Coryell County numbers increase, unconfirmed 5th COVID-19 death
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Friday afternoon, Coryell County updated its COVID-19 tracker to show that there were 408 total cases in the county, with 264 active cases, down from 305 active cases on Thursday. A total of 143 have recovered in Coryell County, up from 93 on Thursday. Between August 3-6, there were a total of 18 new cases added to the tracking list.
During Monday morning’s meeting of the Coryell County Commissioners Court, Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell discussed the increase in numbers throughout the county and the number variance between the county and state.
“Two weeks ago, DSHS sent me a report that had 267 positive. Then published on Friday, the DSHS report had 449. Let’s take 11 with no addresses, six probable cases which we don’t count, and there’s p.o. boxes that we don’t actually know where we live, so we can’t really count those. So even if we took 25 out of that 449, we’re still seeing an exponential growth in the number of infections we have in the county. It’s pretty disturbing.”
Coryell County Judge Roger Miller again talked about discrepancies in the numbers provided by DSHS.
“Region 7 gives us our daily report. Region 7 is part of the Texas Department of State Health Services. Go to the state website and look at Coryell county. The number that is reported there is not even what region 7 gives us. So, even within that one state agency, we’re getting 2 different sets of numbers,” Miller said. “46 of those are probable cases, addresses not in Coryell County, and some did not give an address at all. No address whatsoever but they’re saying it’s in our county. What we can confirm, is 403 total cases. Of that, 264 being active, 135 recovered, and 4 deceased.
Miller also noted the state report says a fifth individual has died from COVID-19 in Coryell County.
“I have seen on the state website that there is a 5th death being reported. I have no knowledge of that whatsoever. No JP has told me they have a death call on that, I have not had a funeral home with a death call on that, so I don’t know where this 5th case is being generated from. But again, those are the information discrepancies we continue to face.”
He reminded residents that for public events greater than 10, there must be permission granted by the county judge in unincorporated areas of the county, or if within city limits, mayoral approval. Miller noted that Texas Station Events Center sent his office a request for an event and they noted the guidelines they were implementing in keeping with governor’s executive orders, so he sent them a letter of approval for that event.
Likewise, Judge Miller also anticipated an increase in positive cases with the startup of school across the county, as per local health authorities and physicians.
He said that last week, the entire jail inmate population as well as the staff, courthouse employees to include clerk offices, administrative staff, court staff were all tested via Coryell Health.
“We’re looking pretty good there. We’ve had all negatives on that, except for one additional positive at the jail. We will retest those folks closely associated with that individual Wednesday or Thursday to get a reading on that.”
Harrell also said that there is a mobile testing site coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 18 in the city of Evant, that is free and open to all residents of Coryell, Mills, Hamilton, and Lampasas Counties. It is an oral swab test with results available in three or four days.
“It is not as fast as Coryell Memorial, who tested jail and court staff last week and had results within 24 hours. I encourage the public if they think they’re sick or have been exposed, go to Coryell Memorial to get tested.”
Harrell said the clinic drive-through testing is Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Harrell noted that he would be watching infection rates closely one month from now, with opening of school, and that his office continues to distribute PPE to nursing homes along with schools.
During Monday’s meeting, Harrell was asked about the incubation period of the virus, and if someone who had been exposed to someone with the virus would test positive that same day.
“What I know right now is normally it is four to five days later before showing signs of the virus. Is it going to vary? I can tell you that yes, but not everyone is the same,” Harrell said, adding that they would be retesting at the jail and court, to give them a full seven days.
In Copperas Cove, as of Monday afternoon, there are a total of 216 cases of COVID-19 confirmed and 163 listed as active.
The nine newest cases within the Copperas Cove city limits include fuve individuals in their 20s, a woman in her 30s, three in their 40s, one individual in their 50s, along with one female, age not listed. The cases are listed as 7/31/2020, six on 8/3/2020, and three on 8/4/2020. The city of Copperas Cove releases an update each Monday.
Numbers increase statewide, hospitalizations down
As of Sunday afternoon, there were a total of 486,362 positive confirmed cases in Texas, up by 4,879 new cases. Recoveries stand at 344,845, leaving an estimated 133,058 active cases, down by 680 cases from Wednesday. Fatalities have risen to 8,459, up by 116.
The seven-day testing positivity rate has jumped 20.31 percent statewide, with hospitalizations down to 7,437 statewide, more than 1,000 fewer than as of last Wednesday afternoon.
In the local hospital region, there are 61 patients with lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 hospitalized, which includes hospitals in Bell and Coryell Counties.
On Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott extended his Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties, which was originally issued on March 13.
“Renewing this Disaster Declaration will provide communities with the resources they need to respond to COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “I urge Texans to remain vigilant in our fight against this virus. Everyone must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. We will overcome this challenge by working together.”
Last week, Gov. Abbott announced the opening of a free COVID-19 testing site at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The testing site will be able to process 2,000 tests per day and began operations on Saturday, August 8, and is open 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. seven days per week, with eight drive-thru testing lanes and four walk-up testing lanes. Spanish-speaking staff will be available on-site. No healthcare provider is required for test administration.