Coronavirus

The Bell County Public Health District reported a five-person jump in local COVID-19 cases Thursday. The entity’s latest update also briefly featured the last names of all infected residents.

Bell County now has 51 known cases of the coronavirus, local health officials said Thursday. The newest cases are all men; two live in Temple, two live in Killeen and one lives in Belton.

The health district reported 12 people have recovered. The county has had a single death, a Temple woman in her 80s.

The health district accidentally published a document Thursday that listed last names of Bell County residents known to be infected. It was online for less than five minutes. The Telegram noticed the mistake and notified local officials who uploaded a new document without that private information.

“Today a Bell County Public Health District employee inadvertently posted to our website the last names of the 51 people in Bell County with confirmed cases of COVID-19,” Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said in a statement to the Telegram. “The error was discovered within minutes, and the names were removed from the site as quickly as possible.”

“The employee who made the mistake has been sanctioned and all individuals whose information was briefly posted are being notified,” she said. “The Bell County Public Health District sincerely regrets this mistake and remains committed to safeguarding medical information it collects as part of this pandemic.”

Area cities getting grants

The cities of Temple, Killeen and Waco were awarded a total of $1,786,282 in federal grants as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office.

Temple is receiving $368,691, Killeen is getting $613,676 and Waco will get $803,915.

The grants may be used on COVID-19-related activities and services. That includes public testing; equipment; delivering meals; training health care workers; constructing a facility for testing, diagnosis or treatment; improving or repurposing an existing facility for the use of housing or treating patients; and providing grants or loans to local businesses creating jobs and manufacturing medical supplies needed in the coronavirus response.

“The coronavirus outbreak has hit Texans hard, and as much as we can protect each other from its effects, we must,” Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said in a statement.

Bell County cases detailed

Temple continues to be the epicenter of the local pandemic. Bell County’s second largest city has a plurality of cases with 22 known infections.

They include a male younger than 20; two women in their 20s; two women and a man in their 30s; two women in their 40s; three women and two men in their 50s; four men and a woman in their 60s; two women in their 70s; and a woman and man in their 80s.

Killeen, the county’s largest city, now has 17 known infections. They include a male younger than 20; a woman in her 20s; a man and woman in their 30s; four men and three women in their 40s; a woman and a man in their 50s; two women and a man in their 60s; and a man in his 70s.

Belton, the county seat, now has five known cases: a female younger than 20; a man in his 20s; a man in his 30s; and two men in their 60s.

Harker Heights has three cases: two women in their 40s and a man in his 50s.

Rural Bell County has at least four infected individuals: a man in his 30s; a man in his 50s; a man in his 70s; and a man in his 80s. The health district is categorizing infections from unincorporated areas of the county and small towns as Bell County cases.

More men now have the coronavirus than women in Bell County. They make up 52.9 percent of local cases while women account for 47.1 percent.

Slightly more Bell County residents older than 50 have tested positive for COVID-19 than those under 50 — 51 percent to 49 percent.

State, area numbers

The Texas Department of State Health Services Thursday reported that 4,669 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19 and 70 people have died. The state agency said 50,679 tests have been conducted.

The number of cases in Williamson County grew by eight to 63, officials said Thursday.

McLennan County officials reported one additional case Thursday, increasing their coronavirus case count to 49.

Burnet County, located southwest of Bell County, has three known cases while Milam County has two COVID-19 infections. Coryell, Falls and Lampasas counties each have at least one case.

jsanchez@tdtnews.com