Coronavirus

Regional hospitalizations of COVID-19 continued to fall Friday along with local case numbers in Bell County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard showed the percentage of hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — drop for the third straight day. The hospitalization rate for the region dropped by 1.24 percentage points and is now at 7.36 percent.

The state dashboard shows 1,101 staffed hospital beds, with 81 currently occupied by a patient with the virus.

Trauma Service Area L includes the hospitals located in Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties.

Local active cases of the virus also dropped to 460 on Thursday, down from 499 on Wednesday, according to the Bell County Public Health District. The incidence rate of cases also dropped to 126.75 cases per 100,000 people in the county.

The district did not report any new deaths from the virus, with the total remaining at 697.

During the pandemic the county has seen a reported 33,424 cases of COVID-19, with 32,267 of those having recovered so far.

School cases

Temple Independent School District reported three confirmed COVID-19 cases on its seven-day dashboard Friday, along with one probable case on its tracker. The active cases included two at Scott Elementary and one at Bonham Middle School.

Belton ISD showed 28 active cases of the virus on its dashboard Friday, with eight confirmed and 20 probable cases, located at 11 of its 18 campuses. Campuses without reported cases were Belton Early Childhood School, Leon Heights Elementary, Pirtle Elementary, Southwest Elementary, Sparta Elementary, Tarver Elementary and Belton New Tech @ Waskow High School.

Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district only had one case of the virus in the past seven days, a student at Salado Middle School.

Killeen ISD had 94 active cases on its campuses, with 74 students and 20 staff members with the virus.