Coryell County positive COVID-19 cases reach 70 on Thursday
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The first fatality of COVID-19 in Coryell County was confirmed on Tuesday morning by Bob Harrell, Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator.
A Copperas Cove man in his 70s passed away on Thursday, April 9, as per a statement issued by the office of the Coryell County Judge and Coryell County Emergency Management, which stated county officials were notified by Region 7 of the TX Department of State Health Services (DSHS), that the patient had passed away.
“That individual was the second reported case in Coryell County, and had been hospitalized in Advent Hospital in Killeen since April 2, 2020,” said county judge Roger Miller.
It is unclear as to why the notification came to the county five days after the patient’s passing.
Coryell County currently has a total of 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as per the Texas DSHS dashboard, which is updated by noon each day.
Of those 70 cases, 15 are residents within the Copperas Cove city limits.
On Thursday around noon, Deputy Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Young issued an update on the numbers for Copperas Cove. Of the 15 cases, three have recovered, and one includes the deceased man in his 70s.
All active cases are in isolation except for two who are hospitalized.
New active cases to the city’s list this week include a female in her 30s and another female in her 50s.
So far, the youngest positive COVID-19 case is a male in his 20s who was positive on April 6 but is now listed as recovered. The oldest, a female in her 90s, confirmed positive on April 4, remains in isolation.
“Residents are strongly encouraged to stay home unless engaged in essential activities defined by the City and County disaster declarations. Continue to follow social distance requirements and to limit travel to minimum essential needs of your household,” Young stated.
On Tuesday, Judge Miller discussed the discrepancy of the number of positive inmate cases as reported by the TDCJ on its website, but he stated that “the County continues to work with DSHS and TDCJ to accurately capture and report inmate cases within the local prison system.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville has 26 positive cases of COVID-19 within the inmate population and the Woodman State Jail has 12 cases.
Coryell County now has a county COVID-19 tracker on its website, www.coryellcounty.org, listed under coronavirus (COVID-19) update. The tracker has been updated to reflect both the countywide numbers as well as TDCJ.
The prison system is a subject of County Judge Roger Miller’s focus at this point, with approximately 2,500 in the local prison system in Coryell County.
“(With TDCJ) employees residing in numerous counties, and the increasing number of inmate infections, the TDCJ prison system in Gatesville presents the greatest threat for infection and cross contamination for residents throughout the county,” Miller stated.
With Fort Hood being located in both Bell and Coryell Counties, that installation is tracking its positive numbers and releasing those to the state. Any active duty positive cases, along with positive cases of dependents who reside on Fort Hood, are not released publicly.
“All cases identified at Carl R. Darnall Medical Center are reported to state public health officials and to DOD public health officials. Cases are publicly released based on the person’s place of county residence. The exception are cases that reside on federal property, such as Fort Hood,” stated Christopher Haug, chief of media relations for III Corps and Fort Hood.
As for Lampasas County, the number of positive cases remains at two, with one of the cases being a TDCJ employee who works for one of the facilities in Gatesville, and the other case being an individual who resides in the same household in Lampasas County.
The Texas DSHS reports a total of 16,455 cases statewide, with 393 fatalities, and 3,677 patients recovered as of Thursday by noon.
So far, 158,547 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in the state of Texas.
The link to the dashboard can be found at: https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702...