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COVID-19: Local health officials encouraged by the trends

New cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are trending down in Central Texas and one...
New cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are trending down in Central Texas and one local official says “it’s nice to have hope.” (File)(KFYR)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - Local health officials say they’re pleased with the trends in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths a month after Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order that ended the state’s mask mandate and eliminated capacity restrictions.

“We’re really encouraged by the numbers,” Waco-McLennan County Health District spokeswoman Kelly Craine said Monday.

“For the first time, it’s nice to have hope,” she said.

Fewer tests are being performed daily than during the winter months, however.

Hospitalizations are also down in McLennan County.

“Right now it’s around 2 or 3 percent, where it was skyrocketing several months ago around 30 percent,” Craine said.

People aren’t getting sick, and they’re not getting really sick so that’s great,” Craine said.

“Many people are still honoring and respecting [masks], stores are still requiring it for their employees and plenty of people are still wearing their mask and that does make a difference, Craine said.

In Bell County, Health District Director, Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell says while the incidence rate is stable, its high enough that it could spike easily.

She says it’s important people remain vigilant.

The Bell County Health District reported seven more deaths from the virus Monday, and state data showed an additional death in Coryell County.

As many as 1,639 Central Texas residents diagnosed with the virus have died, but according to DSHS data Monday, the regional death toll was 1,612 including 404 Bell County residents, 16 fewer than the local count of 420; 33 Bosque County residents; 85 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 49 Freestone County residents; 26 Hamilton County residents; 105 Hill County residents; 32 Lampasas County residents; 42 Leon County residents; 73 Limestone County residents; 462 McLennan County residents, 12 more than the local count of 450; 46 Milam County residents; 21 Mills County residents; 139 Navarro County residents, 11 fewer than the local count of 150; 40 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.

Since Friday, 133 additional cases of the virus have been confirmed in Central Texas, raising the regional total to 76,481.

DSHS reported 1,491 additional confirmed cases Monday, 1,444 of them new, raising the statewide total to 2,423,630, up 5,344 from Friday’s total.

At least 61,835 cases were active Monday, 2,685,333 residents have recovered and 48,219 have died, an increase of eight from Sunday and of 110 since last Friday.

At least 2,823 patients were hospitalized statewide Monday, about the same as on Sunday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 50 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Monday, accounting for about 6% all hospitalizations and filling about 5% of available beds.

At least 25 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Monday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 6% of all hospitalizations and filling about 4% of available beds.

The statewide Lab Test Date positivity Monday was 5.58%, up slightly from 5.52% on Sunday.

A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

VACCINATIONS

Fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccine are headed to Central Texas pharmacies and clinics this week because of problems at a vaccine manufacturing plant in Baltimore.

The state is allocating 14,700 doses this week to hub providers in Central Texas including the Bell County Public Health District, which is due to receive 7,020 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Coryell Health Medical Clinic in Gatesville, which is due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Falls Community Hospital and Clinic in Marlin, which is due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; Ascension Providence Health Center in Waco, which is due to receive 2,340 doses of Pfizer vaccine; the Waco-McLennan County Health District, which is due to receive 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine, and the Corsicana-Navarro County Public Health District, which is due to receive 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine.

But the state allocated 5,740 doses this week to clinics, hospitals and pharmacies in the region, 4,730 fewer than the 10,470 allocated last week.

In Bell County, the regional DSHS office in Temple is due to receive 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Lone Star Circle of Care in Temple is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna.

In McLennan County, the state Juvenile Correction Facility in Mart is due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine, Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center is due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine, Baylor Student health Services is due to receive 1,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Generation RX in West is due to receive 300 doses of Moderna and Executive Medical Services in Woodway is due to receive 100 doses of Johnson & Johnson.

The Milam County Health Department in Cameron is due to receive 300 doses of Moderna.

Wilson Drug in Hearne is due to receive 100 doses of Moderna.

In all, more than 1.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped to 486 providers in 116 counties across Texas this week including 796,360 first doses, 605,390 second doses, and an estimated 500,000 additional first and second doses allocated to pharmacies, clinics and dialysis centers.

The total is less than the more than 2.5 million doses shipped this week because the state’s allocation of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was reduced by about 350,000 doses until a plant in Baltimore, where Johnson & Johnson vaccine was contaminated by ingredients from another company’s vaccine, is again authorized to produce the doses.

Johnson & Johnson had to discard 15 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine last month because the batch did not meet quality standards.

As of Monday, 197,381 or 26.5% of residents 16 and older in the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is tracking have received a first dose of vaccine, and 140,127 or 18.8% are fully vaccinated.

Statewide 9,294,198 or 41.5% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and 5,721,979 or 25.5% are fully vaccinated, according to Department of State Health Services data.

In Bell County, 61,091 or 22.4% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and 42,985 or 15.7% are fully vaccinated.

In McLennan County, 61,366 or 30.6 of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and 43,477 or 21.7% are fully vaccinated.

Data Monday from the state vaccination dashboard showed 35.4% of residents 16 and older in Bosque County have received a first dose and 25.7% are fully vaccinated; in Coryell County, 17.9% have received one dose and 12.9% are fully vaccinated; in Falls County 26.4% have received one dose and 17.8% are fully vaccinated; in Freestone County, 22.1% have received one dose and 15% are fully vaccinated; in Hamilton County, 40.6% have received one dose and 31.8% are fully vaccinated; in Hill County, 31% have received one dose and 24.3% are fully vaccinated; in Lampasas County, 26.3% have received one dose and 18.2% are fully vaccinated; in Leon County, 28.4% have received one dose and 20% are fully vaccinated; in Limestone County, 23.4% have received one dose and 16.7% are fully vaccinated; in Milam County, 30.3% have received one dose and 22.7% are fully vaccinated; in Mills County, 35.5% have received one dose and 26.6% are fully vaccinated; in Navarro County, 36.6% have received one dose and 24.7% are fully vaccinated; in Robertson County, 30.5% have received one dose and 22.8% are fully vaccinated, and in San Saba County, 23.4% have received one dose and 11.9% are fully vaccinated.

All residents 16 and older are now eligible for vaccination.

DSHS has launched a Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler where residents may 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.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Health District reported seven more deaths from the virus Monday, a Temple man in his 80s, a Belton woman in her 70s, a Harker Heights woman in her 20s, a Bell County woman in her 80s, a Temple man in his 80s and two Killeen women in their 60s, increasing the county’s death toll to 420.

State data showed 404 deaths, an increase of three since Friday.

The health district reported a total of 21,739 cases of the virus Monday, up 60 from last week.

At least 294 cases were active Monday and 21,025 residents have recovered.

State data, which include Fort Hood soldiers who live on post, showed 21,785 total cases.

The Temple Animal Shelter reopened to the public Monday, and appointments are no longer required for adoptions.

The shelter will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Masks are required.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Monday showed 10 active cases and a total of 360 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Monday showed one active case involving a student and a total of 41 since March 2020, 30 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 30 cases involving students and 16 cases involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,689 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, 835 involving students and 854 involving staff.

The Killeen ISD is offering 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 three active cases across three campuses Monday.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed nine cases across seven campuses.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 26,406 total cases Monday, an increase of 10 from Sunday and 59 more than on Friday.

At least 144 cases were active Monday, 25,812 residents have recovered, and 25 were hospitalized, six of them on ventilators.

The health district reports 450 deaths.

Stata data showed 462.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on April 22 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.

For those experiencing disabling feelings of loss, change and sadness, short-term counseling is available through the Texans Recovering Together Crisis Counseling Program. A counselor can be requested using an online form or by calling 1-866-576-1101.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 107 active cases Monday, 107 involving students, four involving staff members and two involving faculty. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,817 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, 71 tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Monday showed three active cases, and a cumulative total of 354 cases, 273 involving students.

The Waco ISD dashboard Monday showed no active cases and 278 total cases involving students, 299 involving staff and 17 involving those described as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed eight cases across six campuses.

The Lorena ISD dashboard showed no active cases Monday.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Monday.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard showed one case Monday at Isbill Junior High School.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had 6,825 confirmed cases Monday, an increase of 31 since Friday, and 261 probable cases.

State data showed at least 6,885 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed 85 lives in the county, state data showed.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Monday showed 15 cases across six campuses and one at a non-campus facility.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Monday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported four cases involving employees Monday at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where 54 inmates were restricted; four cases involving employees at the Hilltop Unit; 14 cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit; two cases involving inmates and three involving employees at the Mountain View Unit where three inmates were restricted and two were isolated; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit, and two cases involving inmates and two cases involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 26 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.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

FALLS COUNTY

Falls County had 1,837 confirmed and 189 probable cases Monday.

State data showed at least 2,025 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 32 residents, state data showed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported one case involving an employee at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin and one case involving an employee and two involving inmates at the Marlin Transfer Unit, where 23 inmates were restricted, and one was isolated.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,099 confirmed and 612 probable cases Monday.

At least 2,609 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 73 residents, state data showed.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County had 3,417 confirmed and 2,245 probable cases Thursday.

Of the total, at least 5,479 patients have recovered.

State data showed 139 deaths.

Local data showed 150 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,345 confirmed and 306 probable cases of the virus Monday. Of the total, 1,597 patients have recovered and 33 have died, according to state data.

Freestone County had 1,070 confirmed and 761 probable cases of the virus Monday. At least 1,752 patients have recovered and 49 have died according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported four cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.

Hamilton County had 705 confirmed and 55 probable cases of the virus Monday. At least 728 patients have recovered and 26 have died, according to state data.

Hill County Monday had 3,744 confirmed cases and 681 probable cases. At least 4,274 patients have recovered and 105 have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Monday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Monday showed no active cases.

Lampasas County had 1,802 confirmed and 331 probable cases Monday. At least 2,063 patients have recovered, and 32 residents have died.

Leon County had 1,259 confirmed and 348 probable cases Monday. At least 1,542 patients have recovered, and 42 residents have died, according to state data.

Milam County had 1,401 confirmed and 1,080 probable cases Monday. At least 2,461 patients have recovered and 46 have died, according to state data. Fourteen cases were active and five patients were hospitalized Monday.

Mills County had 590 confirmed and 62 probable cases of the virus Monday. At least 627 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data.

Robertson County had 1,660 confirmed cases Monday and 412 probable cases. At least 2,011 patients have recovered and 40 have died, according to state data. The Robertson County Jail is again allowing visitation, but the number of visitors at any given time is limited to four, one per inmate, masks are required, and no one younger than 16 is permitted.

San Saba County had 536 confirmed cases Monday and 255 probable cases. At least 778 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monday reported three cases involving employees and three involving inmates at the San Saba Transfer Unit where 27 inmates were restricted, and one was isolated.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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