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Central Texas COVID-19 death toll nears 1,700

The number of lives lost to COVID-19 in Central Texas is nearing 1,700. (File)
The number of lives lost to COVID-19 in Central Texas is nearing 1,700. (File)(CNN)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - The number of lives lost to COVID-19 in Central Texas is nearing 1,700.

The Department of State Health Services reported three more deaths from the virus Wednesday in Bell County.

The regional death toll may be as high as 1,697 but according to DSHS data Wednesday, the count stands at 1,690 including 438 Bell County residents; 35 Bosque County residents; 86 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 50 Freestone County residents; 27 Hamilton County residents; 109 Hill County residents; 33 Lampasas County residents; 43 Leon County residents; 80 Limestone County residents; 478 McLennan County residents,18 more than the local count of 460; 49 Milam County residents; 21 Mills County residents; 143 Navarro County residents, seven fewer than the local count of 150; 43 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.

Just 10 more confirmed cases of the virus were reported Wednesday in Central Texas, and the regional total dropped from 79,343 Tuesday to 79,269 because of a change in Bell County’s reporting.

The statewide death toll increased by 43 Wednesday to 50,733.

DSHS reported another 3,561 confirmed cases of the virus Wednesday, 1,277 of them new increasing the statewide total to 2,531,691.

At least 26,768 cases were active Wednesday, an increase of 1,200 from Tuesday, 2,853,718 residents have recovered, and 1,607 were hospitalized.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 28 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Wednesday, accounting for more than 2% of all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.

At least 12 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for more than 2% of all hospitalizations and filling less than 2% of available beds.

The statewide Lab Test Date positivity rate was 2.96% Wednesday, up from 2.77% Tuesday.

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

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

VACCINATION

Federal health officials say the threat of a rapidly emerging COVID-19 variant adds urgency to the push to provide at least one dose of vaccine to 70% of the population by July 4, although as of Wednesday about 37% of Central Texas residents and 54% of Texas residents 12 and older had received a first dose.

The Delta variant, which first surfaced in India, is rapidly emerging as the dominant variant, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a briefing Tuesday.

Transmission of the variant, which now accounts for about 6% of the cases in the U.S., is peaking in people from 12- to 20-years-of-age, he said.

The variant was detected in the Houston area in April.

“To get vaccinated, particularly if you’ve had your first dose, make sure you get that second dose,” Fauci said.

“And for those who have been not vaccinated yet, please get vaccinated.  This is the national month of action.  We want to get to and above the goal of 70 percent of the adult population receiving at least one dose by the fourth of July.”

Statewide, more than 54% more residents 12 and older had received one dose Wednesday, and more than 44% were fully vaccinated.

In Central Texas Wednesday, more than 37% of residents 12 and older had received one dose and almost 31% were fully vaccinated.

In Bell County Wednesday, 34% of residents 12 and older had received one dose and just more than 27% were fully vaccinated.

In McLennan County almost 44% of residents 12 and older have received one dose and more than 36% were fully vaccinated.

In Bosque County Wednesday, just more than 36% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Coryell County, almost 25% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Falls County, almost 30% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Freestone County, just more than 25% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Hamilton County, more than 38% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Hill County, almost 32% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Lampasas County, just more than 31% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Leon County, about 30% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Limestone County, almost 28% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Milam County, almost 34% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Mills County, just more than 33% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Navarro County, almost 35% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated; in Robertson County, 34% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated and in San Saba County, just more than 25% of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated.

The state has expanded its Mobile Vaccine Program to include groups of five or more residents who choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Previously groups of 10 or more were required to take advantage of the service.

Residents may call 844-90-TEXAS and then select Option 3 to schedule a mobile clinic to vaccinate a group of friends, relatives, employees, and others.

Homebound Texans are still encouraged to call the hotline and select Option 1 to request a state mobile vaccination team to visit their home.

The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The state earlier halted weekly allocations of COVID-19 vaccine to providers because supply exceeds demand instead is filling vaccine orders as they come in.

A White House initiative should also make it easier to find available vaccines.

Text a zip code to GetVax (438829), or in Spanish to Vacuna (822862), and the response will list three nearby locations with vaccines in stock.

The Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler allows residents to 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.

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COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Health District paused updates of its local dashboard in May but says the updates will resume if the county’s incidence rate rises to more than 80 cases per 100,000 residents.

State data, meanwhile, which had not been updated since late May, reflected a change in reporting Wednesday.

The county previously had reported a total that included both confirmed and probable cases.

The last update on May 26 showed 22,634 total cases.

On Wednesday, however, state data showed 22,549 confirmed cases and 2,338 probable cases, a total of 24,887 and an increase of 2,253 cases since the last update.

At least 22,168 residents have recovered and 438 have died, an increase of three.

The last update in May showed 177 active cases of the virus, but DSHS data Wednesday showed 2,281 active cases, which likely includes some older data.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Wednesday showed two active cases and a total of 370 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas showed no active cases Wednesday and a total of 43 since March 2020, 31 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard wasn’t accessible Wednesday.

The school district is working with McLane Children’s Hospital to provide vaccines to children 12 and older.

A medical team from the hospital will provide vaccinations at four different schools across the district next week.

Parents or guardians must be present.

Appointments aren’t necessary.

The medical team will return to the same schools later to provide second doses.

Consent forms and information about dates and locations are available online.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Wednesday.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Wednesday.

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BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 27,617 total cases of the virus Wednesday, an increase of six.

At least 27,105 residents have recovered, 52 cases were active Wednesday, and 12 patients diagnosed with the virus were hospitalized, six of them on ventilators.

Local data showed 460 deaths.

State data showed 478.

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.

The City of Waco has updated protocols and no longer requires masks to be worn by the public outside on city property or inside city buildings except bus stations and the airport as required by federal law. City employees no longer are required to wear masks except those assigned to the airport of bus station. Occupancy restrictions have been lifted at city operated museums and venues. On Monday, city hall and the Development Center were reopened to the public. And on June 15, city council meetings will again be open to the public.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed one active case involving a student and one involving a contractor Wednesday. Since Aug. 1, 2000, a total of 4,002 active cases have been confirmed on campus. Two tests have come back positive in the past seven days. 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 soon as possible. The university has provided revised guidance for the summer, eliminating capacity limitations on outdoor activities, and making face coverings optional outside. Indoors, any student, faculty member or staff member who is fully vaccinated may meet indoors with fully vaccinated people in groups of 15 or fewer without face coverings or social distancing and may also meet with groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in groups of 15 or fewer without face coverings or social distancing.

The McLennan Community College dashboard showed no active cases Wednesday.

The Waco ISD dashboard showed no active cases Wednesday and a total of 304 student cases, 303 staff cases and 19 cases involving people classified as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Wednesday showed eight cases across four campuses, five of them at the high school.

The Lorena ISD dashboard wasn’t accessible Wednesday.

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

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Wednesday.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had a total of 7,035 confirmed and 282 probable cases of the virus Wednesday.

At least 7,241 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered and no active cases were reported Wednesday.

The virus has claimed 86 lives in the county.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Wednesday.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard wasn’t accessible Wednesday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday reported one case involving an inmate and two cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an employee at the Hilltop Unit; six cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit; no active cases at the Mountain View Unit; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit, and no active cases at the Linda Woodman State Jail.

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 1,899 total confirmed and 200 probable cases Wednesday.

Three cases were active and at least 2,064 residents have recovered.

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

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday reported one case involving an employee at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin, which was virus free for several weeks, and no active cases at the Marlin Transfer Unit.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,165 total confirmed and 652 probable cases Wednesday.

At least 13 cases were active Wednesday and 2,724 residents diagnosed with the virus have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 80 residents of the county, state data showed.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County had 3,481 total confirmed and 2,417 probable cases of the virus Wednesday.

Of the total, at least 5,700 patients have recovered.

At least 52 cases were active Wednesday.

State data showed 143 deaths in the county.

Local data last updated on March 31 showed 150 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,378 total confirmed and 313 probable cases of the virus Wednesday. Of the total, 1,651 residents have recovered and 35 have died, according to state data. At least five cases were active Wednesday.

Freestone County had 1,123 confirmed and 841 probable cases Wednesday. At least 1,896 residents have recovered and 50 have died according to state data. At least 18 cases were active Wednesday. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday reported one case involving an employee at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.

Hamilton County had 723 total confirmed and 60 probable cases of the virus Wednesday. At least 754 residents have recovered and 27 have died, according to state data. At least two cases were active Wednesday.

Hill County Wednesday had 3,811 total confirmed cases and 725 probable cases. At least 4,412 patients have recovered, and 109 residents have died, according to state data. At least 15 cases were active Wednesday.

Lampasas County had 1,863 total confirmed and 336 probable cases Wednesday. At least 2,162 residents have recovered, and 33 residents have died, according to state data. At least four cases were active Wednesday.

Leon County had 1,281 confirmed and 367 probable cases Wednesday. At least 1,601 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data. At least four cases were active Wednesday.

Milam County had 1,460 confirmed and 1,095 probable cases Wednesday. At least 2,548 patients have recovered and 49 have died. Seven cases were active Wednesday.

Mills County had 595 confirmed and 63 probable cases of the virus Wednesday. At least 637 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data. No cases were active Wednesday.

Robertson County had 1,763 confirmed cases Wednesday and 429 probable cases. At least 2,114 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data. At least 35 cases were active Wednesday.

San Saba County had 526 confirmed cases Wednesday and 256 probable cases. At least 757 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data, which showed two active cases Wednesday. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wednesday reported one case involving an inmate at the San Saba Transfer Facility where 25 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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