Copperas Cove: Local information sources and hotlines in place
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Local information and updates
Inserted into today’s Copperas Cove Leader-Press is a free 12-page section on COVID-19 with information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
For updates to this continuing situation, the Leader-Press will also continue provide more information and updates on its website at its page dedicated to COVID-19 https://www.coveleaderpress.com/covid-19-info.
The Texas State Department of Health Services has an up-to-date account of cases statewide and by county at https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702...
Local hotlines and screenings
The City of Copperas Cove now has a COVID-19 Hotline at (254)542-8920. The hotline may be used by citizens seeking further information and who wish to speak with a city staff member. The COVID-19 hotline is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.
Coryell Health in Gatesville has launched telehealth capabilities to aid in social distancing and advises that any patient with respiratory symptoms including cough and/or shortness of breath with fever or who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19, can call its hotline (254) 248-6263, and if needed, they can have a telehealth visit with one of Coryell Health’s physicians via computer, iPad or phone.
Also locally, AdventHealth introduced a new screening process for patients seeking care at the Emergency Department (ER). All patients coming to the ER at AdventHealth Central Texas will be triaged, meaning their height, weight, and vitals will be taken and they will be screened for COVID 19, outside the hospital. If the patient screens negative for COVID 19 they will then be seen in the ER. If the patient screens positive for COVID 19, they will be referred to the Respiratory Illness Protocol Station (RIPS), located at the ER, for further screening.
According to AdventHealth, patients must screen positive for COVID 19 during triage and at the RIPS to receive a COVID 19 test.
First COVID-19 case in Copperas Cove
With the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in Coryell County reported on Tuesday by the Texas Department of Health Services, Copperas Cove’s Deputy Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Young issued a press release on Wednesday to confirm that the individual is a Copperas Cove resident. The resident was tested at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple and has voluntarily quarantined themselves. Young said the case was not travel-related but one of “community spread,” which according to the Centers for Disease Control website, is defined as “people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.”
Coryell County Judge Roger Miller stated that the Copperas Cove resident is a 55-year-old female who is employed at a long-term healthcare facility in Belton.
During a meeting of the Coryell Çounty commissioners on Monday morning, Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell said that they expected numbers to increase, as testing capabilities increase.
As of Friday's daily update by the Texas Department of Health Services, the count in Coryell County remains at one.
COVID-19 in Central Texas
As of Friday morning, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Texas reached 1,731, with 23 fatalities. Neighboring Bell County issued a shelter in place order which went into effect on Monday at 11:59 p.m., and the city of Lampasas also issued an order to shelter in place.
As of Thursday morning, Bell County had 20 cases, with McLennan having 33, and Burnet County having 1. Lampasas County itself still has zero cases as of Thursday morning. Copperas Cove’s number has remained 1.
Nationwide as of Friday morning, there were 68,440 cases and 994 fatalities.
A special city council meeting was held Thursday to further discuss the previously issued Disaster Declaration and possibly approve an amendment/extension, with the council also having a proposed Disaster Declaration with Shelter in Place as an option. The Copperas Cove city council voted to extend the disaster declaration through Friday, April 3, without an order to shelter in place. Coryell County Judge Roger Miller advised county residents against traveling to other counties such as Bell or McLennan, which are under shelter in place orders.