COVID-19 cases are again rising, but Central Texas vaccination rates aren’t
(KWTX) - Texas reported almost 5,700 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday, 5,391 of them new, the number of active cases in the state rose by about 4,700 to more than 54,000, hospitalizations increased by nearly 200 to 3,890 and the molecular test positivity rate rose from 12.71% to 13.22%, more than 8% higher than the 5% that indicates spread is controlled.
The number of active cases in Central Texas has more than doubled in the past week from 969 on July 16 to 2,211 on Friday as the total number of cases confirmed in the region increased by almost 360 to 81,928, and hospitalizations are rising in the region, too.
In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills County, 103 patients diagnosed with the virus were hospitalized Friday, filling about 10% of available beds and accounting for about 11% of all patients hospitalized.
In Trauma Service Area M, which includes Bosque, Falls, Hill, Limestone and McLennan counties 39 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized Friday, filling more than 6% of available beds and accounting for about 8% of all hospitalizations.
The virus has claimed 53 more lives in Texas, increasing the statewide death toll to 51,802.
In Central Texas, the virus’ toll may be as high as 1,758, but according to state data Friday, the count stood at 1,742 including 457 Bell County residents, 13 fewer that the local count of 470; 37 Bosque County residents; 89 Coryell County residents; 33 Falls County residents; 50 Freestone County residents; 29 Hamilton County residents; 111 Hill County residents; 33 Lampasas County residents; 43 Leon County residents; 81 Limestone County residents; 489 McLennan County residents, 21 more than the local count of 468; 52 Milam County residents; 21 Mills County residents; 1467 Navarro County residents, three fewer than the local count of 150; 47 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.
The mid-summer spike in cases, fueled by the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus, doesn’t appear to have sparked in surge in vaccinations, however.
The U.S. Census data the Department of State Health Services uses to calculate vaccination rates show 800,370 residents eligible for the vaccine live in the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is monitoring.
Not quite 287,300 of them, or 36% of the total, are fully vaccinated.
Statewide Friday, almost 52% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated.
Since last Friday, another 4,215 Central Texas residents have been fully vaccinated against the virus, but most of the vaccinations were administered in Bell County, with 1,750 more fully vaccinated, and McLennan County with 1,217 more fully vaccinated.
Elsewhere in the region, the additional number of residents fully vaccinated in the past week ranges from 345 in Coryell County to as few as 20 in Hamilton County and 13 each in Mills and San Saba counties.
Just more than 33% of Bell County residents 12 and older are now fully vaccinated and just more than 41% of eligible McLennan County residents are fully vaccinated.
Among residents 12 and older in other Central Texas counties, almost 39% are fully vaccinated in Bosque County; about 31% are fully vaccinated in Coryell County; almost 36% are fully vaccinated in Falls County; more than 31% are fully vaccinated in Freestone County; more than 41% are fully vaccinated in Hamilton County; more than 34% are fully vaccinated in Hill County; 36% are fully vaccinated in Lampasas County; almost 33% are fully vaccinated in Leon County; just more than 31% are fully vaccinated in Limestone County; almost 38% are fully vaccinated in Milam County; 35% are fully vaccinated in Mills County; 39% are fully vaccinated in Navarro County; more than 37% are fully vaccinated in Robertson County, and 29% are fully vaccinated in San Saba County.
The Department of State Health Services is “again hitting the road” with 18 pop-up events at Walmart stores across the state intended to promote the vaccination of younger Texans before the start of the school year.
The first of the four-hour pop-up events was from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Walmart store at 1400 Lowes Blvd. in Killeen.
The second was on Friday in the parking lot of the Walmart store at 1521 Interstate 35 North in Bellmead, and it included “a festive outdoor display,” free treats and games while statewide public service announcements are played on a 16-foot video wall.
Events are planned in Tyler and Beaumont over the weekend and around the state through the first week of August.
Those who attend any of the events may receive free COVID-19 vaccinations at the store’s pharmacy.
More information about where to get the vaccine is available online.
Other vaccination clinics have been scheduled in the area, too.
McLane Children’s Medical Center hosts a walk-in vaccination clinic from noon to 6 p.m. next Tuesday for anyone 12 or older at Pirtle Elementary at 714 South Pea Ridge Rd. in Temple. Parents or guardians must be present for anyone younger than 18. Appointments will be scheduled for second doses.
COVID-19 vaccinations will be available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday for the next four weeks at the 7th Street Pedestrian Plaza in downtown Waco as part of the Civic on the 7th performing arts series.
Advance registration is not required.
In Lampasas County, with more than 60 active case of the virus, AdventHealth Rural Health Clinic is offering free vaccines to residents 18 and older.
Call (512) 556-3621 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to make an appointment.
An ID and proof of insurance are required and those seeking second doses should also bring vaccination cards.
The weekly vaccination clinic will continue for as long as vaccine is available.
The Bell County Health District reported 23,714 total cases Friday.
Of the total, 22,601 residents have recovered and 470 have died, local data showed.
Health district data showed 643 active cases again on Friday.
DSHS data, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 1,266 active cases.
State data also showed 2,573 probable cases of the virus.
At least 24,564 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered, state data showed, and 457 have died.
The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday at Temple College at 2600 South 1st St.
The Waco-McLennan County Health District provided an update Friday that showed 28,443 total cases in the county since the start of the pandemic, an increase of 211 in the past week.
At least 326 of the cases were active Friday, more than twice the number of active cases the health district reported on July 16.
AT least 27,649 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered.
Local data showed 468 deaths.
DSHS data Thursday showed 489 residents diagnosed with the virus have died.
COVID-19 testing provided by the Waco-McLennan County Health District and the Waco-McLennan County Office of Emergency Management has ended. Providers throughout the county including clinics and pharmacies still offer COVID-19 testing. The DSHS test location finder is a resource.
Baylor University’s online dashboard showed seven active cases involving students and two involving staff on Friday and 4,025 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. 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 of Tuesday, more than 41% of students and more than 61% of employees had been vaccinated. The university plans to operate at 100% capacity indoors and outdoors and to return to in-person instruction without social distancing this fall. Face masks are no longer required on campus, but the school recommends those who aren’t vaccinated wear face coverings indoors.
The McLennan Community College dashboard showed no active cases Friday and a cumulative total of 369 cases, 286 involving students.
Coryell County had 7,185 total confirmed cases Friday, an increase of 17, and 309 probable cases.
The number of active cases in the county increased from 96 Thursday to 115 Friday.
At least 7,290 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered and 89 have died.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday reported one case involving an inmate and four cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where 39 inmates were restricted and one inmate was isolated; four cases involving employees at the Hilltop Unit; two cases involving inmates and five cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit, where two inmates were isolated; one active case involving an employee at the Mountain View Unit; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit, two cases involving inmates and three involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 79 inmates were restricted and two were isolated.
Falls County had 1,901 total confirmed and 204 total probable cases of the virus Friday.
State data showed eight active cases in the county Friday; on Wednesday the county had none.
At least 2,064 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered and 33 have died.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday reported no active cases at either the William Hobby Unit or the Marlin Transfer Unit.
Limestone County had 2,225 total confirmed and 680 total probable cases of the virus Friday.
The number of active cases in the county increased by six to 73.
At least 2,751 residents diagnosed the virus have recovered and 81 have died.
Navarro County had 3,520 total confirmed and 2,512 total probable cases Friday.
At least 5,805 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered.
Local data showed 150 deaths.
The state reported 147.
At least 80 cases were active Friday.
Bosque County had 1,408 total confirmed and 320 probable cases of the virus Friday. Of the total, 1,662 residents have recovered and 37 have died, according to state data. Twenty-nine cases were active Friday.
Freestone County had 1,132 total confirmed and 886 total probable cases Friday. At least 1,930 residents have recovered and 50 have died according to state data. At least 38 cases were active Friday. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday was reporting one case involving an employee at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.
Hamilton County had 768 total confirmed and 62 probable cases of the virus Friday. At least 778 residents have recovered and 29 have died, according to state data. Twenty-three cases were active Friday.
Hill County Friday had 3,862 total confirmed cases and 750 probable cases. At least 4,458 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered, and 111 residents have died, according to state data. At least 43 cases were active Friday.
Lampasas County had 1,947 total confirmed and 361 probable cases Friday. At least 2,196 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered, and 33 residents have died, according to state data. At least 79 cases were active Friday.
Leon County had 1,305 total confirmed and 378 total probable cases Friday. At least 1,612 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered, and 43 have died, according to state data. At least 28 cases were active Friday.
Milam County had 1,527 total confirmed and 1,105 total probable cases Friday. At least 2,602 residents have recovered and 52 have died. Thirty cases were active Friday.
Mills County had 598 confirmed and 64 probable cases of the virus Friday. At least 639 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data. Two cases were active Friday.
Robertson County had 1,870 total confirmed cases Friday and 442 total probable cases. At least 2,202 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered, and 47 have died, according to state data. At least 63 cases were active Friday.
San Saba County had 523 total confirmed cases Friday and 264 total probable cases. At least 756 residents have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data, which showed eight active cases Friday. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Friday was reporting three cases involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Facility.
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