The Bell County Public Health District reported 21 new deaths Wednesday even as active cases in the county continue to fall.
The district now shows 557 total deaths from the virus even as cases fell by 65 for a total of 1,688 active cases currently reported. This drop in cases lowered the county’s incidence rate to 465.1 cases per 100,000 people.
Included in the new deaths was one woman in her 30s, a man in his 40s, two men and two women in their 50s, four men and three women in their 60s, two men in their 70s, four women in their 80s and one man in his 90s.
Nikki Morrow, interim director for the health district, said one death occurred in July and the remaining deaths were from Aug. 2-31.
In total, the county has seen 29,672 reported cases of the virus, with 27,427 of those having recovered so far.
Hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area L — which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties — continued to slowly decline Wednesday.
The percentage of hospital beds taken up by COVID-19 patients fell by less than one percent to 18.32 percent according to the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard.
The dashboard also showed 1,157 total staffed beds, with 212 taken up by COVID-19 patients. Of these hospitalizations, 15 were pediatric patients diagnosed with the virus.
Temple Independent School District reported having 14 active and confirmed cases of COVID-19 on its seven-day dashboard Wednesday. The district also showed 12 probable cases of the virus on its tracker.
The district’s cases included six at Temple High School, three at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy, and one at each Bonham Middle School, Travis Science Academy, Cater Elementary, Scott Elementary and Thornton Elementary.
Belton ISD saw a decrease of 32 active cases Wednesday on its dashboard to 183, with all campuses still having cases except for Miller Heights Elementary.
The district’s new total means that about 1.16 percent of students and staff in the district currently are infected with the virus.
Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said that the district had 36 active cases Wednesday.
These cases included nine students and three staff at Thomas Arnold Elementary, 10 students at Salado Middle School, nine students and two staff members at Salado High School and three employees not assigned to a campus.
Killeen ISD showed 345 total cases on its dashboard, with 273 students and 72 staff members with the virus. This accounts for about 0.7 percent of its total population.
Bell County continues to host a variety of testing sites around the county this week, partnering with BioIQ for its services operating the program.
The mobile testing, which takes place each day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., moves between the county’s major cities of Temple, Belton, Killeen and Harker Heights.
On Thursday, the mobile testing will take place at Summit Soccer Fields at 401 N. Amy Lane in Harker Heights. The site will move on Friday to the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, 301 W. Loop 121.
Over the weekend, the site will stop in Temple, spending Saturday at First Baptist Church, 8015 W. Adams Ave., and Sunday at the old bank site next to the Central Fire Station, 201 S. Fifth St.
On Monday, the site will move to Killeen at the Clements Boys and Girls Club, 5100 Trimmier Road.
Finally, the two-week mobile clinic will end on Tuesday at the Harker Heights Community Park, 1501 E. FM 2410.
Temple is also continuing to host its own testing site, which is staffed by the Texas Army National Guard.
The testing site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday at the parking lot across from the Wilson Park Softball Complex, 2136 E. Ave. H. City officials said he site will be open until Sept. 17.
BELL COUNTY COVID-19 CASES
• Total cases: 29,672, 27,427 recovered, 557 dead
• Temple: 8,490 – up 27 from Tuesday.
• Killeen: 12,542 – up 53 from Tuesday.
• Belton: 3,617 – up 12 from Tuesday.
• Harker Heights: 2,018 – up 8 from Tuesday.
• Other: 3,114 – up 23 from Tuesday.