Coryell County EMC: look for continued COVID case surge mid-January
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The numbers for positive COVID-19 cases have continued to surge throughout the month of December within Coryell County.
Although the county has not updated its online COVID-19 tracker since Dec. 16, Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator, Bob Harrell, said that the surge of new cases has continued.
“I’ve received notification of an additional 18 cases from (Sunday),” Harrell said on Monday morning. He said receives daily updates from a local lab, and also received notification of 15-20 new cases on Saturday.
“In mid-December, there were about 240 new cases in a one-week time period alone,” he added. “Now especially is the time to stay away from large groups, not let our guards down. Everyone’s got COVID fatigue, and many are reluctant to get the vaccine, even some of the frontline workers.”
Harrell said, however, that we should expect to see a new surge in cases, particularly after Christmas and New Year’s, in mid January.
He said that CVS will be rolling out its vaccination program in cooperation with local nursing homes. Presently, the Texas Department of State Health Services is in Phase 1A of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine distributions, for front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, who can receive the vaccine first.
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.
On Dec. 28, Coryell County Judge Roger Miller issued a spreadsheet showing the breakdown of cases within the county. The total number from Texas DSHS is 2127. However, the county culls out those without addresses, post office box addresses, along with “probable” cases.
From Dec. 2 through Dec. 28, total cases rose within the county from 1,347 to 1,966, or by 619. From Dec. 16-23, new cases rose by 245 in that week alone.
As of Monday, a total of 417 cases remained active in the county. Fatalities rose from 15 to 20 between Dec. 2-28.
The City of Copperas Cove issued its update early Monday afternoon, showing 1,112 total cases, an increase of 75 from the week before. Of that number, 369 are considered active cases, up by 51 from last week.
Statewide, the hospital system has 10,886 hospitalized with COVID-19, which is only seven patients shy of July 22’s all-time high of 10,893 hospitalized.
As of Sunday, Dec. 27, in local Trauma Service Area L, which includes Coryell and Bell Counties, there were 163 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital, which makes up 12.68 percent of hospitalizations. There were only 29 ICU beds available.
Confirmed cases totaled 1,476,674 on Sunday, which includes an estimated 279,831 active cases.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 1,886 active cases (11,696 total)
Burnet County 232 active cases (1,811 total)
Coryell County 417 active cases (1,966 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 369 active cases (1,112 total)
*Lampasas County 74 active cases (872 total)
McLennan County 1,168 active cases (17,809 total)
Williamson County 1,482 active cases (18,568 total)
*No update released by press time Monday.
Other numbers from Texas DSHS, Coryell County; Bell, McLennan, and Williamson County Public Health Districts.