Active COVID-19 cases increasing locally in Coryell County, statewide

By LYNETTE SOWELL 
Cove Leader-Press 

As of Aug. 1, active cases of COVID-19 had surged in the state of Texas to 100,868, with the final two days of the month of July adding more than 20,000 new cases, 13,100 on July 30 and 10,900 on July 31. 
Hospitalizations likewise have surged, to 6,594 lab-confirmed patients being hospitalized with COVID-19 as of July 31. Locally, in Trauma Service Region L, there are 165 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 
Those local hospitalizations make up more than 15.17 percent of hospitalizations. There were also only five ICU beds available in the local Trauma Service Region, which is made up of Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Hamilton, and Milam Counties.
Coryell County had an estimated 366 active cases as of Aug. 1, with a total of 7,480 cases, up from a total of 7,072 cases as of July 1. Coryell County’s seven-day average of new cases is 22.4 new cases per day, and a seven-day average of 29.5 new cases per 100,000 people.
Over in Lampasas County, there were an estimated 128 adtive cases as of Aug. 1. The county’s seven-day average of is 11.3 new cases per day, and 52.7 new cases per 100,000 people. 
As of July 30, Bell County was looking at a total of 965 active cases, with seven-day average of 265 new cases per 100,000.
In light of the increasing cases statewide, Gov. Greg Abbott issued another executive order on Thursday. GA-38 which combines several of his existing executive orders. 
The executive order re-emphasized that no state governmental agency “can compel any individual” to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under the present emergency use authorization, which is the current FDA status of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 
It also states that state agencies and political subdivisions cannot require individuals to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status. 
This also includes any private or public entity that receives or will receive public funds such as grants, contracts, loans, or other disbursements of taxpayer money. They also can’t require customers to provide vaccination status as a condition to receive service or enter their facilities. 
The order includes language such as, “Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing, and other mitigation practices, that “receiving a COVID-19 vaccine under an emergency use authorization is always voluntary in Texas and will never be mandated by the government, but it is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, and that “state and local officials should continue to use every reasonable means to make the COVID-19 vaccine available for any eligible person who chooses to receive one.”
Gov. Abbott stated that the path forward relies on personal responsibility over government mandates.
“Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19. They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities. Vaccines, which remain in abundant supply, are the most effective defense against the virus, and they will always remain voluntary – never forced – in the State of Texas,” Abbott stated in a press release.

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