Central Texas COVID-19 death toll increases by five; 84 more deaths reported statewide
State reports slight jump in area vaccination rates
(KWTX) - Five more Central Texas residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have died and the statewide death toll increased by 84 to 48,425 Thursday, but Central Texas first-dose vaccination rates also jumped slightly, according to state data.
As many as 1,644 Central Texas residents diagnosed with the virus have died, but according to Texas Department of State Health Services data Thursday, the regional death toll was 1,619 including 407 Bell County residents, 14 fewer than the local count of 421; 33 Bosque County residents; 85 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 49 Freestone County residents; 26 Hamilton County residents; 106 Hill County residents; 32 Lampasas County residents; 42 Leon County residents; 73 Limestone County residents; 465 McLennan County residents, 15 more than the local count of 450; 46 Milam County residents; 21 Mills County residents; 139 Navarro County residents, 11 fewer than the local count of 150; 40 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.
Fifty-seven more confirmed cases of the virus were reported Thursday in Central Texas, raising the regional total to 76,738.
DSHS reported 2,924 additional cases Thursday, 2,770 of them new.
Of the total, 64,360 cases were active on Thursday, 2,695,504 residents have recovered, and 2,931 were hospitalized, down slightly from 2,960 on Wednesday.
In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 48 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Thursday, accounting for about 5% all hospitalizations and filling about 4% of available beds.
At least 24 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Thursday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 5% of all hospitalizations and filling about 4% of available beds.
The statewide Lab Test Date positivity Thursday was 6.49%, up slightly from 6.31% on Wednesday.
A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.
Central Texas first-dose vaccination rates showed a bump Thursday, based on DSHS data, but area rates still generally trail statewide rates.
As of Thursday, nearly 30% of the residents 16 and older in the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is tracking have received a first dose, up from 26.9% on Wednesday, and 20.5% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, up from 19.2% Wednesday.
Statewide 9,707,452 or 43.3% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and 6,121,223 or 27.3% are fully vaccinated, according to Department of State Health Services data.
In Bell County, 66,174 or 24.2% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose, up from 22.8% on Wednesday, and 44,915 or 16.4% are fully vaccinated, up from 16% on Wednesday.
In McLennan County, 72,910 or 36.3% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose, up from 30.9% Wednesday, and 49,551 or 24.7% are fully vaccinated, up from 22.1% Wednesday.
Data Thursday from the state vaccination dashboard showed 38.2% of residents 16 and older in Bosque County have received a first dose and 28% are fully vaccinated; in Coryell County, 20.1% have received one dose and 13.8% are fully vaccinated; in Falls County 30.4% have received one dose and 19.1% are fully vaccinated; in Freestone County, 24.7% have received one dose and 17% are fully vaccinated; in Hamilton County, 43.2% have received one dose and 33.4% are fully vaccinated; in Hill County, 33% have received one dose and 25.5% are fully vaccinated; in Lampasas County, 30.8 % have received one dose and 20.9% are fully vaccinated; in Leon County, 33.1% have received one dose and 23.8% are fully vaccinated; in Limestone County, 28.2% have received one dose and 19.2% are fully vaccinated; in Milam County, 34.1% have received one dose and 24.4% are fully vaccinated; in Mills County, 36.9% have received one dose and 27.7% are fully vaccinated; in Navarro County, 38.5% have received one dose and 27.1% are fully vaccinated; in Robertson County, 34.3% have received one dose and 25.4% are fully vaccinated, and in San Saba County, 25.1% have received one dose and 12.6% are fully vaccinated.
A temporary COVID-vaccination site will operate from next Tuesday through next Thursday at Leo Buckley Stadium at 3409 Atkinson Ave.
Registration is required and opens online on Friday.
A temporary COVID-19 vaccination site will be at Leo Buckley Stadium, 3409 Atkinson Avenue, April 20 through 22. Dose 1 of the Pfizer vaccine is being offered free.
Vaccines will be administered while residents remain in their vehicles. Masks are required.
Registration is required in advance and will open April 16 online.
Leon and Robertson counties are among 35 Texas counties selected to participate in the seventh week of the Save Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine initiative.
Meanwhile vials of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will remain on the shelf after the members of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee decided on Wednesday they needed more time to evaluate data and risks and would not vote on a recommendation for at least a week.
The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recommendation Tuesday calling for a temporary halt to use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six woman ranging in age from 18 to 48 developed rare and severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine.
Hundreds of doses of the vaccine have been administered to residents throughout Central Texas.
“People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” the Department of State Health Services said.
The blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets, federal health officials said.
The Waco-McLennan County Health District canceled Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinics scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday and advised residents who had appointments for shots they will be contacted by text or email to reschedule.
Clinics Thursday through Saturday with the Moderna vaccine will continue as scheduled.
Vaccination of Baylor students on the school’s waitlist was scheduled to begin Tuesday, but because of the recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, appointments were canceled, university spokeswoman Lori Fogelman said.
Doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were allocated to providers around the state this week, although the state received a smaller shipment because of production issues at a plant in Baltimore tapped to manufacture the vaccine.
The regional DSHS office in Temple was due to receive 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Baylor Student health Services was due to receive 1,000 doses and Executive Medical Services in Woodway is due to receive 100 doses.
The state is allocating 14,700 doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines this week to hub providers in Central Texas including the Bell County Public Health District, which is due to receive 7,020 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Coryell Health Medical Clinic in Gatesville, which is due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Falls Community Hospital and Clinic in Marlin, which is due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Ascension Providence Health Center in Waco, which is due to receive 2,340 doses of Pfizer vaccine; the Waco-McLennan County Health District, which is due to receive 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine, and the Corsicana-Navarro County Public Health District, which is due to receive 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine.
All residents 16 and older are now eligible for vaccination.
Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler where residents may sign up for COVID-19 shots through a list of public health departments and select preferred times of day for vaccinations. Those without internet access may call 1-833-832-7067 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
The Bell County Health District reported 44 additional cases of the virus Thursday, raising the county’s total to 21,852.
At least 294 cases were active Thursday, 21,137 residents have recovered, and 421 have died.
State data, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 21,914 total cases, an increase of 20, and 407 deaths, an increase of two.
Because of the generally flat trend in new cases, health district officials reduced the virus’ threat level Wednesday to Level 4: Minimal, Controlled Transmission.
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Thursday showed 10 active cases and a total of 360 since Aug. 1, 2020.
Texas A&M University-Central Texas Thursday showed one active case involving a student and a total of 41 since March 2020, 30 of them involving students.
The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 22 cases involving students and 12 cases involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,710 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, 849 involving students and 861 involving staff.
Since March 9, KISD nurses have administered about 2,570 COVID-19 vaccine doses to district employees.
Starting on April 20, the district, in cooperation with the Bell County Health District and the Killeen Office of Emergency Management, will operate a drive-thru vaccination clinic for employees at Leo Buckley Stadium.
The Killeen ISD continues to offer 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 six cases across three campuses Thursday.
The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 15 cases across five campuses.
The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 26 additional cases of the virus Thursday, increasing the county’s total to 26,499.
At least 192 cases were active Thursday, 25,857 residents have recovered, and 10 were hospitalized, four of them on ventilators.
On Wednesday 28 patients were hospitalized.
At least 193 cases were active Wednesday, 25,830 residents have recovered, and 28 were hospitalized, five of them on ventilators.
The virus has claimed 450 lives in the county, according to local data.
DSHS reports 465 deaths, an increase of two.
The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on April 22 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.
Free COVID-19 test sites are in operation in the Waco area. 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 148 active cases Thursday, 139 involving students, four involving staff members, three involving faculty and two involving contractors. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,860 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, 63 tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff.
The McLennan Community College dashboard Thursday showed three active cases, and a cumulative total of 355 cases, 274 of them involving students.
The Waco ISD dashboard Thursday showed five active cases across four campuses and 281 total cases involving students, 300 involving staff and 18 involving those described as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.
The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed six cases across four campuses.
The Lorena ISD dashboard showed one active case at Lorena Elementary Thursday.
The Mart ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Thursday.
The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard showed one case Thursday at Isbill Junior High School.
Coryell County had 6,844 confirmed and 261 probable cases Thursday.
State data showed at least 6,936 patients have recovered.
The virus has claimed 85 lives in the county, state data showed.
The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 23 cases across six campuses, including nine cases at Cove Junior High, and one at a non-campus facility.
The district has partnered with Coryell Health to provide the Pfizer vaccine to students who are 16 and older as of April 20. The voluntary vaccination clinic is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 20 in the small gym at Copperas Cove High School. Students will receive the second dose of the vaccine about three weeks later.
The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard showed one active case at Gatesville Intermediate Thursday.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported four cases involving employees Thursday at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where 45 inmates were restricted; four cases involving employees at the Hilltop Unit; 11 cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit; three cases involving inmates at the Mountain View Unit where three inmates were restricted and three were isolated; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit, and two cases involving inmates and two cases involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 26 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.
Falls County had 1,830 confirmed and 190 probable cases Wednesday.
State data showed at least 1,997 patients have recovered.
The virus has claimed the lives of 32 residents, state data showed.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported one case involving an employee at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin and one case involving an employee and two involving inmates at the Marlin Transfer Unit, where one inmate was isolated.
Limestone County had 2,106 confirmed and 613 probable cases Wednesday.
At least 2,612 patients have recovered.
The virus has claimed the lives of 73 residents, state data showed.
Navarro County had 3,417 confirmed and 2,245 probable cases Tuesday.
Of the total, at least 5,513 patients have recovered.
State data showed 139 deaths.
Local data showed 150 deaths.
Bosque County had 1,347 confirmed and 305 probable cases of the virus Thursday. Of the total, 1,598 patients have recovered and 33 have died, according to state data.
Freestone County had 1,072 confirmed and 763 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 1,757 patients have recovered and 49 have died according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported four cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.
Hamilton County had 705 confirmed and 55 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 728 patients have recovered and 26 have died, according to state data.
Hill County Thursday had 3,747 confirmed cases and 681 probable cases. At least 4,295 patients have recovered and 106 have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Thursday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Thursday showed no active cases.
Lampasas County had 1,808 confirmed and 331 probable cases Thursday. At least 2,067 patients have recovered, and 32 residents have died.
Leon County had 1,260 confirmed and 348 probable cases Thursday. At least 1,544 patients have recovered, and 42 residents have died, according to state data.
Milam County had 1,402 confirmed and 1,082 probable cases Thursday. At least 2,489 patients have recovered and 46 have died, according to state data. Ten cases were active and three patients were hospitalized Thursday.
Mills County had 592 confirmed and 61 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 629 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data.
Robertson County had 1,663 confirmed cases Thursday and 412 probable cases. At least 2,014 patients have recovered and 40 have died, according to state data. The Robertson County Jail is again allowing visitation, but the number of visitors at any given time is limited to four, one per inmate, masks are required, and no one younger than 16 is permitted.
San Saba County had 532 confirmed cases Thursday and 255 probable cases. At least 773 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported two cases involving inmates at the San Saba Transfer Unit.
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