Texas achieves ‘incredible milestone’ in fight against COVID-19, governor says
(KWTX) - Texas “has achieved an incredible milestone” in the fight against COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, as the total number of doses of vaccine administered rose to more than 20 million and first doses have been administered to more than 50% of residents 16 and older.
“And with Texans aged 12-15 now eligible for the vaccine, there’s even more we must do to get more shots in arms and keep our communities safe,” Abbott said Friday.
“Vaccines are the most effective defense against the spread of COVID-19, and I continue to urge all eligible Texans to get the vaccine,” he said.
“The COVID-19 vaccine will always remain voluntary and never forced in Texas, but it is up to all of us to ensure that we defeat this virus,” he said.
Statewide, just less than 52% of residents 16 and older, about 11.7 million in all, have received one dose of vaccine and just more than 40% or about 9.1 million are fully vaccinated, Department of State Health Services data showed Friday.
More than 480,000 total doses have been administered in the 16 counties KWTX is tracking.
About 36.5% of Central Texas residents 16 and older have received one dose of vaccine and just more than 28% are fully vaccinated.
In Bell County, just more than 32% of residents 16 and older have received one dose and 24.5% are fully vaccinated.
In McLennan County, 43% of eligible residents have received one dose, and 34% are fully vaccinated.
In Bosque County Friday, according to data from the State Vaccination Dashboard, 35% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. Almost 19% of eligible Coryell County residents are fully vaccinated as almost 26% of eligible Falls County residents; 22% of eligible Freestone County residents; almost 39% of eligible Hamilton County residents; more than 30% of eligible Hill County residents; more than 28% of eligible Lampasas County residents; almost 30% of eligible Leon County residents; more than 25% of eligible Limestone County residents; almost 33% of eligible Milam County residents; almost 33% of eligible Mills County residents; almost 35% of eligible Navarro County residents; more than 32% of eligible Robertson County residents, and almost 22% of eligible San Saba County residents.
The Department of State Health Services has notified vaccine providers across the state that they should begin to use the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate adolescents from 12- to 15-years-of-age after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use for people in that age group and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended it, as well.
Parental consent is required for vaccination of children 12-15.
Consent may be oral or written and a parent or guardian does not need to be present when a child is vaccinated, unless required by the provider.
NEW CASES, ADDITIONAL DEATHS
Just 27 more cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday in Central Texas, increasing the region’s total to 76,726.
DSHS data showed two more deaths in the region.
COVID-19 has claimed as many as 1,680 lives in Central Texas, but according to the DSHS data Friday, the regional death toll was 1,659 including 422 Bell County residents, 12 fewer than the local count of 434; 33 Bosque County residents; 86 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 50 Freestone County residents; 27 Hamilton County residents; 108 Hill County residents; 33 Lampasas County residents; 43 Leon County residents; 77 Limestone County residents; 472 McLennan County residents, 16 more than the local count of 456; 48 Milam County residents, one more than the local count of 47; 21 Mills County residents; 141 Navarro County residents, nine fewer than the local count of 150; 43 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.
The statewide death toll rose by 61 to 49,835 Friday.
DSHS reported an additional 1,937 confirmed cases of the virus, 1,766 of them new, increasing the statewide total to 2,496,002.
At least 55,943 cases were active Friday, 2,761,448 residents have recovered, and 2,323 were hospitalized, down from 2,353 on Thursday.
In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 40 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Friday, accounting for about 6% all hospitalizations and filling almost 4% of available beds.
At least 21 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Friday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 5% of all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.
The statewide Lab Test Date positivity rate was 4.24% Friday, down from 4.27% Thursday.
A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.
Baylor Scott & White Friday said vaccination appointments for children 12 to 15 must be scheduled by calling 1.844.BSW.VACC.
The state has halted weekly allocations of COVID-19 vaccine to providers as supply exceeds demand instead will fill vaccine orders as they come in and will ship doses from the Department of State Health Services Pharmacy or will place orders daily with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said Thursday.
The state has also opened a call center at 8 a.m. to connect businesses, organizations, and homebound seniors with mobile vaccination teams.
Businesses and civic organizations with 10 or more employees, members or visitors who are willing to be vaccinated may call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 3 to schedule a visit from a state mobile vaccine team.
Homebound seniors may call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 1 to request a mobile vaccine team to come to their homes.
A new White House initiative should make it easier to find available vaccines.
Text a zip code to GetVax (438829), or in Spanish to Vacuna (822862), and the response will list three nearby locations with vaccines in stock.
The Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler allows residents to 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 Waco-McLennan County Health is offering Moderna vaccinations from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Thursday in May at the Waco Convention Center. The clinic is open to residents 18 and older. Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments may be made online, or by calling (254) 750-1890. The Moderna vaccine will also be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays through May at the Convention Center. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Walgreens pharmacies in Central Texas are now offering same day COVID-19 vaccine appointments to residents 16 and older. Appointments may be made online or by calling a Walgreens phone scheduler at 1-800-Walgreens.
The City of Nolanville will host a free no-appointment-needed Moderna COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays at Bell County Fire & Rescue at 84 North Main St. throughout May.
The Bell County Health District has paused updates of its local dashboard, but says they will resume if the county’s incidence rate rises to more than 80 cases per 100,000 residents.
On Thursday the rate was 49.9 per 100,000.
Stata data Friday, including Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 22,582 total cases, an increase of 16, and an additional death.
The last local update set the virus’ death toll in the county at 434.
State data Friday showed 422 deaths.
At least 181 cases were active Friday and 21,861 residents have recovered, according to DSHS data.
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Friday showed two active cases and a total of 370 since Aug. 1, 2020.
Texas A&M University-Central Texas Friday showed one active case and a total of 43 since March 2020, 31 of them involving students.
The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Friday showed nine cases involving students and four involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,787 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, including 905 involving students and 882 involving staff.
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 no active cases Friday.
The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Friday showed nine cases across four campuses.
The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 12 additional cases Friday, increasing the county’s total to 272,256.
At least 128 cases were active Friday, 26,672 residents have recovered, and 21 were hospitalized, five of them on ventilators.
Local data showed 456 deaths.
State data Friday showed 472 deaths, an increase of one.
The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on May 27 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.
Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 14 active cases Friday, 13 involving students and one involving a contractor. Active cases during the spring semester peaked at 449 on March 4. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,989 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, seven tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff through the summer. The university will not require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against the virus this fall, but is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The university has provided revised guidance for the summer and eliminated capacity limitations on outdoor activities and made face coverings are optional outside. Indoors, any student, faculty member or staff member who is fully vaccinated may meet indoors with fully vaccinated people in groups of 15 or fewer without face coverings or social distancing and may also meet with groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in groups of 15 or fewer without face coverings or social distancing. Face coverings are still required in public of commons areas indoors.
The McLennan Community College dashboard Friday showed no active cases, and a cumulative total of 364 cases, 282 of them involving students.
The Waco ISD dashboard Friday showed four active cases and 294 total cases involving students, 301 involving staff and 18 involving those described as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.
The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Friday showed four cases across four campuses.
The Lorena ISD dashboard showed no active cases Friday.
The Mart ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Friday.
The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Friday.
Coryell County had 6,979 confirmed cases and 274 probable cases Friday.
At least 7,117 residents have recovered.
The virus has claimed 86 lives in the county, according to state data.
The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Friday showed two cases across two campuses.
The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard showed three cases across two campuses Friday.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday was still reporting four cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an employee at the Hilltop Unit; seven cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit where 124 inmates were isolated; no active cases at the Mountain View Unit; one case involving an inmate and one involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit where 97 inmates were restricted and one inmate was isolated, and one case involving an inmate and two involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 24 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 1,894 confirmed and 198 probable cases Friday.
State data showed at least 2,040 residents have recovered.
The virus has claimed the lives of 32 residents, state data showed.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday was reporting no cases at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin, and one case involving an employee at the Marlin Transfer Unit.
Limestone County had 2,152 confirmed and 639 probable cases Friday.
At least 2,675 patients have recovered.
The virus has claimed the lives of 77 residents, state data showed.
Navarro County had 3,466 confirmed and 2,354 probable cases Friday.
Of the total, at least 5,608 patients have recovered.
State data showed 141 deaths.
Local data showed 150 deaths.
Bosque County had 1,366 confirmed and 306 probable cases of the virus Friday. Of the total, 1,629 residents have recovered and 33 have died, according to state data.
Freestone County had 1,108 confirmed and 816 probable cases Friday. At least 1,816 residents have recovered and 50 have died according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday reported three cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.
Hamilton County had 713 confirmed and 58 probable cases of the virus Friday. At least 740 residents have recovered and 27 have died, according to state data.
Hill County Friday had 3,792 confirmed cases and 713 probable cases. At least 4,359 patients have recovered, and 108 residents have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Friday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Friday showed two cases across two campuses.
Lampasas County had 1,852 confirmed and 337 probable cases Friday. At least 2,131 residents have recovered, and 33 residents have died, according to state data.
Leon County had 1,276 confirmed and 361 probable cases Friday. At least 1,579 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data.
Milam County had 1,446 confirmed and 1,091 probable cases Friday. At least 2,527 patients have recovered and 48 have died. Five cases were active Friday, and three patients were hospitalized.
Mills County had 594 confirmed and 62 probable cases of the virus Friday. At least 634 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data.
Robertson County had 1,723 confirmed cases Friday and 423 probable cases. At least 2,065 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data.
San Saba County had 527 confirmed cases Friday and 256 probable cases. At least 763 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday reported two cases involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit.
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