The Bell County Public Health District reported 13 new COVID-19 deaths even as active cases of the virus continue to fall.

District officials showed through the online dashboard a total of 629 deaths from the virus. Active cases fell by 68 from Friday’s 1,622 to 1,554 on Monday.

The drop in active cases also resulted in the incidence rate falling to 428.2 cases of the virus per 100,000 people in the county.

During the pandemic the county has reported seeing 31,925 cases of the virus, with 29,742 of those having recovered so far.

Regionally, the percentage of hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients has also declined.

The Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard showed that Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — now has a hospitalization rate of 16.65 percent. This means that 181 of the currently 1,087 staffed hospital beds are taken up by patients with the virus.

Aside from Bell County, the trauma service area also includes Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties.

Milam County

On Monday night, Milam County Judge Steve Young reported that the county had seen its 71st death as a result of COVID-19.

The county had 46 active cases of the virus on its website Tuesday, with 10 of those currently hospitalized. During the pandemic the county has seen 2,038 cases of the virus.

Young said the county will host three vaccination clinics this week, each held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. offering both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The first clinic will be Wednesday at First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 710 W. Second St. in Cameron, the second clinic will be Thursday at the Rockdale Center, 1700 Brazos Ave. in Rockdale, and the third clinic will be Friday at the Gause United Methodist Church, 204 W. Walnut St. in Gause.

School cases

Temple Independent School District had 16 active confirmed cases of COVID-19 on its dashboard Tuesday along with eight probable cases on its tracker.

Confirmed cases in the district included two at Temple High School, four at Lamar Middle School, two at Travis Science Academy, two at Jefferson Elementary, one at Raye-Allen Elementary, one at Scott Elementary, three at Thornton Elementary and one at Western Hills Elementary.

Belton ISD reported having 53 active cases of the virus on its dashboard Tuesday, 29 of those confirmed and 24 probable.

Cases in the district are located at 16 of its 18 campuses, not including Leon Heights Elementary and Miller Heights Elementary. The dashboard showed that about 0.31 percent of students and staff has the virus.

Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district had 24 cases on Tuesday, with 15 students at Thomas Arnold Elementary and seven students and two staff at Salado High School.

Killeen ISD showed 160 active cases on its dashboard, 117 students and 43 staff members, accounting for about 0.32 percent of its population.

State infusion center

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced another new COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion center in the Texarkana region Monday, the 21st such center in the state.

The new center is located in Nash, a suburb of Texarkana, and began accepting patients free of charge on Tuesday. Officials said the treatment can help prevent a COVID-19 patient’s condition from worsening, helping to keep them out of the hospital.

Officials from the Texas Division of Emergency Management have partnered with Bowie County, the city of Nash and the city of Texarkana for the center.

“We’re excited about getting the regional infusion center and we greatly appreciate the help we’ve received from TDEM,” Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell said. “We expect it to be a big help to our local hospital system to reduce the amount of hospitalizations and save people’s lives.”

Locally, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple also offers treatment with monoclonal antibodies.

Temple testing site

Temple’s COVID-19 testing site will now reopen after previously shutting down earlier this month due to a lack of testing supplies.

Temple Fire & Rescue announced Tuesday that the agency and the Texas Army National Guard will reopen its testing site located in the parking lot across from the Wilson Park Softball Complex, 2136-2210 E. Ave. H., starting Wednesday. The testing site will have 200 tests and 50 Pfizer vaccines available each day, along with booster shots.

Testing at the site will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday each week. Testing will last until Oct. 15, officials said.