Local businesses, churches, city leader deal with COVID-19
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Coryell County released its most recent update for COVID-19 virus cases in the county on Wednesday afternoon. As of that time, there were 204 positive cases, not including inmates housed at the Texas Department of Corrections. The 204 number held steady from Tuesday, July 14.
The most recent cases have report dates of Sunday, July 12 and Monday, July 13. The total for those two days is 11, excluding the addition of a deceased male in the Gatesville area.
Only three of those 11 cases are listed as Copperas Cove area residents, two women in their 30s and a man in his 50s. The others are residents of Gatesville, Evant, and Jonesboro.
From July 1-13, there were a total of 78 new positive cases within Coryell County, making up about 64 percent of the 122 currently active cases in the county testing positive. Of the 78 new cases, 38 are listed as Copperas Cove area residents.
As per the City of Copperas Cove Monday update, there are 96 positive cases within the Copperas Cove city limits, with 56 active cases, 38 recovered/no longer active, and two deceased. The city has begun issuing its updates weekly.
There continues to be a lag of several days in reporting from the Texas Department of State Health Services, which keeps track of the cases and also conducts the contact tracing locally.
Coryell County Judge Roger Miller described Texas DSHS on Monday as being “completely overwhelmed, especially with this resurgence we have had. The department of state health services, both at the state and across the regions, are completely overwhelmed with the number of cases they are seeing.”
Local business owners, churches,
city official deal with COVID
Jimmy Hogberg, owner of Self Defense America in Copperas Cove, announced late last week on social media that he had tested positive for the virus, after learning his son had tested positive. The family had traveled to South Carolina to attend a funeral.
Hogberg stated that his martial arts studio would be closed for two weeks and that anyone who had been in the school should get tested as well. Hogberg also admitted that after learning his son had tested positive, Hogberg had visited another local business in Copperas Cove, BlackBox Arcade. Black Box Arcade closed for four days to clean and disinfect the store.
On Thursday morning, Hogberg apologized for his actions, stating, “I should not have been there, and after finding out it cost them a lot of money in tests and closure of their business. Thankfully nobody in their establishment tested positive as I kept my distance and/or wore a mask. I apologize to everyone that has looked at me as a role model and expected better from me. I was trying to get movies and games for our families [sic] quarantine. I hope I can be forgiven, because I know it won’t be forgotten. My deepest apologies to anyone affected.”
Earlier this week, Refuge Ministries announced via its social media page that “because of recent events that coronavirus has caused” the church would shut down physical services for two weeks, but that it would be holding a Sunday service on Facebook at 10:45 a.m. That decision came about after the church also announced via social media that an adult who was at the church’s camp held the week prior had tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic. “These people had almost no contact with the pre-teens and did not stay in the dorms. Their contact with senior campers was minimal,” the church stated.
Over in Lampasas County, Misti Talbert, mayor of Lampasas, announced via a social media video on Sunday afternoon that she and her daughter had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be under quarantine for 14 days. She said she did not know where they contracted the virus.
Lampasas County itself as of Thursday has a total of 89 cases, with 27 being active and 62 recovered, and two hospitalized.
Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell addressed county commissioners during their meeting on Monday morning, stating that the county’s infection rate “continues to increase exponentially.”
“The number of recoveries has increased. We don’t know the long-term health effects of COVID yet. It’s too early in this disease to know otherwise. 65-plus age is still the highest number requiring hospitalization, although infection rates are normally 50 and below. It’s a big increase based on reopening at the end of May through the present. We’re seeing spikes, basically.”
Harrell said that they will be looking to see the impact of 4th of July celebrations in the numbers this week. As of Wednesday afternoon, Texas DSHS reported a total of 282,365 positive cases, roughly 1 percent of the state’s population. This was up 10,791 new cases from the day before. At this point, there are an estimated 129,657 active cases in the state of Texas, with 149,276 recoveries.
There are 10,471 hospitalized for the virus across the state. In Trauma Region L, in which Coryell and Bell Counties lie, there are 97 hospitalized for COVID-19, up by 20 from July 12.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 2,396 (1,512 active)
Burnet County 256 (124 active)
Coryell County **204 (122 active)
Lampasas County on 89 (27 active)
McLennan County 2,920 (2,003 active)
Williamson County 4,153 (2,631 active)
*As of press time Thursday