state data showedThe Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported two cases involving inmates and five involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit where 61 inmates were medically restricted and two were isolated.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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