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Central Texas COVID-19 case total tops 24,000; two more local residents die

The COVID-19 death toll continued to rise Thursday in Central Texas and the total number of...
The COVID-19 death toll continued to rise Thursday in Central Texas and the total number of cases confirmed in the region has increased to more than, 24,000.(KWQC)
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 4:03 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:33 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Central Texas since the new coronavirus first appeared here in March rose to 24,071 Thursday and two more McLennan County residents diagnosed with virus have died.

Almost 80 new cases of the virus were reported Thursday in the region, most of them in Bell and McLennan Counties.

According to state data, no new cases were reported Thursday in 13 smaller Central Texas counties.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 6,291 additional cases of the virus Thursday, 5,917 of which are new, raising the statewide total to 845,100.

Of the total, 85,618 cases were active Thursday and 744,283 patients have recovered.

At least 4,931 patients were hospitalized statewide Thursday, an increase of almost 150, and in the two Trauma Service Areas that include most of Central Texas, about 100 patients were in hospitals, four fewer than on Wednesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Division of Emergency Management are sending more personnel and equipment to El Paso to address the surge, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday.

More than 7.5 million tests have been administered statewide and the positivity rate continued to rise, up slightly to 8.86% Thursday from 8.72% Wednesday.

The statewide death toll rose by 85 Thursday to 17,286.

The Central Texas death toll may now be as high as 376, but according to state data Tuesday at least 354 area residents diagnosed with the virus have now died, including 96 Bell County residents, one more than the local count of 95; 10 Bosque County residents; 13 Coryell County residents, two more than the local count of 11; five Falls County residents; four Freestone County residents; four Hamilton County residents; 15 Hill County residents; nine Lampasas County residents; 10 Leon County residents; 16 Limestone County residents; 129 McLennan County residents, 15 fewer than the local count of 144; seven Milam County residents; one Mills County resident; 31 Navarro County residents, eight fewer than the local count of 39; four Robertson County residents, and one San Saba County resident

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Public Health District reported 92 additional cases of the virus Thursday, 68 of them new, after a downturn Wednesday in case incidence.

Of the total, 515 cases were active and 5,559 patients have recovered.

“One of the questions that is likely to come up is whether or not there is a specific driver behind the increase and the investigation process for new cases has of course just started, but the data is geographically spread as well as distributed across all ages so there doesn’t appear to be a specific driver other than standard community spread,” health district Director Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell said.

The virus has claimed 95 lives in the county, according to local data.

State data, which include Fort Hood personnel living on post showed a total of 6,158 cases and 96 deaths.

A temporary state COVID-19 testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Downtown Killeen Acts & Activities Center at 711 North 4th St. Registration may be completed in advance online. Participants must provide either a mobile phone number or valid email address. The test involves a mouth swab. Participants should avoid eating or drinking at least 15 minutes prior to testing.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Thursday showed eight active cases of the virus and a total of 136 since Aug. 1.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Thursday showed no active cases and a total of eight involving students and four involving staff since March.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed a total of 85 cases involving students and 121 involving staff since March 16. The district Thursday reported one case involving an employee and one involving a student at Alice Douse Elementary; one case involving a student at Clear Creek Elementary; one case involving an employee at Meadows Elementary; one involving an employee at Montague Village Elementary; one involving an employee at Mountain View Elementary; five involving students at Peebles Elementary; one involving an employee at Richard E. Cavazos Elementary; one involving a student at Skipcha Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Eastern Hills Middle School; one involving an employee at Liberty Hill Middle School; one involving a student at Rancier Middle School; one involving a student at Smith Middle School; two involving students at Union Grove Middle School; three involving students and two involving employees at Harker Heights High School; two involving students at Killeen High School; one involving an employee at the KISD Career Center; one involving a student at Shoemaker High School, and three involving employees at non-campus facilities, two of them in transportation.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed one case at Temple High School; one at Bonham Middle School; one at Lamar Middle School; one at Garcia Elementary; one at Raye-Allen Elementary, and one involving auxiliary services.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Thursday shoed one case at High Point Elementary; one case at Pirtle Elementary; two cases at Southwest Elementary; one case at Tarver Elementary; three cases at Belton High School; one case at Lake Belton High School, and one case involving a non-campus facility.

The health district has created a guide for safe holiday practices that’s available online.

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District Thursday reported two more deaths from COVID-19, a 75-year-old man and a 74-year-old man.

The deaths rise the virus' toll in the county to 144.

Health officials reported an additional 63 confirmed cases of the virus Thursday, none of which were from surge testing now underway.

The cases increased the county’s total to 9,695.

Forty three patients were hospitalized Thursday, 12 on ventilators.

Thirty six of the 43 are McLennan County residents.

The new cases include eight involving residents who range in age from 11 to 17; 12 involving residents ranging in age from 18 to 25; six involving residents whose ages range from 26 to 29; eight in residents in their 30s; 12 in their 40s; eight in their 50s; four in their 60s, and five in their 70s.

Free COVID-19 test sites are in operation in the Waco area after the federal government provided 40,000 test kits to McLennan County as part of the effort to stem the spread of the virus. Additional details are available online.

Baylor University’s online dashboard Thursday showed 65 active cases, 51 involving students, 13 involving staff members, and 1 involving a faculty member, and a total of 1,201 cases since Aug. 1. Over the past seven days, 26 cases have been confirmed for a seven-day positivity rate of 2.5%

The McLennan Community College dashboard showed six active cases Thursday, one involving an employee and five involving students. In the past three weeks, 118 cases have been confirmed, 104 involving students and 14 involving employees.

The Waco ISD dashboard Thursday showed a cumulative total of 44 students, 46 staff members and four classified as “other” have tested positive for the virus since Sept. 28. The district reported one case Thursday at Alta Vista Elementary, one at Dean Highland Elementary; three cases at Parkdale Elementary, and one case at Tennyson Middle School.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed two cases involving employees at Castleman Creek Elementary; one involving a student and one involving an employee at South Bosque Elementary; two involving students at Speegleville Elementary; two involving students at Spring Valley Elementary; one involving an employee at River Valley Intermediate; three involving students at Woodgate Intermediate, and one involving an employee and six involving students at Midway High School.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed no active cases and a total of eight since Aug. 19.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed three active cases at McGregor Primary and one at McGregor Elementary. The McGregor Primary School campus is closed this week and students are learning online after contact tracing led to the closure of two classrooms and the quarantine of 13 staff members. On-campus instruction is scheduled to resume on Oct. 26.

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County reported 784 cases Thursday

Of the total, 129 cases were active and 644 patients have recovered.

State data, which include Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates in the county, showed a total of 1,937 active cases and 1,829 recoveries.

State data show 13 deaths in the county, but according to local data the virus has claimed 11 lives in the county including 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; a Copperas Cove man in his 60s who was diagnosed with the virus on April 5; a Copperas Cove man whose death was reported on July 8, and a Gatesville man in his 60s whose death was reported on July 12.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday was reporting 14 active cases involving inmates and 15 involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in Gatesville where 108 inmates were on medical restriction and 14 were isolated; six cases involving inmates and six involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Gatesville where 165 inmates were medically restricted and six were medically isolated; no active cases at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville where 107 inmates were on restriction; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville, and five cases involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed two cases involving students and three involving employees at Copperas Cove High School; one involving a student and one involving an employee at Copperas Cove Junior High, and one case involving a student at Fairview Jewell Elementary.

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.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

FALLS COUNTY

Falls County reported 639 confirmed cases Thursday and 491 recoveries.

The William P. Hobby Unit in Marlin remains on lockdown.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported six active cases involving inmates and 34 involving employees at the unit where 442 inmates were on medical restriction and 27 were isolated. Five cases involving inmates and 12 involving employees were reported at the Marlin Transfer Facility where 145 inmates were medically restricted and nine were medically isolated.

The virus has claimed five lives in the county.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County reported 659 cases Thursday.

Of the total, 575 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed 16 lives in the county.

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

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County reported 1,408 confirmed and 499 probable cases of the virus Thursday for a total of 1,907.

Of the total, 83 cases were active Thursday, four patients were hospitalized and 1,785 have recovered.

The county’s death toll stands at 39, according to local data.

State data, based on death certificates and county of residence, showed 31 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

According to the latest figures Thursday Bosque County was reporting 385 confirmed cases and 336 recoveries. Revised state data based on death certificates and county of residence showed 10 deaths in the county.

Freestone County reported a total of 440 cases again Thursday. Of the total 414 patients have recovered. Four residents have died. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported one case involving an inmate and one involving an employee at the William R. Boyd Unit in Teague where 123 inmates were on medical restriction and one was medically isolated.

Hamilton County was reporting 182 cases again on Thursday. Of the total 148 patients have recovered. Four residents have died.

Hill County reported a total of 762 cases again on Thursday and 684 recoveries. Fifteen residents have died. The Hill College dashboard Thursday showed two active cases involving students at the school’s Hillsboro campus. The Hillsboro ISD Thursday reported one case involving a student at Hillsboro Junior High, three involving students at Hillsboro High School and one involving an employee at an administration and operations facility. The Hillsboro ISD has notified parents that it’s ending online instruction except for students for are quarantined or have approved medical exceptions. Franklin Elementary School, Hillsboro Elementary School, Hillsboro Intermediate School and Hillsboro Junior High School will return fully to in-person instruction on Nov. 2. Hillsboro High School will make the change on Jan 6.

Lampasas County was reporting 298 cases again on Thursday and 258 recoveries. Nine residents diagnosed with the virus have died.

Leon County reported 319 cases again on Thursday. Ten patients have died and 252 have recovered.

Milam County reported 543 cases Thursday. Of the total, six cases were active and 530 patients have recovered. Three patients were hospitalized Thursday. Seven residents have died.

Mills County reported 71 cases and 60 recoveries Thursday. The county’s first death from the virus was reported Wednesday.

Robertson County was reporting 452 confirmed cases Thursday. Of the total, 139 cases were active and 309 patients have recovered. The county is reporting four deaths from the virus. The Bremond City Hall lobby is closed to the public because of an increase in cases of the virus in the community. The Bremond ISD is extending online instruction until Oct. 23 after 11 positive tests for COVID-19 last week.

San Saba County reported 112 cases Thursday and 73 recoveries. The county reported its first death from the virus Wednesday. The San Saba Transfer Facility was still locked down Thursday. The TDCJ Thursday reported 120 cases at the unit involving inmates and six involving employees. A total of 315 inmates are on medical restriction and 120 are medically isolated.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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