Coronavirus

Bell County added a new coronavirus case Thursday afternoon, bringing the total number of infected people to at least six.

The Bell County Public Health District stated a Temple resident was the newest person to contract the virus.

The district did not state whether the newest case was travel related or caused by community spread. The county’s five prior cases were all travel related. It is unknown if there is community spread in Bell County.

New data from the health district shows that there are three reported COVID-19 cases in Temple: Two women, one in her 50s and the other in her 60s; and a man in his 60s.

The other reported cases include a Belton man in his 20s; a Killeen woman between 30 and 49; and a man who lives in unincorporated Bell County who is in his 70s.

Texas has at least 161 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Four Texans have died.

Amanda Robinson-Chadwell, the health district director, said at a Wednesday news conference that there is community spread in Texas. She did not address whether there was community spread in Bell County.

Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday ordered Texans to avoid groups with more than 10 people; directed restaurants and bars to only allow take-out or delivery orders; closed gyms; and temporarily shutter schools. The executive order is in effect through April 3.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn issued a similar order Wednesday when he declared a state of disaster in the county. Abbott’s order takes precedence over local directives

Robinson-Chadwell addressed the Bell County Public Health District’s changes in reporting coronavirus cases Wednesday afternoon at the Central Texas Council of Governments building.

“We have a table that we’re going to be putting up, updating the frequency of those cases as they come in,” she said. “We’re going to start updating that on our website at 2 p.m. every day.”

Thursday’s update was released at 3 p.m. and was later refreshed around 5 p.m. with additional information detailing affected residents’ age and gender.

The health district plans to identify infected residents’ home city, Robinson-Chadwell said. However, smaller cities — such as Rogers, Troy and Salado — will be categorized as Bell County cases.

“That is out of respect to those dealing with this,” she said. “We want to be sure we are being respectful to them. Our larger cities, we will go ahead and say.”