Health experts concerned after rise in COVID-19 cases in Bell County

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 8:44 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Bell County has some health experts concerned for the future.

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows 595 active cases, jumping by around 400 from 177.

Bell County is reporting 133 active cases but does not include Fort Hood personnel who live on post, unlike the data from Texas DSHS.

“Please know that COVID is there,” said Costa Claver, chief epidemiologist for Bell County.

“It’s there and you can be susceptible to it when you’re not protecting yourself and you’re not vaccinated.”

Claver says the rise in cases are mainly based out of the Killeen and Fort Hood Area, where more than 60% of new cases involve young adults between the ages of 20 and 29.

“There are multifactorial factors behind it,” he said.

“I heard there’s been a number of graduation parties happening around there. Bearing in mind that cases are low and most people thinking COVID is over, people are just taking it easy and they’re not taking the precautions as serious.”

With a new and more dangerous strain of COVID-19 slowly working its way into the U.S., Claver notes that families must be careful this fourth of July weekend, vaccinated or not.

“Creating the bubble has been helpful in controlling COVID,” he said.

“When you feel like you doubt your health, go get tested!”

That guidance also includes washing hands frequently and keeping a mask ready. Claver adds while things are certainly getting better, taking these steps can help the public stay on the right track.

“If you’re not feeling comfortable getting the vaccine, protect yourself and in turn, you’ll protect others,” he said.

Officials continue to encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to do so.

More information on where to get tested or receive the vaccine can be found on the county’s website.

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