Coronavirus pandemic

The Bell County Public Health District resumed its COVID-19 reports on Monday as 18 newly-identified deaths were announced.

“The state had been unable to send new death certificates last week, but we did get an update this week,” Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said. “Remember that there was a reporting delay due to whether, which accounts for the large bump. Our hearts go out to those who lost a loved one.”

These fatalities — which brought the COVID-19 death toll to 338 in Bell County — were for a woman in her 50s from Killeen, a woman in her 60s from Killeen, two women in their 70s from Killeen, a woman in her 80s from Killeen, a woman in her 90s from Killeen, a man in his 80s from Killeen, a man in his 60s from Harker Heights, a man in his 80s from Harker Heights, a man in his 80s from Belton, a woman in her 50s from Temple, a man in his 60s from Temple, four men in their 80s from Temple, a woman in her 80s from Temple and a woman in her 90s from Temple, according to the health district.

Although Bell County’s active cases decreased to 418 on Monday, Robison-Chadwell said the COVID-19 threat level will remain at “Level 2.”

“Under normal circumstances we would elect to move the threat level given the hospitalization rate paired with incidence data, but we want to give it one some additional time before we do that … to ensure a true reflection of transmission rates rather than a reflection of lack of testing due to the weather event,” she said.

Bell County has now totaled 20,129 cases, and at least 19,711 people have reportedly recovered to date, according to the health district.

Area school districts

The Belton Independent School District has 15 active cases spanning seven campus populations: five at Belton High, four at Lake Belton High, one at Charter Oak Elementary, one at Belton Middle School, one at Lake Belton Middle School and one at the Early Childhood School.

Belton ISD, which also attributed two cases to “other departments / buildings,” reported that approximately 0.12 percent of its population was recovering from COVID-19 in its dashboard update on Monday.

Meanwhile, Salado ISD has zero active COVID-19 cases, according to district data.

“We have not had any new reported cases of Salado ISD students or employees diagnosed with COVID-19 since Feb. 12,” Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said in his daily newsletter. “Please continue to be careful through physical distancing, wearing a mask, and avoiding large groups of people so we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”

Temple ISD last updated its seven-day COVID-19 report Feb. 11. The update, which tracked cases logged between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11, showed six cases: two at Temple High, two at Lamar Middle School, one at Cater Elementary and one at Hector P. Garcia Elementary. The district’s dashboard is expected to update around 5 p.m.

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