Coronavirus

Local hospitalizations of COVID-19 continued to fall Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The department reported the percentage of hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — fell by 1.52 percentage points over the weekend. The service area now has only 12.84 percent of hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients.

Trauma Service Area L contains the hospitals in Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties.

On Friday the Bell County Public Health District reported a fall in active cases of COVID-19 by 172, to 1,166 active cases from 1,338. This decrease brought the county’s incidence rate to 321.3 cases of the virus per 100,000 people.

The county did not report any new deaths of the virus, with the total remaining at 640.

During the pandemic, the county has had 32,419 reported cases of the virus, with 30,613 having recovered so far.

Milam County

Milam County Judge Steve Young announced the county saw its 75th COVID-19 deaths Monday.

The county has seen more than a 50 percent increase of deaths from the virus since the start of July, when it had 49 reported deaths.

“We had three deaths last week and three the week before,” Young said. “A vaccination will prevent one from becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus. Please encourage vaccinations and be safe.”

Young said the county currently has 24 confirmed active cases, with six people hospitalized and five on ventilators.

County officials reported that about 98 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases are being identified as the delta variant.

School cases

Temple Independent School District showed only three confirmed COVID-19 cases on its dashboard Monday, with four probable cases on its tracker. All three of the active cases were located at Thornton Elementary.

Belton ISD reported 26 active COVID-19 cases on its dashboard Monday, 13 confirmed cases and 13 probable.

Cases included one at High Point Elementary, one at Leon Heights Elementary, one at Miller Heights Elementary, one at Pirtle Elementary, two at Southwest Elementary and one at Sparta Elementary. The district also had three cases at Belton Middle School, two at North Belton Middle School, two at South Belton Middle School, four at Belton High School, seven at Lake Belton High School and one in other departments.

Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district saw 19 active COVID-19 cases on Monday.

The district’s cases included six students at Thomas Arnold Elementary, seven students at Salado Middle School and six students at Salado High School.

Killeen ISD showed 136 active cases on its dashboard, with 104 students and 32 staff members.