Five additional cases added to Copperas Cove COVID-19 numbers after the weekend
By LYNETTE SOWELL
During Monday morning’s meeting of the Coryell County commissioners’ court, Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell announced seven additional confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Coryell County over the weekend.
Five of those cases were confirmed to be Copperas Cove residents, bringing the total cases in Copperas Cove to 55, with 33 currently active cases, and two deceased.
The new active cases are two males and one female in their 50s and two females in their 20s. All five are in isolation. The other two cases in Coryell County are residents of Evant, according to Harrell.
The city released an update on Monday morning, noting that there are no new confirmed recoveries. Seven of the 33 active cases in Copperas Cove remain listed as being hospitalized.
Between June 1-22, there were 18 new positive confirmed cases within Copperas Cove.
The total for Coryell County has now reached 102.
The commissioners voted to extend Coryell County’s declaration of disaster through Monday, July 27.
One store in Copperas Cove temporarily closed due to ‘presumptive positive’ COVID-19
On Friday, a sign was noted outside Discount Tire in Copperas Cove, that it is temporarily closed until further notice, with the sign stating that “Our first consideration is the safety of our people and our customers. As such and solely as a precaution, we have closed this location until further notice.”
Bridget Johnson with Richards Partners Public Relations provided a statement on behalf of Discount Tire.
“At Discount Tire, our first consideration is the safety of our people and our customers. As such and solely as a precaution, we have temporarily closed our store in Copperas Cove, located at 2621 E Highway 190, for a COVID-19 presumptive positive employee exposure.
“(The store) has been deep cleaned and disinfected per CDC guidelines. All store employees have been placed on isolation and should be tested for COVID-19. We are notifying our customers who appear to have visited the store within the 14 days prior to the employee last being present in the store after testing presumptive positive. Additional information on precautionary measures and possible store closures can be found at www.discounttire.com/customer-safety.”
Other local stores have had positive COVID-19 cases in employees, to include H-E-B Plus! on Stan Schlueter Loop, where one store partner confirmed positive for COVID-19 and was last in the store on Friday, June 12.
A press release on the store’s webpage said that all directly affected partners at location have been notified and the store has been deep cleaned and sanitized multiple times since then.
“At our stores, we continue to enforce proper social distancing practices, strict sanitation and require the use of masks or facial covering by all our partners and vendors in customer facing and close contact positions. H-E-B requests all our customers to wear masks or facial coverings while shopping in our stores.”
Two other local H-E-B stores, Harker Heights and Belton, also have also had one partner test positive and those stores have enacted the same response as Killeen. The Harker Heights partner was last in the store on Thursday, June 18, and the Belton store partner was last in that store on Tuesday, June 16.
The company posts press releases on the stores’ webpages, under “Store Details,” and affected stores will have press releases on their pages. Copperas Cove, Gatesville, and Lampasas stores do not have any such releases listed.
While masks are not required to shop at local H-E-B stores, it was announced last week H-E-B would be following locally mandated mask requirements in the city of Austin, as well as Travis and Hays Counties.
County officials address county’s increasing case numbers
During Monday’s county commissioner meeting, Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell addressed the continued uptick in numbers.
“I wish I could say that we have decreasing numbers, but that is not the case. As we evolve in this situation, we are starting to see an upsurge in numbers. Even though we had a report on Saturday that were no new cases, I highly suspect that our numbers are going to continue to rise. For the sake of sounding like a broken record, everybody needs to get tested. I did so myself last week, not because I was sick, but because I want to protect myself, my family and my coworkers that I work with on a day-to-day basis.
“I encourage everyone to be vigilant, wear your mask in public, take those precautions that we have been preaching,” Harrell said.
He also noted the younger demographic of current positive cases.
“I notice that a lot of the upsurge in numbers is those in their 20s to 50s range, so that this means these folks are getting out and doing a lot more things as we reopen Texas,” Harrell said. “I do not see that we will be closing anything down. However, I think that we need to pay really close attention to what is going on, especially right now as we start looking at schools reopening in August – what does that look like? The TEA is going to be sending out guidance over the next few days.
“The independent school districts and school boards will be trying to implement measures, and anything I can support with, I will be glad to do that.”
Presently, Harrell said there are no mobile testing teams scheduled for Coryell county, but if the commissioners court decide to have those again, he will get more mobile testing scheduled.
Coryell County Judge Roger Miller also weighed in on the virus and numbers countywide.
“Of note, when you look at the 66-day aggregate, we’ve had an increase of 71% over 66 days. In the last week, we have gained the first two cases under the age of 10,” Miller said.
“In the past five days, there have been 10 cases at Coryell Health that are positive but not yet reflected (in our numbers). Because of the surge across the state, (Texas Department of State Health Services) Region 7 tracking is falling several days behind.”
Numbers increase throughout Central Texas, statewide
Over in Bell County, case numbers have risen to 822. A total of 305 have recovered so far, and there have been 10 deaths. Killeen has seen 264 cases, Temple 252, Harker Heights 52, Belton 88, and elsewhere in the county 60.
Texas has a total of 111,601 confirmed positive cases, with an estimated 68,499 having recovered, with an estimated 40,920 active cases. There have been 2,182 fatalities.
On Saturday, June 20, there were 4,430 new confirmed cases, the largest single-day jump so far.
Hospitalizations have risen locally and statewide, with 3,409 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals. The number of COVID-19 patients in Hospital Region L has increased to 20, which includes Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Hamilton, Mills, and Milam Counties.
Bell County 822 (305 recovered)
Burnet County 80 (44 recovered)
Coryell County **102 (54 recovered)
Lampasas County 17 (7 recovered)
McLennan County 303 (145 recovered)
Williamson County 1,237 (656 recovered)
*As of press time Monday
**Not counting TDCJ