Copperas Cove sees spike in COVID-19 cases, active case number rises from last week
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Monday morning, Copperas Cove Deputy Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Young issued the weekly update for the city’s positive COVID-19 cases within the city limits.
In one week, the cumulative case total rose from 383 to 414, a jump of 31. Recoveries rose by only eight. The low recovery numbers didn’t outpace the new cases added, with active cases jumping in the city from 58 to 82.
Of the new cases, there are 11 twenty- to 29-year-olds added to the list, followed by six in their 30s, five in their 50s, four in their 40s. The 10- to 19-year-old age demographic and those in their 70s had two new cases apiece.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce announced that one of its staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are closing the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau office as of Friday; October 9, 2020 through October 23, 2020 or until all staff is cleared by a medical professional to return to work,” said Chamber President Alicia Menard. “Although the lobby and offices are closed, staff will be working from home and will continue to assist citizens in the Central Texas Communities, promote our valued Chamber Members, and honor the mission/purpose of our organization.”
Menard did not identify the employee who tested positive for the virus. However, she said they gathered the names of employees who worked in close proximity with this staff member over the previous 14 days.
On Friday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Coryell County reached 736, with 115 of those cases being active.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District reported four active cases as of Thursday, Oct. 8 among its students and staff.
Two of the cases are new, at Copperas Cove High School, one staff member and one student. The other two active cases are a staff member at Copperas Cove Junior High School, and one active student case at Williams Ledger Elementary.
On Friday, Misti Talbert, mayor of the city of Lampasas, shared that there has been a spike in numbers in that county, due to some multigenerational households coming down with COVID-19, according to Dr. Georgia Hay, local health authority for Lampasas County. Also, the fatalities in Lampasas County have risen by one. This loss occurred about a month ago and was a male in his 70’s, but the report just got to (Dr. Hay), Talbert said on Friday.
On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order that as of Wednesday, Oct. 14, bars would be allowed to reopen to no more than 50 percent capacity. This applies only to counties within the state’s Trauma Service Areas with COVID hospitalizations that make up no more than 15 percent of total hospitalizations.
The executive order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments other than bars to 75 percent.
However, this is not an automatic reopening for bars. According to the executive order, a county judge may authorize the opening of bars and similar establishments at 50 percent occupancy.
If a county judge authorizes the opening of bars, certain protocols must be followed.
As recommended by trade associations representing bars, dance floors at bars must remain closed.
As with protocols for restaurants, all patrons must be seated while eating or drinking (with limited exceptions for sampling at breweries, distilleries, and wineries), and must wear masks when they are not seated at a table.
Additionally, tables are limited to six individuals or less and all establishments must follow specific curfew guidelines.
Locally, there are 32 hospitalized for COVID-19 in area hospitals in Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Hamilton, Mills, and Milam Counties, making up only 2.57 percent of local hospitalizations.
As of press time Monday, Coryell County Judge Roger Miller had not issued any order which gives bars in the county the go-ahead to reopen.
Hospitalizations statewide are at 3,622 as of Sunday. The number of hospitalizations has not been below 3,000 since June 18, and after a spike of 10,893 on July 22, has hovered above 3,000 since Sept. 1. The number has hovered from 3200-3600 range during October. Sunday’s hospitalization rate is the highest number since Sept. 6. The statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 make up 5.56 percent of total hospitalizations.
Active cases in the state of Texas are at 70,813, with 792,478 cases statewide, which include 16,557 fatalities and an additional 2,262 cases. The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate is up a bit at 7.62 percent.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 371 active cases (5,695 total)
Burnet County 85 active cases (901 total)
Coryell County 115 active cases (736 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 82 active cases (414 total)
TDCJ in Coryell County 30 active cases (1,131 total)
Lampasas County 34 active cases (373 total)
McLennan County 447 active cases (8,932 total)
Williamson County 202 active cases (8,917 total)
*As of press time Monday, numbers from Texas DSHS, City of Copperas Cove, Coryell County, TDCJ COVID-19 dashboard, Bell County Public Health District