Advertisement

State reports 405 more COVID-19 deaths, Central Texas toll nears 900

The state reported record number of additional COVID-19 deaths Wednesday while the regional...
The state reported record number of additional COVID-19 deaths Wednesday while the regional death toll neared 900. (AP/file)(David J. Phillip | AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:43 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(KWTX) – The state reported a unprecedented number of additional COVID-19 deaths while almost 20 more Central Texas residents diagnosed with the virus died, pushing the regional toll to almost 900.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 405 more deaths Wednesday, which increased the virus’ statewide toll to 30,624.

The total included a backlog of death certificates dating from Dec. 8 to Jan. 11, however, and department spokesman Douglas Lovelady says the one-day death record is still 278, which was reported on July 23.

DSHS reported additional deaths Wednesday in Bell, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Leon, McLennan, Milam and San Saba counties.

The virus may have claimed as many as 894 lives in Central Texas, but according to state data Wednesday, at least 890 have died including 188 Bell County residents, three more than the local count of 185; 18 Bosque County residents; 39 Coryell County residents, 17 more than the local count of 22; 21 Falls County residents; 27 Freestone County residents; 19 Hamilton County residents; 40 Hill County residents; 16 Lampasas County residents; 28 Leon County residents; 32 Limestone County residents; 327 McLennan County residents, 12 more than the local count of 315; 18 Milam County residents, four more that the local count of 14; 13 Mills County residents; 66 Navarro County residents, four fewer than the local count of 70; 23 Robertson County residents, and 15 San Saba County residents.

Another 576 cases of the virus were confirmed Wednesday in Central Texas, increasing the regional total to 54,337.

DSHS reported 22,650 additional cases Wednesday, 22,270 of them new, raising the statewide total to 1,775,619.

Of the total, 363,022 cases were active Wednesday and 1,612,188 patients have recovered.

At least 14,106 COVID-19 patients were in Texas hospitals Wednesday, down from the record 14,218 hospitalized Tuesday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties, at least 257 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday accounting for about 29% all hospitalizations and filling about 24% of available beds.

At least 182 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 41% of all hospitalizations and occupying about 31% of available beds, well above the 15% ceiling that triggers capacity reductions under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

Freestone, Leon, Navarro and Robertson counties are also in Trauma Service Areas in which hospitalization rates exceed 15%.

An Alternate Care Site was opened Tuesday at the Austin Convention Center to expand hospital capacity in the region as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. The site now has 25 beds, but can be expanded if needed.

About 15.2 million molecular tests have been administered statewide.

The Lab Test Date positivity rate Wednesday was 17.89%, down from 18.39% Tuesday.

Experts say a positivity rate of 5% or less indicates the virus is under control.

VACCINATIONS

McLennan and Bell counties are among more than two dozen mass vaccination hubs established in Texas in an effort to accelerate delivery of the vaccine.

The Waco-McLennan County Health District started administering vaccines Tuesday by appointment only at the Waco Convention Center.

The health district received 1,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and plans to vaccinate 500 residents a day.

Residents may text the word “vaccine” to 22828 and provide email addresses to receive notification of the next shipment of vaccine.

The City of Waco has activated its Public Information Hotline to allow residents who don’t have access to email or the internet to get the latest updates on testing sites, vaccine availability and other information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number is (254) 750-5606.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has created an online survey available from Wednesday through Jan. 20 to better understand our community’s interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and common concerns that might impact local vaccination rates.

The Bell County Public Health District on Tuesday received its first shipment of about 3,900 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and began administering the vaccine starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Killeen Community Center at 2201 East Veterans Memorial Blvd. and at a second site at 220 West Avenue D in Temple. The sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The health district already has more than 4,000 on a wait-list for vaccinations. No walk-in patients will be accepted. More information is available on the Bell County Public Health District’s website.

Anyone unable to make an appointment online may call the Bell County COVID-19 vaccination hotline starting Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at (254)-933-5203.

The Central Texas VA has scheduled a vaccination clinic this weekend at the Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center for enrolled veterans who are 75 or older, but appointments are required. The clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or as long as the vaccine supply lasts at Gold Team, Primary Care at 1901 Veterans Memorial Dr. in Temple. Eligible veterans may make reservations by calling 1-800-423-2111 and pressing #2. Walk-ins will be accepted until 2 p.m. and vaccinated based on availability.

Long wait times are expected, the VA said. Veterans must bring proper ID to verify VA enrollment and schedule the second dose, which will be administered about 21 days after the first.

Now eligible for vaccination are those covered by Phase 1A of the state’s vaccination distribution plan, including frontline healthcare workers and residents and employees of long-term care facilities and those covered by Phase 1B of the plan including residents 65 and older and residents 16 and older with medical conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

The Texas Department of State Health Services announced the 28 hubs Sunday and said the hub providers will get more than 158,000 doses of vaccine this week.

To date the state has been allocated about 2.1 million doses of vaccine and 1.6 million of them have been shipped.

At least 816,130 residents had received a first dose Wednesday and 113,089 had received a second.

The Texas Department of State Health Services vaccination dashboard Wednesday showed that 5,832 eligible Bell County residents have been vaccinated and that 980 have received the second dose and that 5,413 eligible McLennan County residents have been vaccinated and that 672 have received the second dose.

The dashboard Wednesday showed the administration of 482 initial and 14 secondary vaccinations in Bosque County; 980 initial and 40 secondary vaccinations in Coryell County; 193 initial and 18 secondary vaccinations in Falls County; 297 initial vaccinations and one secondary vaccination in Freestone County; 571 initial vaccinations in Hamilton County; 734 initial vaccinations and 26 secondary vaccinations in Hill County; 268 initial and 13 secondary vaccinations in Lampasas County; 297 initial and four secondary vaccinations in Leon County; 426 initial and 10 secondary vaccinations in Limestone County; 571 initial and nine secondary vaccinations in Milam County; 192 initial and three secondary vaccinations in Mills County; 898 initial and 25 secondary vaccinations in Navarro County; 309 initial and nine secondary vaccinations in Robertson County, and 27 initial and two secondary vaccinations in San Saba County.

Coryell Health received 600 doses on Dec. 23, but won’t receive additional vaccine this week and officials aren’t sure when the next shipment will arrive or how many doses it will include.

The first doses were administered to frontline healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers and residents of Coryell Health RehabLiving and Assisted & Independent Living at The Oaks, as well as Hillview Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

“In some ways, Coryell Health is lucky to have received the vaccines we have, as sixteen hospitals in Texas have not received any vaccines. Some of those hospitals have been able to benefit by sharing of other hospitals or clinics, but some haven’t any doses for their front line workers,” Dr. Jeff Bates, Coryell Health chief medical officer said.

“We are all at the mercy of the state.”

Residents who want to be added to the list for the vaccine should call (254) 248-6381.

Baylor University has received 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is being administered to Health Center staff, medical personnel, emergency responders, and School of Nursing

Baylor Scott & White Health has created a sign-up page for updates on the scheduling of Phase 1B vaccinations.

Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which launched on Dec. 11, may sign up for regular updates on the vaccine on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page, and may contact their primary care providers through www.myhealth.va.gov or by calling 1-800-423-2111.

VACCINE DASHBOARD

VACCINE PROVIDER MAP

TEXAS VACCINE INFORMATION

CROWDSOURCED INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINATION SITES

BELL COUNTY VACCINE REGISTRATION

MCLENNAN COUNTY VACCINE INFORMATION

BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE HEALTH VACCINE UPDATES

H-E-B VACCINATION INFORMATION

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District Wednesday reported the deaths of four more residents diagnosed with the virus, a Temple woman in her 90s, a Belton woman in her 70s, a Temple man in his 70s, and a Temple man in his 30s, increasing the virus toll in the county to 185, according to local data.

State data showed 188 deaths.

In state Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell County, at least 257 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday accounting for about 29% all hospitalizations and filling about 24% of available beds, sufficiently high to trigger capacity reductions under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

Temple Fire & Rescue will host drive-thru COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at Fire Station No. 4 at 411 Waters Dairy Rd.; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 at Fire Station No. 2 at 1710 East Avenue H.; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 at Fire Station No. 7 at 8420 West Adams Ave.; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29 at Fire Station No. 1 at 210 North 3rd St. Tests are free. Residents may register online or on site. More information is available online.

Testing is available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in January at Nolanville’s Central Fire Station at 84 North Main St. Registration is not required.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday at Temple College at 2600 South 1st St.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Wednesday showed a cumulative total of 199 cases since Aug. 1 and nine current active cases. The school’s spring semester started Monday.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Wednesday reported one active case involving a student and 24 positive tests for the virus since March, 18 involving students. All students must complete online training on safe practices before returning for the spring semester, which starts on Monday.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed more than 1,000 cases since March 16, 496 involving students and 611 staff, and 38 involving students and 33 involving staff in the past seven days. The dashboard showed one active case Wednesday involving an employee at Bellaire Elementary; one involving an employee at Brookhaven Elementary; one involving a student and two involving employees at Cedar Valley Elementary; one involving a student at Clarke Elementary; one involving an employee at Clear Creek Elementary; one involving a student at Clifton Park Elementary; two involving employees at Harker Heights Elementary; one involving a student at Haynes Elementary; one involving a student at Iduma Elementary; one involving an employee at Ira Cross Elementary; one involving an employee at Maude Moore Wood Elementary; two involving students and five involving employees at Meadows Elementary; one involving a student at Mountain View Elementary; one involving a student at Peebles Elementary; four involving students and one involving an employee at Richard E. Cavazos Elementary; one involving an employee at Saegert Elementary; one involving a student at Skipcha Elementary; four involving students and two involving employees at Trimmier Elementary; one involving a student and two involving employees at Willow Springs Elementary; one involving a student at Audie Murphy Middle School; two involving students at Eastern Hills Middle School; one involving a student at Live Oak Ridge Middle School; one involving a student at Nolan Middle School; two involving students at Palo Alto Middle School; one involving a student at Smith Middle School; one involving a student at Union Grove Middle School;four involving students and two involving employees at Ellison High School; one involving an employee at Gateway High School; three involving students and two involving employees at Harker Heights High School; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Killeen High School; one involving a student at Pathways, and nine involving employees at non-campus facilities, eight of them in transportation.

The Killeen ISD is offering free COVID-19 screening to students and employees from 7 a.m. to 11 .m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on regular school days 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 is available online.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed three cases at Temple High School, one at Bonham Middle School, one at Kennedy-Powell Elementary, two at Raye-Allen Elementary, and one at Meredith-Dunbar Elementary.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed one case at Belton Early Childhood School; two cases at Charter Oak Elementary; three at Chisholm Trail Elementary; one at High Point Elementary; five at Lakewood Elementary; two at Miller Heights Elementary; two at Pirtle Elementary; two at Southwest Elementary; three at Sparta Elementary; two at Tarver Elementary; five at Belton Middle School; eight at Lake Belton Middle School; six at North Belton Middle School; eight at South Belton Middle School; nine at Belton High School; six at Lake Belton High School, and six at non-campus facilities.

BELL COUNTY VACCINE REGISTRATION

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported another 111 confirmed cases of the virus Wednesday, raising the county’s total to 21,407.

Of the total, 1,303 cases were active Wednesday, 19,789 patients have recovered, and 163 were hospitalized, 27 of them on ventilators.

Of the 163, 107 are McLennan County residents.

The virus has claimed 315 lives in the county, according to local data.

State data, based on death certificates and county of residence, showed 327 deaths.

Eight cases have been confirmed at the McLennan County Jail and one outbreak has been traced to a church, Waco Family Health Center CEO Dr. Jackson Briggs said during a virtual news conference Wednesday.

The county’s positivity rate is 22%, which is higher than the state’s rate, Griggs said.

The most recent cases include three involving residents ranging in age from 1 to 10, six involving residents who range in age from 11 to 17; 18 involving residents ranging in age from 18 to 25; four involving residents ranging in age from 26 to 29; 16 residents in their 30s; 13 residents in their 40s; 15 residents in their 50s; 17 in their 60s; 11 in their 70s, and eight who are 80 or older.

At least 182 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday in the Trauma Service Area that includes McLennan County, accounting for about 41% of all hospitalizations and occupying about 31% of available beds, which is well above the 15% ceiling that triggers capacity reductions under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

Both Ascension Providence Hospital and Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco are feeling the strain of increased hospitalizations.

Both have suspended elective surgeries.

Hillcrest is at 100% to 110% of capacity, Dr. Umad Ahmad said during a virtual news conference Wednesday.

At Providence most of the hospital’s recovery room and surgery check-in area are filled with COVID-19 patients, Dr. Brian Becker said.

The City of Waco has activated its Public Information Hotline to allow residents who don’t have access to email or the internet to get the latest updates on testing sites, vaccine availability and other information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number is (254) 750-5606.

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. 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.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 28 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.

Harmony Science Academy in Waco shifted to online instruction starting Wednesday and continuing through next Monday after a staff member tested positive for the virus. In-person instruction resumes next Monday.

Baylor University’s online dashboard Wednesday showed 182 active cases, up from 101 on Tuesday, including 124 involving students, 29 involving staff, 16 involving faculty and 12 involving contractors. Ninety six positive tests have been administered in the past seven days. A total of 2,055 cases have been confirmed since Aug. 1. Spring classes begin next Monday. Students, faculty and staff will be required to test negative for the virus before returning to campus for the spring semester and must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing during the spring term.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Wednesday showed 22 active cases, 14 involving students. In the past three weeks, 266 cases have been confirmed, 208 of which involve students. The school’s spring semester started on Monday. The college says it will continue to offer classes in blended-hybrid and online formats.

The Waco ISD dashboard Wednesday showed cumulative totals of 204 students, 227 employees, and 10 classified as “other” have been diagnosed with the virus since Sept. 8. The dashboard showed four active cases at Waco High School and two involving employees, both at non-campus facilities.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed one case involving a student and three involving employees at Castleman Creek Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Hewitt Elementary; two involving students and one involving an employee at South Bosque Elementary; three involving students at Spring Valley Elementary; four involving students at Woodway Elementary; seven involving students at River Valley Intermediate; four involving students and two involving employees at Woodgate Intermediate; seven involving students and three involving employees at Midway Middle School; 16 involving students and two involving employees at Midway High School, and one involving an employee at a non-campus facility.

The Lorena ISD dashboard Wednesday showed one case involving a student at Lorena Primary; two cases at Lorena Elementary, one involving a student; one case involving a student at Lorena Middle School, and three cases involving employees at Lorena High School.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed two no active cases.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed one case at McGregor Primary School; four at McGregor Elementary; three at Isbill Junior High, and none at McGregor High School.

MCLENNAN COUNTY VACCINE INFORMATION

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County reported a total of 2,318 confirmed cases Wednesday, an increase of 18 over Tuesday’s total.

Of the total, 551 cases were active, 1,745 patients have recovered, and 22 have died.

State data, which includes Texas prison inmates, showed 3,994 confirmed and 115 probable cases.

Of the total, 3,326 patients have recovered and 39 have died, according to state data.

In state Trauma Service Area L, which includes Coryell County, at least 257 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday, accounting for about 29% all hospitalizations and filling almost 24% of available beds.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has advised the county that the TSA’s hospitalization rate is sufficiently high to trigger capacity reductions, bar closings and suspension of elective surgery under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

Coryell Health continues to offer elective surgeries despite the restrictions because the hospital has “available beds and adequate supplies,” which allows for an exemption under the governor’s orders.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed 10 cases involving students and three involving employees at Cove High School; one involving an employee at Crossroads High; six involving students and three involving employees at Cove Junior High; two involving students at S. C. Lee Junior High; five involving students and two involving employees at Clements Parsons Elementary; two involving students and one involving an employee at Fairview Jewell Elementary; one involving a student and one involving a student at Hettie Halstead Elementary; one involving a student at House Creek Elementary; two involving students and two involving employees at Williams/Ledger Elementary; two involving students and three involving employees at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy, and three involving employees at non-campus facilities.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed 10 cases Gatesville High School, eight involving students; two at Gatesville Junior High, both involving students; five cases at Gatesville Intermediate, four involving students; eight at Gatesville Elementary, four involving students; two cases at Gatesville Primary, both involving students; one involving a transportation employee, and one involving a maintenance employee.

The Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville remained on lockdown Wednesday with 104 active cases involving inmates, 15 involving employees, 535 inmates on restriction and 106 inmates in medical isolation.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday reported eight cases involving inmates and 27 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville where 149 inmates were on medical restriction and five were isolated; 17 cases involving inmates and 21 involving employees at the Hilltop Unit in Gatesville where 288 inmates were restricted and 17 were isolated; 246 cases involving inmates and 86 involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 1,345 inmates were medically restricted and 247 were medically isolated; 52 cases involving inmates and 27 involving employees at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville where 29 inmates were restricted and 52 were isolated, and two cases involving inmates and 21 involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville where 90 inmates were restricted and two were isolated.

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 had 1,204 confirmed cases Wednesday, an increase of 15, according to state data, and 63 probable cases.

Of the total, 1,109 patients have recovered and a 21st resident has died, according to state data.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday was reporting 47 cases involving inmates and 30 cases involving employees at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin where 836 inmates were restricted and 49 were isolated, and eight cases involving employees at the Marlin Transfer Unit where 23 inmates were restricted.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 1,141 confirmed and 220 probable cases Wednesday.

Of the total, 1,182 patients have recovered.

State data showed 32 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County Wednesday had 2,974 confirmed cases, an increase of 94, and 1,755 probable cases, according to state data.

Of the total, 3,607 patients have recovered.

Local data showed 70 deaths, an increase of two.

State data showed 66 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 778 confirmed and 168 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data. At least 742 patients have recovered and 18 have died.

Freestone County had 655 confirmed and 315 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data. Of the total, 871 patients have recovered and a 27th resident has died. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday was reporting five cases involving inmates and six involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague where 149 inmates were medically restricted and five were isolated.

Hamilton County had 481 confirmed and 37 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data. At least 448 patients have recovered and 19th resident has died.

Hill County had 1,948 confirmed and 369 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data. At least 2,061 patients have recovered and 40 have died. The Hill College dashboard showed three active cases involving students on the Hill County campus. Spring classes begin on Monday. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Wednesday showed one case involving an employee at Hillsboro Intermediate and one involving an employee at Hillsboro High School.

Lampasas County had 754 confirmed and 96 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data. At least 675 patients have recovered and 16 residents have died.

Leon County had 619 confirmed and 220 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data. At least 700 patients have recovered and a 28th resident has died.

Milam County had 936 confirmed and 641 probable cases of the virus Wednesday, according to state data, which showed 1,424 recoveries and three more deaths for a total of 18.

Mills County had 276 confirmed and 22 probable cases of the virus Wednesday according to state data, which showed 238 patients have recovered and 13 have died.

Robertson County had 772 confirmed and 236 probable cases of the virus Wednesday according to state data, which showed 826 patients have recovered and 23 have died. Local data showed 10 deaths.

San Saba County had 370 confirmed and 101 probable cases Wednesday, according to state data, which showed at least 396 patients have recovered and a 15th resident has died. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday was reporting five cases involving inmates and five involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit where 69 inmates were restricted and seven were medically isolated.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.