Area hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain above 20% mark, but local active cases are down
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in our local Trauma Service Area have remained above the 15-percent mark since Dec. 29 and were at 22.8 percent as of Jan. 9, with greater than 1 in 5 patients locally being hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus.
Coryell and Bell counties are part of Trauma Service Area L, made up of Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Mills, and Milam Counties, where a total of 244 lab-confirmed patients with COVID-19 remain in the hospital, out of a total 1,095 staffed hospital beds.
Statewide, hospitalizations reached an all-time high of 13,935 on Saturday, Jan. 9, but on Sunday, those hospitalizations had decreased slightly to 13,111, the 6th highest day of hospitalizations. Hospitalizations have remained greater than 13,000 since Jan. 5, nearly one week.
The percentage of patients with COVID-19 in local hospitals led to last week’s direction by Coryell County Judge Roger Miller and Bell County Judge David Blackburn for restaurants and other businesses to reduce capacities to 50 percent, and for bars to close.
On Monday, the City of Copperas Cove released its weekly update on case totals, with overall cases up by 86 from the week prior. However, active cases decreased by 26, from 363 to 337 compared to last week.
Other counties are also seeing active case numbers decreasing, such as Lampasas County’s active cases down from 102 to 63. However, Bell County has seen nearly 400 more active cases compared to last Wednesday, with active cases rising from 2,682 to 3,081 between Wednesday and Sunday, according to the Bell County Public Health District’s online dashboard. The total number of cases in Bell County has risen above 15,000, to 15,005, up from 14,455 last week.
The Texas Department of State Health Services continues to distribute vaccines statewide, for the fifth week this week. This week marks week five of vaccine distribution statewide, and Coryell County will be receiving zero vaccine doses for Phase 1a and 1b recipients.
The Bell County Public Health District is receiving 3,900 doses and Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights is receiving 100 doses.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 3,081 active cases (15,005 total)
Burnet County 198 active cases (1,931 total)
Coryell County 432 active cases (2,195 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 337 active cases (1,293 total)
Lampasas County 63 active cases (1,120 total)
McLennan County 1,345 active cases (20,594 total)
Williamson County 1,595 active cases (23,414 total)
*Numbers from Texas DSHS, Coryell County, Lampasas County; Bell, McLennan, and Williamson County Public Health Districts