Coronavirus

The number of coronavirus cases in Bell County is now in double digits as officials confirmed two new cases Sunday.

Bell County has at least 10 COVID-19 cases, according to new Bell County Health District data released Sunday afternoon. The newest infections include a Killeen man in his 30s and a Temple man in his 70s.

It is unclear whether the new cases were travel related or locally transmitted.

However, health district director Amanda Robinson-Chadwell confirmed Friday there is community spread in Bell County.

Temple, so far, appears to have the most cases, with at least six infections. They include a woman in her 20s; a woman in her 30s; two men in their 60s; a woman in her 60s; and a man in his 70s.

One Temple case involves a woman who lives at an unnamed assisted care facility. She had underlying health conditions and was hospitalized, the health district said Saturday. Health officials immediately started testing residents and staff for the coronavirus.

Paul Romer, the city of Belton spokesman and county coordinator of coronavirus public information, said it was unclear how the woman at the assisted care facility contracted COVID-19. He previously said it was designated as community spread.

Killeen has at least two infections: a man in his 30s and a woman in her 50s. Belton has at least one coronavirus case, a man in his 30s, and, finally, there is a man in his 50s who lives in incorporated Bell County who has the new disease.

Texas has at least 355 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has had at least six reported deaths, according to The Texas Tribune.

Local tests

The number of coronavirus tests in Bell County is unknown, officials said Friday. Robinson-Chadwell said local hospitals are keeping track of their inventory, which she described as being constantly in flux.

“The hospitals do not send us any kind of inventory track,” the health district director said.

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple declined to detail its inventory of coronavirus tests to the Telegram on Friday.

At least 8,756 Texans have been tested, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state agency does not break that data down by county.

Disaster orders

Bell County Judge David Blackburn issued a disaster declaration last week. It bans gatherings of 10 or more people in a single room or other confined or enclosed spaces. It also limits restaurant services to take-out and drive-through only and shutters bars, gyms and entertainment venues.

Breaking the order could result in a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 180 days in jail.

The Commissioners Court on Monday will consider approving the Bell County state of disaster.

Bell County remains at Stage 3 of its COVID-19 Action Plan. All Stage 1 and 2 guidelines apply in Stage 3, which was triggered by Blackburn’s disaster declaration.

Stage 2 guidelines require residents to actively practice social distancing by staying six feet away from each other, and avoiding physical contact with people at work and at social gatherings.

Stage 1 rules are staying home if you are sick; avoiding contact with sick people; avoid touching your face with unclean hands; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; don’t travel to areas with active community spread of COVID-19; and wash your hands with soap and water regularly and use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content when you cannot wash your hands.