The Bell County Public Health District identified 41 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as active cases fell to 284 — 17 fewer than Wednesday.

Since the pandemic reached Bell County in March 2020, health district officials have reported 34,345 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 33,326 recoveries, according to health district data.

COVID-19 related deaths remained at 735.

Trauma Service Area L, composed of Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties, registered its lowest COVID-19 hospitalization rate this week, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The service area now has approximately 2.38% of its 1,094 staffed hospital beds taken up by patients with COVID-19.

School cases

COVID-19 infections in Killeen ISD continued to rise on Thursday, as the district has now totaled 33 cases — about 0.7% of the school system’s 50,822 population — in the last 10 days.

Belton ISD, however, reported a slight decrease with 14 COVID-19 cases now spanning eight campuses: three at Lake Belton High, two at Belton High, two at North Belton Middle School, two at Lake Belton Middle School, two at Belton Middle School, one at Chisholm Trail Elementary, one at Lakewood Elementary and one at Sparta Elementary.

Two additional infections also were attributed to “other departments/buildings,” according to Belton ISD’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The district has two walk-in vaccine clinics scheduled for those aged 5 years and older this week: 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday at Lakewood Elementary, 11200 W. Adams Ave./FM 2305 in Temple; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday at Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow, 320 N. Blair St. in Belton.

Holland ISD also will host a free vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at the Cindy Gunn Student Center, 501 Crockett St. in Holland. Although no appointment is necessary a parent or guardian must be present for a minor to be inculcated.

Temple ISD’s seven-day report, which logged lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18, showed four infections: three at Thornton Elementary and one at Bonham Middle School.

Meanwhile, Salado ISD reported its first COVID-19 case since Nov. 2.

“A kindergarten student tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday (Wednesday, November 17),” Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said in his daily newsletter.

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