Copperas Cove and Gatesville each with one additional case, Governor announces Phase III to open Texas
By LYNETTE SOWELL
As the state of Texas enters the third phase of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen businesses and facilities, Coryell County has seen two more positive cases of COVID-19 as reported by city and county officials on Wednesday.
The most recent cases include a Copperas Cove man in his 50s who is currently hospitalized, and a Gatesville man in his 30s.
In Copperas Cove, there are currently 17 active confirmed cases within the city limits, with 17 cases having recovered. Two in Copperas Cove have died from the virus.
Last week, the Copperas Cove Fire Department tested 418 residents and staff of the three nursing facilities in Copperas Cove, and so far, there have been no positive results from this testing.
According to the Coryell County COVID-19 tracker, there are a total of 31 active cases within the county, which includes the 17 from Copperas Cove. Altogether, 43 have recovered.
Those with confirmed active cases in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities in Coryell County are also recovering. So far, there are 59 active cases within the county’s six facilities, to include Crain (1), Hughes (6), Murray (13), and Woodman (39). Altogether, 159 inmates have recovered.
Opening Texas by numbers
During his announcement of the Phase III timeline, Gov. Abbott stated that between May 26 and June 2, more than 45% of new COVID-19 cases in the state came from jails or prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 21,345 active cases in the state and 46,799 Texans are estimated to have recovered. According to the Texas Department of State Health Service, there are 69,920 cases reported within the state altogether. On June 4 alone, there were 1,649 new cases. There are currently 1,855 Texans hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Statewide, 43% of the cases in Texas are within Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant Counties, with Harris County topping all 254 Texas counties, having 13,268 cases, with 5,215 of those cases having recovered. In Dallas County, a total of 6,893 of its 10,958 cases have recovered. In Tarrant County, with 5,761 cases, 2,420 have recovered.
With phase III, effective immediately, all businesses in Texas may operate at up to 50% capacity, with a few exceptions.
Businesses that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits.
Effective Wednesday, June 3, businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand to 50% with certain exceptions. Bars and similar establishments may increase capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated. Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity. Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.
Effective next Friday, June 12, restaurants may expand occupancy levels to 75%. Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand occupancy limits to 75%.
Then as of Friday, June 19, amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but the governor’s office called for local officials and public health officials to collaborate on safe standards.
City of Copperas Cove facilities
The City of Copperas Cove is presently working on a reopening plan for its facilities, and will announce that plan as soon as it is finalized. The city’s Solid Waste facility is currently open, and the Copperas Cove Public Library provides curbside pickup for patrons and is only open for public computer usage at its workstations. Otherwise, the library remains closed to the public. Presently, it is registering children for the summer reading program, set to start June 15.
For Parks & Recreation, the soccer season that was interrupted will resume the week of June 15. Parks and Recreation is currently registering children for the flag football and tackle football season. Summer camp registration is ongoing and will begin June 8, with limited space available. The city opens its summer aquatics season on Saturday; see News Briefs for more information. The pools will be open to 50% capacity, which is 125 at City Park Pool, and 60 at South Park Pool.