Coronavirus

The COVID-19 outbreak at the Weston Inn Nursing & Rehabilitation in South Temple grew by three people on Tuesday, according to the company that manages the facility. At least 32 residents and staff members are infected.

The three additional infections at Weston Inn are part of Bell County’s 20 new cases that were reported Tuesday. That is now the county’s largest single-day increase. Previously, the largest single-day increase was 15 cases, which occurred May 20.

Caraday Healthcare — the San Marcos-based company that manages Weston Inn and other communities throughout Texas — said Tuesday that 19 residents and 13 employees have the virus.

Initially, Amanda Robison-Chadwell, Bell County Public Health District director, told the Telegram most of the new cases on Tuesday were associated with the facility. The health district director, through a spokesman, later backtracked the incorrect statement.

“This development is a concern but certainly not a surprise following the outbreak over the weekend at the Temple care facility and Memorial Day when more people were gathering together in groups,” Robison-Chadwell said, addressing Tuesday’s significant increase in coronavirus cases.

The COVID-19 flare-up started Friday when a Weston Inn resident was hospitalized in an intensive care unit. As more cases were confirmed and a woman in her 90s who lived at Weston Inn died, local officials started testing all residents and staff for the virus.

Robison-Chadwell said Monday she was unsure of how the coronavirus entered the facility, 2505 S. 37th St., but there were a number of ways it could have done so.

“Unfortunately, the virus is pretty sneaky,” she said during an online news conference.

This continues the county’s growing number of coronavirus cases since businesses and restaurants have reopened more than a month ago, according to Bell County Public Health District data.

More than half of Bell County’s COVID-19 cases have occurred since May 1, with 213 cases — 55 percent of the current 387 reported cases — confirmed since last month.

Just in the past seven days, Bell County added 78 new infections. In the past two weeks, 138 residents are known to have contracted the virus.

Four residents have died from the coronavirus, with 62 reported hospitalized and 35 treated in the ICU.

The health district did not report any additional recoveries Tuesday; 206 residents have recovered from the virus. The county’s testing figure also remained static, with 18,489 total tests performed.