Coronavirus

As the Bell County Public Health District identified 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, Lampasas County reported an additional coronavirus-related fatality Tuesday evening.

The Cameron Yoe football game Friday night also was canceled after a positive test at the high school.

There are now 265 cases are now active in Bell County — 15 fewer than Tuesday — while the Lampasas County fatality brought the county’s death toll to 10.

Lampasas Mayor Misti Talbert, who made the report on her official Facebook page, said Dr. Georgia Hay — the county’s local health authority — noted how the death belonged to a man in his 60s. There is only one coronavirus-related hospitalization in Lampasas County.

“While we are all happy to see the active count down again, it is my difficult duty to update you on another fatality the state has listed for Lampasas County,” Talbert said. “Dr. Hay has no information at this time other than what the state has provided … timeline and additional information was not available at the time of this update.”

Yoe varsity game canceled

In Milam County, Cameron Independent School District opted to cancel its varsity football game against Lexington this Friday.

“The varsity football program will suspend operations for the rest of this week,” Cameron ISD Superintendent Kevin Sprinkles said in a Wednesday news release. “Due to separate locker rooms and minimal contact between the varsity and sub-varsity football teams, the junior varsity is still scheduled to be played on Thursday the 17th.”

In Bell County, at least 4,809 people have recovered and 45,758 cumulative tests have been conducted to date, according to the health district.

Belton, Salado and Temple independent school districts did not register any new coronavirus cases, according to their respective dashboards.

Although Killeen Independent School District did not record any cases to its dashboard for Wednesday, Killeen school district officials on Wednesday confirmed another Killeen High School student had tested positive for the virus.

With the added case, there are now three KHS students who tested positive for the virus in recent days. The district’s dashboard also showed a student case had been added to a previous day. Killeen ISD has now tallied seven known student cases and 51 staff cases, since tracking began on March 16.

Bell County incidence rates

Despite the city of Killeen contributing the most confirmed cases to Bell County’s total, data from the Bell County Public Health District continued to show Temple and Belton — which includes all of the 76513 ZIP code — to have higher incidence rates.

This health district’s dashboard states it is important to highlight each city’s incidence rate, because it “allows a comparison between places with different populations to assess the burden of illness.”

Bell County’s incidence rate is 73 per 100,000 people — a figure that had reached 86.5 per 100,000 people last Wednesday.

Bell County’s COVID-19 threat level remained at “level three” Wednesday after its weekly assessment. The county must maintain a 14-day flat or decreasing trend in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to improve to the health district’s desired “level four” threat level. Widespread distribution of a vaccine or treatments also is necessary for a shift in the threat level.

In Trauma Service Area L (Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties) there are currently 37 people hospitalized, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Coryell County reported seven additional cases since its last update, and has now totaled 615 cases. The county has seen at least 439 recoveries and nine deaths, as 167 cases are active.

FME News Service contributed to this report.