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Nearly 1,000 more cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Central Texas, death toll nears 970

Nearly a thousand more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Central Texas and the regional...
Nearly a thousand more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Central Texas and the regional death toll from the virus rose to nearly 970 Tuesday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip/file)(David J. Phillip | AP)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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(KWTX) – Nearly a thousand more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Central Texas and the regional death toll from the virus rose to nearly 970 Tuesday while the U.S. death toll increased to more than 400,000.

The additional 988 cases, most of them reported by Bell and McLennan counties, which did not update case data over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, increased the regional total to 56,864.

The two counties each reported five more deaths from the virus Tuesday, and additional deaths were also reported in Coryell, Freestone, Milam, Mills, Navarro and Robertson counties.

According to state data Tuesday, at least 968 Central Texas residents diagnosed with the virus have died, including 214 Bell County residents, 21 more than the local count of 193; 20 Bosque County residents; 45 Coryell County residents, 23 more than the local count of 22; 22 Falls County residents; 30 Freestone County residents; 21 Hamilton County residents; 47 Hill County residents; 17 Lampasas County residents; 28 Leon County residents; 34 Limestone County residents; 344 McLennan County residents, 14 more than the local count of 330; 19 Milam County residents, one more than the local count of 18; 16 Mills County residents; 71 Navarro County residents; 25 Robertson County residents, and 15 San Saba County residents.

The statewide death toll increased by 310 Tuesday to 32,394.

The Texas Department of State Health Services Tuesday reported 8,365 additional cases of COVID-19, 8,312 of them new.

Of the total, 376,764 cases were active Tuesday, 1,711,009 patients have recovered, and at least 13,928 were in hospitals, 70 more than on Monday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties, at least 216 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday accounting for about 25% all hospitalizations and filling about 20% of available beds.

At least 164 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 32% of all hospitalizations and occupying about 24% of available beds, above the 15% ceiling that triggers capacity reductions under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

About 15.9 million molecular tests have been administered statewide.

The Lab Test Date positivity Tuesday was 16.11%, down from 16.27% on Monday.

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

VACCINATIONS

About 3.3 million dose of vaccine have been allocated to the state and on Tuesday about 1.7 million of them had been shipped.

Statewide Tuesday, 1,181,483 residents had received the first dose of the vaccine and 177,193 had received both.

The state is scheduled to receive 843,000 more doses this week, 333,650 of them initial doses and 509,400 secondary doses, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday.

Officials have established 77 vaccination hubs around the state.

Five of the vaccine hub providers are in Central Texas including the Bell County Public Health District, the Coryell Health Medical Clinic in Gatesville, Falls Community Hospital and Clinic in Marlin; Ascension Providence Health Center in Waco; the Waco-McLennan County Health District.

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 Bell County health district, which administered just more than 3,900 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by appointment last week at the Killeen Community Center at 2201 East Veterans Memorial Blvd. and at a second site at 220 West Avenue D in Temple, didn’t receive it second shipment of 3,900 doses until Tuesday.

Because of the rescheduling of Monday and Tuesday appointments, some residents will have to wait until next week to be vaccinated, she said.

Original Appointment Date/ Original Appointment Time/ Now Scheduled For:

Monday, January 18, 2021/ 9:00 to 10:45 a.m./Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021/ 9:00 to 10:45 a.m./Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 11:00 to 12:45 p.m./Friday, January 22, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 1:00 to 2:45 p.m./Saturday, January 23, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 3:00 to 4:45 p.m./Sunday, January 24, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 5:00 to 6:45 p.m./Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:00 to 8:45 p.m./Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at (254)-933-5203.

The McLennan County Health District opened registration windows on Sunday and Monday for appointments for free vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Waco Convention Center for residents eligible under Phases 1A and 1B of the state’s vaccination plan.

The health district administered its first 1,500 doses of the vaccine last week and received a shipment of another 1,500 doses this week.

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.

Coryell Health received 600 doses on Dec. 23, but didn’t receive any vaccine last week and officials weren’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.

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

Copperas Cove has also posted an online survey in order to accurately judge the amount of vaccine needed in the community.

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.

The Texas Department of State Health Services vaccination dashboard Tuesday showed that in Bell County, with 265,191 residents who are 16 and older, 11,479 residents have received a first dose and 2,167 have received both, while in McLennan County, with 198,642 residents 16 and older, 8,786 residents have received a first dose and 1,003 have received both.

The dashboard Tuesday showed the administration of 614 initial and 18 secondary vaccinations in Bosque County; 1,248 initial and 96 secondary vaccinations in Coryell County; 326 initial and 25 secondary vaccinations in Falls County; 429 initial and four secondary vaccinations in Freestone County; 1,546 initial and three secondary vaccinations in Hamilton County; 1,166 initial vaccinations and 46 secondary vaccinations in Hill County; 364 initial and 48 secondary vaccinations in Lampasas County; 389 initial and six secondary vaccinations in Leon County; 680 initial and 11 secondary vaccinations in Limestone County; 1,063 initial and 26 secondary vaccinations in Milam County; 252 initial and five secondary vaccinations in Mills County; 1,170 initial and 37 secondary vaccinations in Navarro County; 443 initial and 19 secondary vaccinations in Robertson County, and 76 initial and four secondary vaccinations in San Saba County.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District Tuesday reported the deaths of five more residents diagnosed with the virus, a Killeen man in his 70s, a Bell County man in his 70s, a Temple man in his 60s, a Bell County man in his 90s and a Bell County man in his 80s, increasing the virus’ toll to 193, according to local data.

State data showed 214 deaths, an increase of six.

The health district, which did not provide updates over the three-day Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday weekend, reported 559 additional cases of the virus Tuesday, increasing the county’s total to 16,965.

Of the total, 2,763 cases were active Tuesday and 14,202 patients have recovered.

In state Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell County, at least 216 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday accounting for about 25% all hospitalizations and filling about 20% of available beds, sufficiently high to trigger capacity reductions under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

The City of Killeen opens an online application system at 9 a.m. on Wednesday for residents seeking assistance with rent or mortgages. Funding, which comes from the federal CARES Act, is limited.

Temple’s city hall, public library, historic post office, Parks and Recreation administration building, Public Works Service Center, Human Resources Department, and Utility Business Office and Municipal Court will remain closed to walk-in traffic through Feb. 28 because of COVID-19 infection rates, City Manage Brynn Myers said Friday. Services at the facilities remain available online, by phone, by appointment, at curbside or by drive-thru, she said. City employees who are able to work remotely will continue to do so, the city said. Essential employees will adhere to safety guidelines including social distancing, regular hand washing and the use of face coverings.

Temple Fire & Rescue will host drive-thru COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Fire Station No. 2 at 1710 East Avenue H.; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday 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.

A temporary drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Killeen Special Events Center at 3301 South WS Young Dr. Online registration is required.

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 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Tuesday showed a cumulative total of 208 cases since Aug. 1 and 18 current active cases.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Tuesday reported two active cases involving students and 26 positive tests for the virus since March, 20 involving students. All students must complete online training on safe practices before returning for the spring semester, which starts this week.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed more than 1,100 cases since March 16, 526 involving students and 632 involving staff, and 30 involving students and 21 involving staff in the past seven days. The dashboard showed one active case Tuesday involving a student at Alice Douse Elementary; two involving employees at Bellaire Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Cedar Valley Elementary; three involving students and one involving an employee at Clifton Park Elementary; one involving an employee at Fowler Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Haynes Elementary; one involving an employee at Iduma Elementary; three involving students at Ira Cross Elementary; one involving an employee at Mountain View Elementary; one involving an employee at Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary; one involving a student at Peebles Elementary; two involving students at Reeces Creek Elementary; one involving a student at Richard E. Cavazos Elementary; two involving students and two involving employees at Saegert Elementary; one involving a student at Skipcha Elementary; one involving a student at Trimmier Elementary; one involving a student at Charles Paterson Middle School; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Nolan Middle School; two involving students and two involving employees at Smith Middle School; one involving a student at Union Grove Middle School; four involving students at Ellison High School; School; three involving students at Harker Heights High School; two involving students and one involving an employee at Killeen High School; one involving a student at Shoemaker High School, and five involving employees at non-campus facilities including three in the district’s Transportation Department.

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 Tuesday showed three cases at Bonham Middle School, one at Travis Middle School; one at Jefferson Elementary; one at Raye-Allen Elementary, and one at Edwards Elementary School.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed one case at Charter Oak Elementary; one at Chisholm Trail Elementary; 16 at Lakewood Elementary; two at Leon Heights Elementary; four at Miller Heights Elementary; four at Belton Middle School; one at Lake Belton Middle School; five at North Belton Middle School; seven at South Belton Middle School; four at Belton High School; one at Belton New Tech High School; seven at Lake Belton High School, and four 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 Tuesday reported the deaths of five more residents diagnosed with the virus, a 76-year-old man, an 88-year-old woman, a 77-year-old man, an 80-year-old man, and a 21-year-old woman, Alicia Martinez, a 2020 graduate of Baylor’s Diana Garland School of Social Work and a current graduate student who died Sunday of complications of COVID-19.

She’s the youngest person diagnosed with the virus to die in the county.

The virus has claimed the lives of 330 McLennan County residents, according to local data.

State data, based on birth certificates and county of residence, showed 344 deaths, an increase of three.

The health district, which did not provide updates on Sunday and Monday, reported 398 additional cases of the virus Tuesday, 286 of them new, raising the county’s total to 22,282.

Of the total, 1,106 cases were active Tuesday, 22,296 cases were active, and 137 patients were hospitalized, 28 of them on ventilators.

Of the 137, 104 are McLennan County residents.

The 286 new cases reported Tuesday involve two residents younger than a year old; 17 who range in age from 1 to 10; 40 who range in age from 18 to 25; 28 who range in age from 26 to 29; 65 residents in their 30s; 41 in their 40s; 39 in their 50s; 20 in their 60s; 10 in their 70s, and five who are 80 or older.

At least 164 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday in the Trauma Service Area that includes McLennan County, accounting for about 32% of all hospitalizations and occupying about 24% 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.

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.

Baylor University’s online dashboard Tuesday showed 209 active cases including 186 involving students, 14 involving staff, three involving faculty and six involving contractors. In the past seven days 134 positive tests have been administered. A total of 2,264 cases have been confirmed since Aug. 1. Spring classes started Tuesday. Students, faculty and staff were 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 Tuesday showed nine active cases Tuesday, six involving students, and 282 total cases in the past three weeks, 219 involving students. The college is offering classes in blended-hybrid and online formats during the spring semester.

The Waco ISD dashboard Tuesday showed cumulative totals of 217 students, 243 employees, and 10 classified as “other” have been diagnosed with the virus since Sept. 8. The dashboard showed one active case at Hillcrest PDS; one at West Avenue Elementary; two at Cesar Chavez Middle School; two at Indian Spring Middle School; two at University High School, and one at Waco High School.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed two cases involving employees at Castleman Creek Elementary; two involving employees at Hewitt Elementary; three involving students and three involving employees at South Bosque Elementary; five involving students at Woodway Elementary; 11 involving students at River Valley Intermediate; three involving students and one involving an employee at Woodgate Intermediate; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Midway Middle School; 12 involving students and one involving an employee at Midway High School, and one involving an employee at a non-campus facility.

The Lorena ISD dashboard Tuesday showed three cases involving students at Lorena Primary; two cases involving students at Lorena Elementary; two cases at Lorena Middle School, both involving students, and two involving employees at non-campus facilities.

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

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed five cases at McGregor Elementary, three at Isbill Junior High and two at McGregor High School.

MCLENNAN COUNTY VACCINE INFORMATION

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had 4,198 confirmed and 121 probable cases Tuesday, according to state data, which include inmates in state prison units in the county.

Of the total, 3,571patients have recovered and three more have died, increasing the virus’ toll in the county to 45, according to state data.

The county’s most recent local update from Jan. 14 showed 22 deaths.

In state Trauma Service Area L, which includes Coryell County, at least 216 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday, accounting for about 25% all hospitalizations and filling almost 20% 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 Tuesday showed 17 cases involving students and four involving employees at Cove High School; one involving an employee at Crossroads High; seven involving students and four involving employees at Cove Junior High; two involving students and two involving employees at S. C. Lee Junior High; three involving students and three 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 an employee at Hettie Halstead Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at House Creek Elementary; two involving students at Martin Walker Elementary; two involving students and one involving an employee at Williams/Ledger Elementary; two involving students and two involving employees at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy, and two involving employees at non-campus facilities.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday still 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 an administration employee; one involving a transportation employee, and one involving a maintenance employee.

The Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville remained on lockdown Tuesday with 13 active cases involving employees.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported three cases involving inmates and 19 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where 133 inmates were on medical restriction and three were isolated; 43 cases involving inmates and 20 involving employees at the Hilltop Unit where 386 inmates were restricted and 43 were isolated; 218 cases involving inmates and 55 involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 1,441 inmates were medically restricted and 221 were medically isolated; 48 cases involving inmates and 22 involving employees at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville where 67 inmates were isolated and 48 were isolated, and two cases involving inmates and 17 involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit where 49 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 1,245 confirmed and 63 probable cases Tuesday.

Of the total, 1,153 patients have recovered and 22 have died, according to state data.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported 36 case involving inmates and 15 involving employees at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin where 999 inmates were restricted and 36 were isolated, and eight cases involving employees at the Marlin Transfer Unit where 323 inmates were restricted and one was isolated.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 1,171 confirmed and 249 probable cases Monday.

Of the total, 1,255 patients have recovered.

State data showed 34 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County Tuesday had 3,005 confirmed and 1,793 probable cases, according to state data.

Of the total, 3,952 patients have recovered.

At least 71 have died, according to state and local data.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 805 confirmed and 183 probable cases of the virus Tuesday, according to state data. At least 802 patients have recovered and 20 residents have died.

Freestone County had 672 confirmed and 316 probable cases of the virus Tuesday, according to state data. Of the total, 901 patients have recovered and a 30th resident has died. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported five cases involving inmates and five involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague where 74 inmates were medically restricted and five were isolated.

Hamilton County had 507 confirmed cases and 39 probable cases Tuesday, according to state data. At least 457 patients have recovered and 21 have died.

Hill County had 1,977 confirmed and 421 probable cases of the virus Tuesday, according to state data. At least 2,167 patients have recovered and 47 have died. The Hill College dashboard showed one case involving an employee Tuesday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Tuesday showed one case involving an employee at Hillsboro Intermediate and one involving an employee at Hillsboro High School.

Lampasas County had 812 confirmed and 101 probable cases of the virus Tuesday, according to state data. At least 730 patients have recovered and 17 residents have died.

Leon County had 649 confirmed and 226 probable cases of the virus Tuesday, according to state data. At least 745 patients have recovered and 28 residents have died.

Milam County reported 1,067 confirmed cases, an increase of 131 since the county’s last update on Jan. 7, and 740 probable cases Tuesday. Twelve patients were hospitalized. At least 1,424 patients have recovered and 19 have died, according to state data.

Mills County had 319 confirmed and 25 probable cases of the virus Tuesday according to state data, which showed 254 patients have recovered and a 16th resident has died.

Robertson County had 806 confirmed and 263 probable cases of the virus Tuesday according to state data, which showed 899 patients have recovered and 25 have died.

San Saba County had 374 confirmed and 113 probable cases Tuesday, according to state data, which showed at least 405 patients have recovered and 15 have died. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported five cases involving inmates and two involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit where 41 inmates were restricted and seven were medically isolated.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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