Copperas Cove Veterans’ Day parade latest event casualty of COVID-19
By LYNETTE SOWELL
VFW Post 8577 has held an annual Veterans Day parade in Copperas Cove for more than 40 years, but this year’s event has been canceled by the post, as the request to hold the event was denied by Copperas Cove’s mayor, Bradi Diaz.
Mayor Diaz confirmed on Monday morning that she did not approve the Outdoor Gathering request for the parade.
“Gov. Abbott’s GA-32 unfortunately leaves the burden on me as the Mayor of the City (or Judge of a County) to review and authorize any Outdoor Gathering in excess of 10+ individuals. While it is my desire to allow people to recreate and gather as they wish, I take the health and safety of our citizens very seriously,” Diaz wrote in an email. “As a team, we have thoroughly reviewed all event requests, to include social distancing and sanitizing specifics, prior to approval. The majority of the submitted events have been approved, however several others have been denied for various reasons.
“In reference to the VFW Veterans Day Parade, this was a very tough decision which was not taken lightly. The primary reason for disapproval was simply the size and reach of the parade. As a team we did not feel proper social distancing could be maintained either by participants in the parade procession or spectators along the parade route. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to the citizens of our community, State and Nation and we cannot in good conscious risk allowing such a large event to be held at this point in time. We worked very close with the VFW Veterans Day Parade Coordinator and ensured they knew from our first discussion it was likely the parade would not be authorized.”
Outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people in public places were prohibited by Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-28, as of July 3. However, the order and subsequent orders allowed for exceptions at the discretion of a city’s mayor or a county judge “subject to certain conditions or restrictions not inconsistent with this executive order.”
The city of Copperas Cove cancelled official city events such as the Kite Festival scheduled for July 18, Food Truck Festival in August, along with the Fall-o-Ween festival which would have been held this past Saturday. So far, the Howl-o-Ween Puppy Palooza, is still on for Saturday, Oct. 31, which serves as a fundraiser and supply drive to benefit the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter. Although with not the large attendance of thousands such as at Fall-o-Ween, there will be more than 10 people at the public event. The city’s farmer’s market has had its usual run this season and wraps up this week.
The city of Copperas Cove issued its weekly update for COVID-19 cases on Monday morning.
As of Monday, there are 70 active cases in the city limits, and a cumulative case count of 440. Active cases are down by three from last week, and overall cases are up by 13.
The newest case demographics include two girls between the ages of 10-19, one woman in her 20s, four individuals in their 30s, and three in their 40s.
Coryell County updated its tracker on Friday, with a total count of 797, to include 141 active cases. Lampasas County hit a milestone on Friday, with active cases in the county dropping to under 10, at eight. There are a total of 403 cases in Lampasas County altogether.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 up statewide, but down locally
Hospitalizations locally were down as of Sunday in Trauma Service Region L, with 38 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized. This includes facilities in Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Hamilton, Mills, and Milam Counties. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 makes up 3.07 percent of area hospitalizations.
Statewide hospitalizations rose on Sunday to their highest level since Aug. 22, at 5,206 and make up 8.02 percent of all hospitalizations in the state.
The seven-day testing positivity rate is at 7.71 percent.
Positive cases statewide were at 862,375 on Sunday, which included an estimated 91,855 active cases and 17,504 fatalities.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 524 active cases (6,221 total)
Burnet County 136 active cases (922 total)
Coryell County 141 active cases (797 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 70 active cases (427 total)
TDCJ in Coryell County 21 active cases (1,128 total)
Lampasas County 8 active cases (403 total)
McLennan County 559 active cases (9,846 total)
Williamson County 190 active cases (9,335 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