COVID-19 deaths in Texas top 800 as partial business reopening begins

Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen collect samples for COVID-19 testing at a long-term...
Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen collect samples for COVID-19 testing at a long-term care facility April 28, 2020. (Source: U.S. National Guard photo by Cotton Puryear)(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 12:38 PM CDT
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After a single-day record increase of fifty on Thursday, 34 more COVID-19 deaths were reported Friday in Texas, raising the total to 816 while the total number of confirmed cases statewide rose to more than 29,229 and the Central Texas total rose to 544.

More than 350,000 tests have been administered statewide

The virus is now present in 210 of the state’s 254 counties.

Retail businesses, restaurants, malls and theaters were allowed to reopen Friday in Texas, provided they limit occupancy to 25% of capacity, observe social distancing requirements and adhere to specific safety and sanitization standards.

The new coronavirus has claimed 14 lives in Central Texas including three in Bell County, two in Coryell County, one in Hill County, one in Limestone County, four in McLennan County, one in Milam County, and two in Navarro County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported a total of 189 cases in Bell County Friday morning, but the Bell County Health District's count showed 178 with the virus, 94 of whom have recovered.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases that Bell County reports at the local level does not include people who live on post at Fort Hood. The number of confirmed cases in Bell County that the Texas Department of State Health Services reports does include Fort Hood cases. Cases involving Fort Hood personnel who live off post are included in the numbers the county releases.

The virus has claimed three lives in Bell County including a Killeen man in his 50s in ICU died who died on April 8, a Temple man in his 60s in intensive care who died on April 6 who died on April 6, and a Temple woman in her 80s who had been diagnosed with the virus died on March 26.

Among those testing positive for the virus in the county are two employees of the 911 dispatch center.

All of the center’s more than 100 employees are being tested for the virus, officials said Thursday.

A third Killeen police officer was confirmed to have the new coronavirus on April 21.

Two other officers were diagnosed with the virus on April 7.

All three are recovering.

McLennan County’s total stands at 91 with the addition of two cases Friday, one involving a resident whose age ranges from 30-39 and the second involving a resident older than 60.

Seventy four patients have recovered.

Three are hospitalized, one of whom is in critical condition.

Health officials are monitoring 83 residents who have either tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

Four have now died including a 66-year-old resident whose death was announced on April 22 and a 61-year old McLennan County man whom a neighbor found dead on April 8.

G.W. Carver Middle School Principal Phillip Perry, died of complications from the virus on March 31 and a 69-year-old man died on April 9 at a local hospital.

A Waco police officer and a Department of Public Safety trooper are among those who tested positive for the virus in McLennan County, officials said on April 22.

Both have since recovered.

Coryell County had 158 confirmed cases Friday including 113 state prison inmates who’ve been diagnosed with the virus.

Four prison units in Gatesville remain locked down.

Fourteen patients have recovered.

Among the new cases is one involving a Copperas Cove man in his 40s who's hospitalized.

The virus has claimed the lives of a Copperas Cove man in his 70s who died on April 9 at Advent Hospital in Killeen, to which he was admitted on April 2 and a Copperas Cove man in his 60s who was diagnosed with the virus on April 5.

Twelve cases have been confirmed in Limestone County, which has recorded one death.

The county’s Emergency Management office earlier reported a 13th case, but it’s not included in the statewide count Friday.

A Mexia woman in her late 50s to early 60s with underlying health conditions died on March 31 at Parkview Regional Hospital in Mexia after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Bosque County was reporting four cases Wednesday Falls County had four cases, Freestone County reported five cases, Hamilton County reported five cases, Hill County had 16 with one death, Lampasas County had three cases, Leon County had six, Milam County had 16, Navarro County reported 31, and Robertson County had four.

One inmate at the William R. Boyd state prison unit in Teague in Freestone County has been diagnosed with the virus, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported.

No cases have been confirmed in Mills or San Saba counties.