Local community, TDCJ active COVID-19 cases drop
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The majority of the active positive confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates housed at Texas Department of Criminal Justice correctional facilities in Coryell County have dropped, after a spike in numbers during the past two weeks.
As of last Wednesday, there were a total of 849 active cases of the virus among TDCJ inmates in Coryell County, but as of Sunday, that number dropped to 295, with a total of 1,131 inmates having tested positive.
Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell attributed the spike within TDCJ units to mass testing of both inmates and employees at the units within the county.
On Monday morning, Coryell County Judge Roger Miller expressed concerns over the employees who enter and leave the facilities daily. As of Sunday, a total of 118 TDCJ employees were considered active cases by TDCJ.
Coryell County’s tracker which was updated on Friday, indicated a total of 600 cases in the county itself, with 205 of those cases being active, 383 recovered, and nine fatalities.
On the report, there were 33 cases added as active, new positive-confirmed cases, 18 listed for Gatesville and 15 for Copperas Cove.
For the Copperas Cove area cases, three are under the age of 10, one between the age of 10-19, four in their 20s, two in their 40s, three in their 50s, one in their 60s, two in their 70s, one 80-plus, and one male, age unknown.
Late Monday afternoon, the City of Copperas Cove issued its weekly update, to reflect 324 cases, with 66 cases remaining as active, and recoveries up to 255, with 19 additional new cases when compared to the Sept. 8 report. Last week's report showed a total of 305, with 67 active cases, and recoveries at 235.
Coryell County officials – “No confidence” declaration
During Monday morning’s meeting of the Coryell County commissioners’ court, County Judge Roger Miller shared how the county arrives at the numbers that the county releases, as received from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas DSHS processes the positive cases as received from labs and local healthcare facilities.
Miller provided the commissioners with a spreadsheet from Friday, Sept. 11, and explained the numbers. In total, the county has 650 cases as per DSHS as of last Friday. However, 25 of those cases have either no address listed or a post office box, and it cannot be confirmed if they are actually county residents. Miller added that although the state has said it is not counting “probable” cases, 18 of those cases on the state’s report were listed as probable. Then, a total of seven cases had addresses which are not in Coryell County. Therefore, the county deducted 50 of the cases provided by the state and does not count them among residents.
Last week, the commissioners voted to approve a “no confidence” declaration against DSHS and Region 7, due to the number discrepancies and continuing to count probable cases. It was a 4-1 vote, with Precinct 1 Commissioner Kyle Matthews the lone vote against the declaration, which is largely symbolic.
Judge Miller mentioned that there was some “misinformation” about the declaration, and stated that the declaration will not affect the county receiving grant funding or state or federal assistance.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District did update its COVID-19 active case tracker on Monday morning, with four active cases listed, to include one staff member at Copperas Cove Junior High School, and a new case to include one staff member at Clements Parsons Elementary School. Two student cases previously listed for Williams/Ledger Elementary remain.
Two student cases at House Creek Elementary and two student cases at Copperas Cove High School are no longer listed.
Prior to that, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, there were a total of five active cases among CCISD employees and students, to include two student cases at Williams/Ledger Elementary, two student cases at House Creek Elementary, and one staff member at Copperas Cove Junior High School. The tracker can be viewed at https://www.ccisd.com/290332_2.
The district continues to follow its notification protocol of issuing a Schoology notice to campuses where active cases occur, and same-day phone calls to those who have been in close contact with someone with a test-confirmed positive case.
Local free COVID-19 testing opportunities continue
Within Coryell County, there have been a total of 27,404 tests conducted. There are two upcoming opportunities for free testing.
Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter has begun offering free COVID-19 testing every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Preregistration is required and can be done by calling 254-298-9865 for an appointment.
Also, there is another free testing day on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from noon until 8 p.m. at the Copperas Cove Central Fire Station, located at 415 S. Main Street. Preregistration will open for that testing site approximately 48 hours prior to the event and can be done https://texascurativeinc.com/welcome.
Cases continue, along with testing statewide
Elsewhere in Central Texas, while numbers continue to inch up with new confirmed positive cases, the number of individuals with active cases of the virus also continues to drop.
Altogether, Lampasas County has a total of 285 total cases, with 18 active cases 258 recovered and nine fatalities, and zero hospitalized with COVID-19. Within Lampasas County, 3,367 tests have been conducted.
As of Saturday, a total of 5,989,638 tests have been performed in Texas, to include 5,550,139 molecular tests, 390,318 antibody tests, and 49,181 antigen tests.
There were a total of 659,434 total confirmed positive cases in the state of Texas as of Sunday afternoon, with an estimated 577,832 recoveries.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Texas continues to shrink, at 67,412.
So far, there have been 14,190 fatalities from the virus, and there are a total of 3,319 hospitalized, down from 3,604 as of last Wednesday, with 32 of those individuals in Trauma Region L, which includes both Bell and Coryell Counties.
The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate on Sunday was 8.11 percent. The positivity rate is the average of tests which had a positive result within a seven-day time period.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 4,994 (395 active) 44,696 tests
Burnet County 680 (57 active) 27,404 tests
Coryell County 600 (205 active)
- Copperas Cove (city) 324 (66 active)
- TDCJ in Coryell Co 1,131 (295 active)
Lampasas County 285 (18 active) 3,637
McLennan County 7,109 (549 active) 44,570
Williamson County 8,143 (76 active)
*As of Monday, numbers from Texas DSHS, City of Copperas Cove, Bell County, TDCJ COVID-19 dashboard.