Coronavirus

The Bell County Public Health District identified two new COVID-19 related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 99.

Active cases dropped to 519 — five fewer than Friday’s update.

“We are up to 6,285 cases as of today, but we did see several days of recoveries over the weekend,” Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said. “We also received two more death certificates from the state bringing our total to 99. One was a woman in her 60s, and another a woman in her 50s.”

Robison-Chadwell noted how a previous death record was corrected to more accurately reflect the deceased’s city of residence.

“One death record was changed to reflect a residence in Killeen rather than Temple, so you will notice that change,” she said.

A Baylor Scott & White spokesman told the Telegram on Monday its treatment protocols will remain the same despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration having approved remdesivir — an antiviral drug with the brand name Veklury — for use in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients on Thursday.

“While we do not anticipate our treatment protocols will change, the FDA approval will increase our access to remdesivir beyond clinical trial and emergency use,” spokesman Deke Jones said.

Clinic closure

Monday’s update came as the Bell County Public Health District temporarily closed its Killeen clinic, after a COVID-19 case on the premises was identified — an individual who was in the clinic last week. 

“Everyone who may have been exposed has been made aware and has been educated about isolation,” Robison-Chadwell said. “This serves as an important reminder to people to please stay home if not feeling well, even if symptoms are minor.”

Normally, the clinic offers birth control supplies, pregnancy tests, family planning, immunizations, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, according to the clinic’s website.

Moving forward, Robison-Chadwell said the clinic will only offer immunizations on Tuesdays. All other services are suspended at this time.  

Local school districts

There are eight active cases in the Belton Independent School District: four at Belton High, one at High Point Elementary, one at Pirtle Elementary, one at Tarver Elementary and one attributed to “other buildings/buildings.” These cases represent 0.055 percent of Belton ISD’s population.

Salado Independent School District’s last positive diagnosis was on Oct. 20.

Temple Independent School District’s seven-day dashboard, which reflects cases between Oct. 20 and Oct. 26, shows seven cases: three at Temple High, two at Lamar Middle School, one at Hector P. Garcia Elementary and one at “auxiliary.”

The Academy school district is asking its community to make wise decisions this upcoming holiday season.

“As we approach the holiday season, please remember to make wise decisions about where you go and where you gather,” Academy ISD Superintendent Billy Harlan said. “As well as our community is doing with COVID response, it is important to remember that we are all in this together and can help each other out.”

The Killeen Independent School District is approaching 100 student cases of COVID-19, as 92 infections have been identified. Killeen ISD has totaled 217 lab-confirmed cases since March 16 — 37.3 percent of which have stemmed from elementary school campuses.