A Baylor Scott & White Health spokesman said the Temple hospital has seen a "significant increase" in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization but that the hospital has "sufficient capacity" to care for patients.
Baylor Scott & White Health Director of Media Relations Deke Jones issued a statement about the COVID-19 rise in the county and its impact on the Temple hospital.
"We currently have sufficient capacity and staffing to care for COVID-19 patients and others, but we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-positive patients who are requiring hospitalization and intensive care," Jones said in an email.
Nikki Morrow, interim director of the district, announced Friday afternoon that the district moved the threat level for COVID-19 from Level 4, minimal controlled transmission, to Level 3, moderate controlled transmission.
“We saw a slight increase, which seemed to be related to an isolated event upon investigation,” Morrow said. “However, the number of new cases coming in each day closer to the end of the week showed a continuous increase.”
Some 469 Bell County residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year, according to the Bell County Public Health District's online dashboard. The county has had a total of 23,328 positive cases of the virus since March 2020, according to the same dashboard. As of Wednesday, Bell County has recorded 334 active cases of the virus.
Jones reminded community members that the vaccine is available locally.
"We continue to encourage community members to get vaccinated, as data proves it prevents serious illness and hospitalizations. COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available through our digital portal, MyBSWHealth, or by phone at 1-844-BSW-VACC (1-844-279-8222). Any Texan can create a MyBSWHealth account by downloading the MyBSWHealth app which can be done by texting BETTER to 88408 or by visiting MyBSWHealth.com," he said.