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COVID-19 claims nearly 30 more lives in Central Texas

COVID-19 has claimed nearly 30 more lives in Central Texas, pushing the virus’ toll to more...
COVID-19 has claimed nearly 30 more lives in Central Texas, pushing the virus’ toll to more than 1,450. (File)(David J. Phillip | AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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(KWTX) – COVID-19 has claimed at least 27 more lives in Central Texas, according to data released Monday.

As many as 1,480 area residents diagnosed with the COVID-19 have died, but according to Texas Department of State Health Services data, the regional death toll Monday was 1,453 including 356 Bell County residents, 18 fewer than the local count of 374; 30 Bosque County residents; 76 Coryell County residents; 29 Falls County residents; 44 Freestone County residents; 25 Hamilton County residents; 94 Hill County residents; 28 Lampasas County residents; 37 Leon County residents; 63 Limestone County residents; 437 McLennan County residents, 27 more than the local count of 410; 38 Milam County residents; 20 Mills County residents; 120 Navarro County residents, nine fewer than the local count of 129; 37 Robertson County residents, and 19 San Saba County residents.

Another 241 cases of the virus have been confirmed since Friday in Central Texas, pushing the regional total to 73,163.

The statewide death toll rose to 42,995 Monday, an increase of 59 since Sunday and of 420 since Friday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported another 4,962 cases of the virus Monday, 1,637 of them new, raising the statewide total to 2,292,097, an increase of 16,591 since Friday.

Of the total, 156,989 cases were active Monday, 2,429,453 patients have recovered, and 5,611 were hospitalized, 85 fewer than on Sunday and about 575 fewer than on Friday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties, at least 85 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Monday, accounting for about 10% all hospitalizations and filling about 8% of available beds.

At least 51 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Monday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 12% of all hospitalizations and filling about 8% 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 Monday was 9.35%, down from 9.93% on Sunday and 11.87% on Friday.

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

VACCINATIONS

The state is receiving another 626,280 initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week and 17,730 doses are headed to hub sites and other providers in Central Texas and, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas announced Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services is receiving a $106 million federal grant to boost vaccination efforts.

“As we look to turn the corner on this deadly pandemic, it’s critical that we make vaccine distribution a priority to ensure we keep Texans safe and healthy,” Cornyn said.

The 626,280 doses will be shipped directly to a total of 522 providers in 199 counties, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

The six hub sites in Central Texas will receive a total of 14,760 doses.

DSHS data show the Bell County Public Health District, is due to receive 7,020 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week; the Coryell Health Medical Clinic in Gatesville 1,170 doses of the Pfizer vaccine; Falls Community Hospital and Clinic in Marlin 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Ascension Providence Health Center in Waco 2,340 doses of Pfizer vaccine; the Waco-McLennan County Health District 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine, and the Corsicana-Navarro County Public Health District 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine.

Another 2,570 doses will be shipped to other providers in the region including 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine to Baylor Scott & White in Temple; 200 doses of Moderna vaccine to the Clifton Medical Clinic; 200 doses of Moderna to Freestone Medical Center in Fairfield; 100 doses of Moderna to Brookshire’s Pharmacy No. 53 in Hillsboro; 100 doses of Moderna to Eubank Drug in Whitney; 100 doses of Moderna to Brookshire’s Pharmacy No. 54 in Buffalo; 100 doses of Moderna to Brookshire’s Pharmacy No. 26 in Jewett; 100 doses of Moderna to Brookshire’s Pharmacy No. 75 in Normangee; 100 doses of Moderna to the Texas Department of Disability and Aging Services in Mexia; 200 doses of Moderna to the Milam County Health Department, and 200 doses of Moderna to the Baylor Scott & White Clinic in San Saba.

The state also ordered 429,600 second doses.

Early indications are the state could also receive an initial supply of more than 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, which received emergency use

Freestone, Hill and Robertson counties are among 26 selected for the first week of the state’s Save Our Seniors initiative to ensure more seniors are vaccinated throughout the state, Gov Greg Abbott announced Monday.

The state allocated as many as 8,000 vaccine doses for the first week of the program, which targets residents who are 75 years of age or older or homebound.

Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas Military Department personnel will work with local officials either to set up central drive-thru vaccine clinics or to administer vaccinations directly to homebound seniors.

Counties were selected based on hospitalization rates, the number of approved vaccine providers, the percentage of older residents who’ve been vaccinated and total vaccine allocations over the past three months.

About 7,000 more Central Texas residents have received the first dose of vaccine and about 5,000 more have received the second dose.

As of Monday, 90,116 or 12% of the residents 16 or older in the 16 counties KWTX is tracking have received a first dose and 47,908, or about 6% have received both.

Statewide, 3,547,983 or about 14.5% or residents 16 and older have received a first dose and 1,887,045, or about 7.5% of residents 16 and older have received both.

Data Monday from the state vaccination dashboard showed in Bell County, 26,246 residents, or just more than 9.5% of those 16 and older, have received the first dose and 16,165 or almost 6% of those 16 and older, have received both doses.

In McLennan County, 30,058 residents, or about 15% of those 16 and older, have received one dose and 14,849, or just more than 7% of those 16 and older have received both.

In Bosque County, 14% of those 16 and older have received one dose and 9% have received both; in Coryell County almost 9% have received one and 5% have received both; in Falls County, just more than 14% have received one and just more than 6% have received both; in Freestone County 8% have received one and 4% have received both; in Hamilton County, 17% have received one and about 9.5% have received both; in Hill County, about 12% have received one and about 7% have received both; in Lampasas County, about 10% have received one, and just more than 4.5% have received both; in Milam County about 13% have received one and 8% have received both; in Mills County, almost 18% have received one and about almost 10% have received both; in Navarro County 20% have received one and almost 8% have received both; in Robertson County, 14% have received one and almost 5.5% have received both, and in San Saba County, almost 6% have received one and 2% have received both.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District received 10 more death certificates Monday for residents diagnosed with the virus including a Killeen woman in her 50s, a Temple woman in her 70s, a Killeen woman in her 60s, a Temple man in his 90s, a Killeen man in his 70s, a Belton woman in her 80s, a Killeen woman in her 70s, a Temple man in his 70s, a Killeen man in his 30s and a Belton man in his 50s increasing the county’s death toll to 374, according to local data.

State data showed 356 deaths, an increase of 10 since Friday.

The health district also reported 80 additional cases of the virus Monday, 72 of them, new, raising the county’s total to 20,521.

Of the total, 459 cases were active Monday and 19,688 patients have recovered.

“We did expect an uptick in the incidence rate after delayed reporting due to weather, but this was not significant enough of an increase to negate changing the threat level,” health district Director Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell said Monday.

“With the combination of reduced hospitalizations and reduced incidence of new cases the threat level has been moved to Level 3: Moderate, Controlled Transmission.”

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

Temple’s city hall, human resources office, historic post office, Parks and Recreation office, service center, and the Hillcrest Cemetery office, all of which were closed in November as COVID-19 cases surged, began to reopen Monday. Temple’s public library will remain closed to walk-in traffic through March 15. Municipal Court and the Utility Business Office remain closed to walk-in traffic, as well.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Monday showed 14 active cases and a total of 328 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Monday showed three active cases, one involving a student, and a total of 39 since March 2020, 28 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed three cases involving students and 12 cases involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,557 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, 751 involving students and 806 involving staff.

The Killeen ISD is offering free COVID-19 screening to students and employees from 7 a.m. to 11 p.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 showed no active cases Monday.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 14 cases across nine campuses and one at a non-campus facility.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported three more deaths from the virus, a 92-year-old woman, a 66-year-old man and a 79-year-old man, raising the county’s death toll to 410, according to local data.

State data showed 437 deaths, an increase of three since Friday.

The health district also reported 108 additional cases of the virus Monday, 72 of them from the weekend.

Of the total, 408 cases were active Monday, 24,314 patients have recovered, and 55 were hospitalized, 15 of them on ventilators.

Forty five of the 55 are McLennan County residents.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute free food from 10 a.m. to noon on March 25 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.

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.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed another uptick in active cases this 291 on Friday to 362 on Monday, 359 involving students and three involving staff. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,277 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, 240 tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff. The university has decided to restrict school-sponsored international travel through the end of June. A decision on travel in July in August will be made by April 1.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Monday showed 343 total case in the past three weeks, 264 of them involving students.

The Waco ISD dashboard Monday showed no active cases and 263 total cases involving students, 279 involving staff and 15 involving those described as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.

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

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

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed six cases at Mart Elementary School.

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

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had 6,558 confirmed cases Monday, an increase of 40, and 238 probable cases.

State data showed 6,141 patients have recovered and another three more have died, raising the death toll in the county to 76

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 10 active cases across five campuses.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed two cases as Gatesville Junior High, one involving a student, one involving a student at Gatesville Intermediate, and one involving a student at Gatesville Elementary.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported six cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit; one case involving an inmate and four involving employees at the Hilltop Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an inmate and 13 cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit where 60 inmates were restricted and one was isolated; one case involving an inmate and four cases involving employees at the Mountain View Unit where 28 inmates were medically restricted and one was isolated; 19 cases involving inmates and 11 involving employees at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit where 427 inmates were restricted and 19 were isolated, and one case involving an inmate and four involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 50 inmates were restricted and one was 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 1,835 confirmed and 158 probable cases Monday.

State data showed 1,834 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 29 residents, state data showed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported two cases involving inmates and three involving employees at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin where 123 inmates were medically restricted and two were isolated, and two cases involving employees at the Marlin Transfer Unit.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,062 confirmed and 565 probable cases Monday.

At least 2,297 patients have recovered and two more have died, raising the county’s death toll to 63, 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 Monday, the same numbers DSHS has reported for the county since Feb. 10.

Of the total, 5,310 patients have recovered.

State data showed three more deaths for a total of 120.

Local data from Feb. 28 showed 129 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,303 confirmed and 289 probable cases of the virus Monday. Of the total, 1,419 patients have recovered and 30 have died, according to state data.

Freestone County had 1,038 confirmed and 708 probable cases of the virus Monday. At least 1,557 patients have recovered and a 44th has died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported five cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.

Hamilton County had 689 confirmed and 50 probable cases of the virus Monday. At least 681 patients have recovered and a 25th has died, according to state data.

Hill County had 3,646 confirmed cases and 655 probable cases Monday. At least 3,794 patients have recovered and 94 have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Monday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard showed two cases Monday involving employees at Hillsboro Intermediate School.

Lampasas County had 1,729 confirmed and 322 probable cases Monday. At least 1,774 patients have recovered and a 28th resident has died, according to state data.

Leon County had 1,207 confirmed and 325 probable cases Monday. At least 1,347 patients have recovered and a 37th resident has died, according to state data.

Milam County had 1,331 confirmed and 1,005 probable cases Monday. At least 2,304 patients have recovered and 38 have died, according to state data.

Mills County had 573 confirmed and 57 probable cases of the virus Monday. At least 547 patients have recovered and 20 have died, according to state data.

Robertson County had 1,604 confirmed cases Monday and 402 probable cases. At least 1,761 patients have recovered and 37 have died, according to state data.

San Saba County had 564 confirmed cases Monday and 247 probable cases. At least 733 patients have recovered and 19 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported one case involving an inmate and three involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit where one inmate was isolated.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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