Coronavirus pandemic

Although the Bell County Public Health District planned to regularly update its COVID-19 dashboard this week, weather-related issues prevented local health officials from releasing figures Wednesday afternoon.

“Due to the weather issues preventing the reporting of data we will not be updating the dashboard (on Wednesday),” Health District Director Amanda Robison- Chadwell said.

On Thursday, the county’s top public health official told the Telegram this reporting delay stemmed from Bell County providers’ inability to share newly-identified cases.

“Providers were unable to submit data,” Robison- Chadwell said.

In the health district’s most recent dashboard update Tuesday, Bell County reached 320 COVID-19 related deaths. Since Feb. 1, 96 Bell County residents have died from COVID-19, according to health district data.

Bell vaccinations

On Thursday, Bell County Judge David Blackburn told the Telegram he is hopeful that Bell County’s next shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive this weekend — doses initially scheduled to arrive Monday.

“I am hopeful that, with rising temperatures, road conditions will improve and the vaccine shipment will arrive this weekend,” he said.

The Bell County Office of Emergency Management also continued to emphasize that vaccination appointments at Bell County’s three inoculation sites — the Killeen Community Center, the Sammons Community Center in Temple and the Bell County Expo Center in Belton — are on hold until further notice.

“We are not operating any of our vaccine sites this week due to weather,” the Bell County Office of Emergency Management said in a Facebook post on Thursday. “We will push out more information with reschedule dates/times soon.”

Area school districts

With inclement weather extending closures for in-person classes, many district administrations are reporting increasingly lower rates of COVID-19 infections.

However, Robison- Chadwell told the Telegram on Tuesday that she anticipated COVID-19 figures in Bell County would be underrepresented.

“It might be important to note that the numbers are likely to reflect lower case numbers than what is likely true due to the weather,” she said at the time.

There are 18 active COVID-19 cases across 10 campus populations in the Belton Independent School District : five at Lake Belton High, five at Belton High, one at Charter Oak Elementary, one at Chisholm Trail Elementary, one at High Point Elementary, one at Lakewood Elementary, one at Sparta Elementary, one at Belton Middle School, one at Lake Belton Middle School and one at the Belton Early Childhood School.

An additional two infections also were attributed to “other departments/buildings” in Belton ISD’s COVID-19 update on Thursday. Together these 20 cases represent approximately 0.14 percent of Belton ISD’s population, according to district data.

In his daily newsletter Wednesday, Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said there were 11 active cases — 10 students and one employee — within his district.

Killeen ISD , which has totaled 1,540 cumulative cases since March, did not report any new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Just one infection was reported across the district’s population in the last seven days, according to district data

Temple ISD last updated its seven-day COVID-19 report Feb. 11. The update, which tracked cases logged between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11, showed six cases: two at Temple High, two at Lamar Middle School, one at Cater Elementary and one at Hector P. Garcia Elementary.

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