Coronavirus

The Bell County Public Health District announced its 14th COVID-19 related death on Friday, as 91 new cases were identified — bringing the count to 1,977.

“This individual was a male 20-29 years of age and passed away out of jurisdiction,” Amanda Robison-Chadwell, director of the Bell County Public Health District, said. “The case and death were reported to us today. Information about co-morbidities was not shared by the out of jurisdiction provider.”

Robison-Chadwell said individuals under 60 years of age continue to account for the most cases in Bell County.

“We want to continue to remind everyone of the steps they can take to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” she said. “Remember to stay home if you can, wash your hands regularly, socially distance, mask if you cannot and please stay home if you are sick.”

At least 28,128 tests have been administered to date, and testing reached a 7.03 percent positivity rate on Friday, according to the Bell County Public Health District. The positivity rate was at 5.72 percent on Monday.  

Killeen was the first Bell County city to reach 700 cases on Friday with 718, while Temple continued to trail closely behind with 678 documented cases. Belton has tallied 254 cases, and Harker Heights has accumulated 123 confirmed cases.

Bell County infections, which include small towns and unincorporated areas, have registered 204 confirmed cases.

The Texas Department of State Health Services Friday reported data of an estimated 114,102 active coronavirus cases in the state. There also are an estimated 122,996 recoveries and 3,013 deaths in Texas, according to their COVID-19 dashboard. 

Dr. Umad Ahmad, chief medical officer of AdventHealth Central Texas and AdventHealth Rollins Brook, noted various tips on mitigating the spread of the coronavirus during a Thursday press conference at the Bell County Courthouse, 101 E. Central Ave. in Belton. 

“Another way to reduce transmission when you are asymptomatic and have a virus — which you probably would never know at the time — is to not face each other and try to have a little angle that will reduce the chance of transmission also,” Ahmad said. 

Ahmad said Bell County hospitals have a contingency plan in place, if Bell County begins to experience a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases. 

“We have a surge plan like we always had. And one of the surge plans that Baylor, Scott & White and Seaton also have is to double our (Intensive Care Unit) capacity overnight,” he said. “We can double the ICU within 24 hours with our staffing and we have the support for that.”

BELL COUNTY CASES

Total cases: 1,997/ 557 recovered, 14 dead

Hospitalized: Ever 147

Admitted to ICU: Ever 43

Temple: 678

Killeen: 718

Belton: 254

Harker Heights: 123

Other: 204

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 28,128 tests administered. State totals may vary as Fort Hood on-post numbers are reported directly to the state.