Cornavirus pandemic

The Bell County Public Health District identified 158 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as active cases surged to 3,081 — the most concurrent infections to date.

“Our new total number of cases is 15,005 and 11,924 have recovered,” Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said. “We currently have … an incidence rate of 848.9 per 100,000 people. We want to remind everyone to please social distance, wear your face covering if you cannot, wash your hands and stay home if you feel ill.”

COVID-19 related deaths remained at 177 with the latest fatalities announced on Thursday. A comorbidity — a death where one or more medical conditions co-occurs with a primary health complication — has been present in approximately 63.8 of Bell County’s total COVID-19 related deaths.

Area school districts

The Killeen Independent School District has recorded 98 COVID-19 cases in the past week, bringing its cumulative total to 1,056: 471 students and 585 staff members. Elementary school campuses accounted for approximately 57.1 percent of all infections over the last seven days with 56 cases — more than high school and middle school campuses, and non-campus buildings combined, according to district data.

Active cases saw a slight decline in the Belton Independent School District, as 61 individuals in the Big Red Community are reported to be recovering from COVID-19: 15 at Belton High, nine at Lake Belton High, four at Lake Belton Middle School, four at North Belton Middle School, four at South Belton Middle School, three at Chisholm Trail Elementary, three at Southwest Elementary, two at the Belton Early Childhood School, two at Charter Oak Elementary, two at Pirtle Elementary, two at Tarver Elementary, one at High Point Elementary, one at Leon Heights Elementary, one at Miller Heights Elementary, one at Sparta Elementary, one at Belton Middle School, one at Belton New Tech High, and five attributed to “other departments / buildings.”

On Friday, Salado Independent School District Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district had 25 active cases after an infection was identified on Thursday.

“A ninth-grade student at Salado High School tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday,” Novotny wrote in his daily newsletter.

Temple Independent School District’s seven-day report is expected to update around 5 p.m. Its latest update — which logged infections identified between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, showed 16 cases: three at Temple High, one at Bonham Middle School, one at Lamar Middle School, four at Travis Science Academy, three at Jefferson Elementary, one at Scott Elementary, one at Thornton Elementary and two attributed to “administration.”

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