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Central Texas COVID-19 death toll nears 1,400, number of new cases continues to drop

The Central Texas COVID-19 death toll was approaching 1,400 Tuesday, but the number of new...
The Central Texas COVID-19 death toll was approaching 1,400 Tuesday, but the number of new cases of the virus reported in the region continues to drop. (File)(CNN)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:43 PM CST
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(KWTX) – The Central Texas COVID-19 death toll was approaching 1,400 Tuesday, but only 180 new cases of the virus were reported in the region, a fraction of the daily increase at the first of the month.

State data Tuesday showed 12 more deaths in the region.

As many as 1,405 Central Texas residents diagnosed with the virus have died, but according to Texas Department of State Health Services data, the regional death toll Tuesday was 1,386 including 332 Bell County residents, 19 fewer than the local count of 351; 29 Bosque County residents; 70 Coryell County residents; 29 Falls County residents; 40 Freestone County residents; 24 Hamilton County residents; 89 Hill County residents; 26 Lampasas County residents; 36 Leon County residents; 60 Limestone County residents; 427 McLennan County residents, 32 more than the local count of 395; 37 Milam County residents; 20 Mills County residents; 114 Navarro County residents; 34 Robertson County residents, and 19 San Saba County residents.

The statewide death toll rose by 234 Tuesday to 41,641.

DSHS reported another 8,019 confirmed cases of the virus Tuesday, 7,556 of them new, increasing the statewide total to 2,259,407.

Of the total, 192,883 cases were active Tuesday, 2,353,741 patients have recovered, and at least 7,014 were hospitalized, 50 more than on Monday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties, at least 101 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Tuesday, accounting for about 11% all hospitalizations and filling about 9% of available beds.

At least 68 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 13.5% of all hospitalizations and filling about 11% of available beds.

Hospitalization rates in both TSAs have dropped below the level that triggered bar closures, capacity reductions and halted elective surgeries under orders Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7.

The statewide Lab Test Date positivity rate Tuesday was 13.14%, up from 11.76% Monday.

A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.

VACCINATIONS

Data Tuesday from the state vaccination dashboard showed slightly more than 79,000, or about 10% of residents 16 and older in the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is tracking have received the first dose of vaccine and slight fewer than 34,612 or about 4% have received both doses.

In Bell County, 24,909 residents, or about 9% of those 16 and older, have received the first dose and 11,953, or about 4% of those 16 and older, have received both doses.

In McLennan County, 25,367 residents, or just more than 12% of those 16 and older, have received one dose and 10,664, or just more than 5% of those 16 and older have received both.

In Bosque County, 12% of those 16 and older have received one dose and almost 8% have received both; in Coryell County almost 8% have received one and almost 4% have received both; in Falls County, almost 13% have received one and almost 5% have received both; in Freestone County about 6.5% have received one and almost 3% have received both; in Hamilton County, almost 15% have received one and about 8.5% have received both; in Hill County, about 10.5% have received one and almost 6% have received both; in Lampasas County, about 9% have received one, and about 3% have received both; in Milam County about 11% have received one and about 6% have received both; in Mills County, almost 16% have received one and about 7% have received both; in Navarro County almost 18% have received one and about 3.5% have received both; in Robertson County, about 11% have received one and about 4% have received both, and in San Saba County, about 4% have received one and about 1.5% have received both.

Texas will receive almost 592,000 initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week, which will be shipped directly to 563 providers in 230 counties across the state. The state is also ordering 516,830 second doses. Winter weather conditions have delayed the shipment of more than 100,000 initial doses and 300,000 second doses, but they’re due to arrive early this week.

DSHS data showed the Bell County Public Health District, which established vaccination sites at the Bell County Expo Center and in Temple and Killeen, will receive 5,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week; the Coryell Health Medical Clinic in Gatesville will receive 1,170 doses of the Pfizer vaccine; Falls Community Hospital and Clinic in Marlin will receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Ascension Providence Health Center in Waco will receive 2,340 doses of Pfizer vaccine; the Waco-McLennan County Health District will receive 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine, and the Corsicana-Navarro County Public Health District will receive 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine.

The Community Clinic at Santa Fe in Temple is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Canyon Creek Behavioral Health in Temple is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; DSHS Region 7 Headquarters in Temple is due to receive 400 doses of Moderna vaccine; Goodall Witcher Hospital in Clifton is due to receive 500 doses of Moderna vaccine; Brookshire’s Pharmacy 92 in Clifton is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; the Clifton Medical Clinic in Clifton is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; the Crain, Hughes and Murray state prison units in Gatesville are each due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Gatesville Drug Company in Gatesville is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; the Hobby state prison unit in Marlin is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Freestone Medical Center in Fairfield is due to receive 200 doses of Moderna vaccine; Hamilton General Hospital in Hamilton is due to receive 200 doses of Moderna vaccine; Hill Regional Hospital in Hillsboro is due to receive 400 doses of Moderna vaccine; DSHS in Hillsboro is due to receive 200 doses of Moderna vaccine; Advent Health Rollins Brook Hospital in Lampasas is due to receive 200 doses of Moderna vaccine; AdventHelath Family Medicine Rural Health Clinics in Lampasas is due to receive 200 doses of Moderna vaccine; Brookshires Pharmacy 54 in Buffalo is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Brookshires Pharmacy 26 in Jewett is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Limestone Medical Center in Groesbeck is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Family Medicine Center in Groesbeck is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Parkview Regional Hospital in Mexia is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; the Milam County Health Department in Cameron is due to receive 300 doses of Moderna vaccine; the Mills County Medical Clinic in Goldthwaite is due to receive 200 doses of Moderna vaccine; Fresenius Medical Care in Corsicana is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine; Wilson Drug in Hearne is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine, and Baylor Scott & White Healthcare in San Saba isa due to receive 100 doses of Moderna vaccine.

FEMA sites established at Fair Park in Dallas, NRG Stadium in Houston and AT&T Stadium in Arlington will receive a total of about 84,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week.

The interactive Texas Department of State Health Services vaccine availability map Tuesday, however, showed only the Waco-McLennan County Health District with doses on hand for which appointments are required.

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District received 13 more death certificates for residents who died of the virus including a Killeen man in his 50s, a Bell County woman in her 60s, a Killeen man in his 80s, a Bell County woman in her 40s, a Belton man in his 80s, a Harker Heights woman in her 50s, a Temple man in his 80s, a Temple man in his 90s, a Temple man in his 70s, a Belton man in his 80s, a Temple woman in her 60s, a Killeen man in his 70s and a Harker Heights man in his 70s.

The deaths raised the virus toll in the county to 351, according to local data.

The health district also reported 88 additional cases of the virus Tuesday, 56 of them new, increasing the county’s total to 20,217.

Of the total, 425 cases were active on Tuesday and 19,792 patients have recovered.

State data, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 20,235 total cases and 332 deaths

The county’s incidence rate rose slightly Tuesday to 117.1 cases per 100,000 residents.

“It’s a slight increase from yesterday but we expect at least a slight bump up given the impact that weather had on testing,” health district Director Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell said Tuesday.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Tuesday showed 10 active cases and a total of 315 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Tuesday showed three active cases and a total of 36 since March 2020, 27 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed two cases involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,542 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, 748 involving students and 794 involving staff.

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 no active cases.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed 10 cases across nine campuses.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District Tuesday reported 79 additional cases of the virus, raising the county’s total to 24,826.

Of the total, 273 cases were active Tuesday, 24,158 patients have recovered and 75 were hospitalized, nine of them on ventilators.

Of the 75, 45 are McLennan County residents.

State data showed three additional deaths, raising the county’s total 59 427, 32 more than the 395 local data showed.

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 Foodbank will distribute free food from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road in Waco.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed an uptick in active cases from 25 on Monday to 98 on Tuesday, 96 involving students, one involving a staff member and one involving a faculty member. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,009 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, 95 tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Tuesday showed 340 cumulative cases in the last three weeks, 261 of them involving students. The college is offering classes in blended-hybrid and online formats during the spring semester.

The Waco ISD dashboard Tuesday showed no active cases and 259 total cases involving students since Sept. 8, 2020, 279 involving staff and 13 involving those described as “other.”

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed 14 cases across six campuses and three at non-campus facilities.

The Lorena ISD dashboard Tuesday showed one case involving an employee at Lorena Middle School.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard showed one case at Mart Elementary School Tuesday.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard hasn’t been updated since before the storm.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

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Note: On Feb. 1, 2021, the Texas Department of State Health Services added a total of 6,552 previously unreported confirmed and probable cases of the virus to the regional count including 237 confirmed and 49 probable cases in Bosque County; 2,087 confirmed and 41 probable cases in Coryell County; 385 confirmed and 57 probable cases in Falls County; 351 confirmed and 171 probable cases in Freestone County; 70 confirmed and five probable cases in Hamilton County; 985 confirmed and 96 probable cases in Hill County; 362 confirmed and 80 probable cases in Lampasas County; 321 confirmed and 45 probable cases in Leon County; 433 confirmed and 88 probable cases in Limestone County; 82 confirmed and 16 probable cases in Mills County; 428 confirmed and 59 probable cases in Robertson County and 83 confirmed and 21 probable cases in San Saba County.

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CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had a total of 6,501 confirmed and 236 probable cases of the virus Tuesday according to DSHS data.

Of the total, 6,301 patients have recovered, and 70 have died.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed five active cases across three campuses.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard hasn’t been updated since before the storm.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported one case involving an inmate and 13 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an inmate and 14 involving employees at the Hilltop Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an inmate and 26 involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where one inmate was medically isolated; two cases involving employees at the Mountain View Unit; five cases involving inmates and seven involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit where 92 inmates were restricted and five were isolated, and three cases involving inmates and four involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 87 inmates were restricted and three 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 1,821 confirmed and 156 probable cases Tuesday.

State data showed 1,832 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed a 29th life in the county, state data showed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported seven cases involving inmates and eight involving employees at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin where 147 inmates were restricted and seven were isolated, and two cases involving inmates and two involving employees at the Marlin Transfer Unit where 25 inmates were restricted and two were isolated.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,032 confirmed and 555 probable cases Tuesday.

At least 2,277 patients have recovered and 60 have died, according to state data.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County had 3,345 confirmed and 2,130 probable cases of the virus Tuesday.

Of the total, 5,246 patients have recovered.

State data showed 114 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,289 confirmed and 284 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. Of the total, 1,401 patients have recovered and 29 have died, according to state data.

Freestone County had 1,047 confirmed and 700 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. At least 1,629 patients have recovered and 40 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported one case involving an inmate and eight involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague where one inmate was isolated.

Hamilton County had 689 confirmed and 49 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. At least 670 patients have recovered and 24 have died, according to state data.

Hill County had 3,634 confirmed cases and 651 probable cases Tuesday. At least 3,729 patients have recovered and 89 have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Tuesday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard showed four cases, two involving students at Hillsboro Intermediate and two involving staff at Hillsboro High School.

Lampasas County had 1,715 confirmed and 319 probable cases Tuesday. At least 1,711 patients have recovered and 26 residents have died, according to state data.

Leon County had 1,197 confirmed and 322 probable cases Tuesday. At least 1,333 patients have recovered and 36 residents have died, according to state data.

Milam County had 1,305 confirmed and 990 probable cases Tuesday. At least 2,192 patients have recovered and 37 have died, according to state data.

Mills County had 567 confirmed and 52 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. At least 534 patients have recovered and 20 have died, according to state data.

Robertson County had 1,593 confirmed cases Tuesday and 400 probable cases. At least 1,743 patients have recovered and 34 have died, according to state data.

San Saba County had 574 confirmed cases Tuesday and 242 probable cases. At least 748 patients have recovered and 19 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported 32 cases involving inmates and six involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit where 32 inmates were isolated.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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