Coronavirus

Bell County Public Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said the downturn in case incidence for COVID-19 was short lived, as 68 new cases were identified on Thursday.

“We did add more than 100 cases to our count today and 68 of them were newly reported for today,” Robison-Chadwell said. “One of the questions that is likely to come up is whether or not there is a specific driver behind the increase.”

Although the investigation process for new cases has just commenced, Robison-Chadwell said there does not appear to be a specific factor influencing the uptick in cases outside of community spread.

Temple went above the 2,000 mark for cases for the first time, registering 2,022 on the district website chart. Temple is listed as having 41 of the 95 coronavirus-related deaths in Bell County, 17 more than Killeen.

Local school districts

There are 10 active cases in the Belton Independent School District: three at Belton High, two at Southwest Elementary, one at Lake Belton High, one at High Point Elementary, one at Pirtle Elementary, one at Tarver Elementary and one case attributed to “other departments / buildings.”

Temple Independent School District’s seven-day dashboard, which reflects cases between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, shows six cases — four more than Wednesday. There is one case at Temple High, one at Lamar Middle School, Bonham Middle School, one at Garcia Elementary, one at Raye-Allen Elementary and one at “auxiliary.”

Salado Independent School District’s last COVID-19 diagnosis came on Tuesday, Superintendent Michael Novotny said.

Killeen Independent School District logged one case at an elementary school campus on Thursday, bringing its total since March 16 to 206: 85 students and 121 employees. About 15 percent of Killeen ISD’s total cases were identified in the last seven days, according to district data.

Flu vaccinations

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday the Texas Department of State Health Services’ acquisition of 2.8 million doses of flu vaccinations — resources, which will be directed to the Texas Vaccines for Children Program and the Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative.

“The flu vaccine is an effective way to prevent the spread of influenza, and expanding access to this vaccine is especially important this year so that our health care systems can focus on treating COVID-19 patients,” Abbott said in a news release. “The Texas Vaccines For Children Program and the Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative will provide these effective, voluntary vaccines to Texans across the state and help us protect the health and safety of our communities.”

Abbott urged every Texan to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting the immunization this season.

“Parents can search for providers in their area by using the Find a Provider link on the DSHS website,” the governor’s office said. “Prospective participants in the Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative, including pharmacies, first responder organizations, and long-term care facilities can learn about enrollment on the DSHS website.”