Copperas Cove issues vaccine survey, Bell County now local vaccination hub
By LYNETTE SOWELL
As a vaccine for the COVID-19 is becoming available in the state of Texas, the city of Copperas Cove on Wednesday evening issued notice of a local Coronavirus (COVID‐19) Vaccine Interest Survey.
“Simply stated we would like to know if you would like to receive the vaccine. While receiving the vaccine is a personal choice and is optional, we still need to know who does want to receive it so that we can work hard to get enough vaccine into our community,” stated Copperas Cove Deputy Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Young. “While the City of Copperas Cove does not directly plan to administer vaccines, we will be working with our Federal, State and Local partners who are involved in getting COVID‐19 vaccine to those who desire to be vaccinated.”
The survey can be found on the city’s website at https://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/covid‐19/.
Young stated that participating in the survey isn’t a guarantee that those surveyed will receive the vaccine, but is a tool to collect data. Those who aren’t interested in the vaccine don’t have to complete the survey. Also, those who have already received the vaccine need not participate.
“As vaccine becomes available in our community, the City of Copperas Cove will work to share that availability with citizens so that appointments can be made with health care providers who have the vaccine.”
This week, the Bell County Public Health District received 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Bell County has also two of the 28 statewide “hubs” for vaccine distribution in 18 counties, as announced on Monday by Governor Greg Abbott, who toured a mass vaccination site at the Arlington Expo Center.
Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell also recommended that Copperas Cove and Coryell County residents look to either the Bell County, or McLennan County, sites for vaccinations at this time.
For questions about the vaccine clinics in Bell County, a phone bank has been established at 254-933-5203. The phone bank is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments for a vaccine can be made online at www.bellcountyhealth.org and clicking on “Make a Vaccine Appointment Here” (https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/BellCountyVaccines@bellcountytx.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/).
On Tuesday, Bell County Judge David Blackburn said that they were already culling through a waiting list of those who had already signed up for a vaccine but were awaiting appointments. The two vaccine centers are at the Killeen Community Center, at 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., and in Temple, at the Sammons Community Center, at 2220 West Avenue D. The centers are by appointment only. Eligibility for the vaccine is currently limited to Phase 1a and 1b individuals. Only those fitting appropriate criteria should register at this time.
Phase 1a of the vaccine distribution is for front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The next phase, Phase 1b, includes individuals age 65 or older, or individuals over age 16 with at least one of the following conditions: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), those with prior organ transplants, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, obesity, or type 2 diabetes. Phase 1b also includes teachers and school staff; social services workers; and “workers who maintain critical infrastructure to support the Texas economy; and other front-line workers who are unable to work remotely and so are more likely to be exposed,” according to Texas DSHS’s Phase 1b plan.
Hospitalizations statewide numbered 14,106 as of Wednesday, with 257 hospitalized with COVID-19 in our local Trauma Service Area, numbering 23.84 percent, or almost one in four patients, out of 1,079 staffed hospital beds.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 3,053 active cases (16,038 total)
Burnet County 200 active cases (1,964 total)
Coryell County 533 active cases (2,300 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 337 active cases (1,293 total)
Lampasas County 98 active cases (1,167 total)
McLennan County 1,303 active cases (21,407 total)
Williamson County 1,895 active cases (25,199 total)
*Numbers from Texas DSHS, Coryell County, Lampasas County; Bell, McLennan, and Williamson County Public Health Districts