Coronavirus

Deaths as a result of COVID-19 rose by five Monday, according to the Bell County Public Health District online dashboard.

The dashboard showed the number of deaths from the virus seen in the county since the start of the pandemic rose to a total of 740.

Active cases of the virus in the county also rose over the weekend, from the 294 seen on Friday to the 312 reported on Monday. This 18-case difference was reflected in a rise of the incidence rate to 85.97 cases per 100,000 people in the county.

In total, the county has seen 34,430 reported cases of the virus since the pandemic’s start, with 33,378 of those having recovered.

Regional hospitalization rates continued to slowly decline Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The state department’s dashboard showed the percentage of hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell County — fell by 0.18 percentage points. The service area’s hospitalization rate is now at 2.06 percent compared to the 2.24 percent Friday.

Data on the dashboard only shows 22 patients in area hospitals confirmed to have COVID-19, with 1,067 total staffed beds.

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

A&M booster clinic

Today Texas A&M University – Central Texas in Killeen will host the second day of its two-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

The clinic, which started Monday, is administering the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to those 5 years old and older who want it. Booster shots for those who want them will also be available.

University officials said the clinic is open to everyone and will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Warrior Hall at the Bill Yowell Conference Center, 1001 Leadership Place in Killeen.

School cases

Belton Independent School District showed 10 active cases in the district on its dashboard Monday, with only one having been confirmed and the remaining nine only probable. The confirmed case was located at Lake Belton High School.

Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district continued to have no active cases of COVID-19, with the last seen on Nov. 17.

Killeen ISD reported having 31 active cases of the virus on its campuses, this includes 22 students cases and nine staff cases.

Temple ISD did not update its dashboard Monday.

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