Coronavirus

The Killeen Independent School District recorded a student case of COVID-19 for the second straight day. 

Both of Killeen ISD’s cases come from students at an elementary school campus. Temple and Belton independent school districts have not registered a positive case since districts began tracking data. 

Although Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott said a positive case in public schools is likely inevitable without a vaccination, he is pleased after the district’s first week of in-person classes. 

“Based on what I have seen this week, we have done our part,” Ott told the Telegram. “Students of all ages and staff have adhered diligently to the safety protocols in place. We are all looking out for each other, and as long as we continue to do so, I would contend that public schools are just as safe as any other gathering places.”

The COVID-19 death toll in Bell County rose to 71 on Friday, with the county inching toward 5,000 confirmed cases.

Trauma Service Area L (Bell, Coryell, Milam, Lampasas, Hamilton and Mills counties) continued to see a decrease in hospitalizations with 37 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients now in hospitals — three fewer than on Thursday. Men account for a majority of COVID-19 related deaths in Bell County with 58.8 percent of the region’s fatalities. 

Bell County has registered 4,994 known cases, and 325 of them are active, according to the Bell County Public Health District. At least 4,598 individuals have reportedly recovered to date.

Amanda Robison-Chadwell, the Bell County Public Health District director, said the fatality update came after receiving new death certificate information from the state of Texas.

“We added some additional deaths after receiving an update on death certificates from the state,” she said. “We added a small number of additional cases to yesterday’s total and a few cases for today.”

The health district’s dashboard shows 16 cases are recorded for Thursday, while 10 are logged for Friday.

Robison-Chadwell said the health district is monitoring feedback about the new dashboard, and has continued to make subsequent tweaks to the data’s presentation.

“One thing that is challenging with this dashboard is viewing from a cell phone,” she said. “To try to mitigate that we created a snapshot view that should be easier to read from small screens or as a quick reference guide, but the additional chart detail is still available.”

Bell County’s COVID-19 threat level is at “level three,” and will be updated Wednesday after its next weekly assessment. The county must maintain a 14-day flat or decreasing trend in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to improve to the health district’s desired “level four” threat level. Widespread distribution of a vaccine or treatments also is necessary for a shift in the threat level.

BELL COUNTY CASES

Total cases: 4,994; 4,598 recovered; 325 active; 71 dead*

In Trauma Service Area L (Bell, Milam, Coryell, Lampasas, Hamilton and Mills counties) there are currently 37 people hospitalized, down 6 from previous report

Temple: 1,650 cases, 30 deaths

Killeen: 1,732 cases, 18 deaths

Belton (76513 ZIP code): 670 cases, 10 deaths

Harker Heights: 318 cases, 6 deaths

Other: 624 cases, 7 deaths (1 less than previous report)

*Death totals include numbers from state death certificates, which were added to state totals starting July 27. Fort Hood on-post numbers are reported directly to the state and are added to total cases. Other numbers reported from the Bell County Health District based on 44,696 tests administered. State totals may vary as Fort Hood on-post numbers are reported directly to the state.

Go to https://bit.ly/3hb86l3 to access the new Bell County COVID-19 dashboard.