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People who live in institutional settings that increase their risk of exposure, such as prisons or homeless shelters, as well as health care workers, have been added to the list of those who qualify for a COVID booster shot.

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The Salado Independent School District withdrew its local mask policy on Sunday — a move made in response to the expiration of temporary restraining orders against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-38.

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Hospitalizations of COVID-19 in Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — dropped by more than eight percentage points Monday compared to Friday.

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BELTON — Bell County Emergency Management partnered with the Texas Army National Guard this past weekend in a dispensation of free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations at the Bell Coun- ty Expo Center in Belton.

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For the second day in a row, Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — saw an increase of more than 3 percentage points in its COVID-19 hospitalization rates.

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Hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — rose by more than 3 percent Thursday, according to state data, while active infections went down.

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Although Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton listed Salado ISD as a government entity that has unlawfully imposed a mask mandate, Superintendent Michael Novotny said active lawsuits put the state’s ban in “limbo.”