More than 200 of Coryell County’s positive COVID-19 cases reported July 1-29
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The majority of Coryell County’s confirmed positive cases of the COVID-19 virus were reported during the first 29 days of the month—211 in total out of 356 as of Wednesday.
Although the majority of the new cases have been confirmed in July, since Sunday there have been 11 cases reported in Coryell County as per the Texas State Department of Health Services.
They include four between the ages of 10-19, to include a Gatesville area girl, an Oglesby boy, and two Copperas Cove girls; three Copperas Cove males between 20-29 years old; two Copperas Cove area women in their 30s; and two men in their 30s, one in the Copperas Cove area and one listed as Fort Hood.
Coryell County publishes updates on its website, which reflects the newest number of reported positive cases, the number of active cases, and also lists the recoveries and fatalities.
As of Wednesday, July 29, the number was 356 positive confirmed cases, with 253 active cases, 99 recoveries, and 4 fatalities. That count excludes case counts at Texas Department of Corrections facilities located in the county, with TDCJ counting its own cases. According to TDCJ, there are only six active cases among inmates in its facilities in Coryell County, out of a total of 214 positive cases.
Where the City of Copperas Cove is concerned, the city issues a report every Monday which lists the number of cases within the city limits.
As of Monday’s weekly report, there were a total of 141 confirmed positive cases in Copperas Cove, with 94 of those cases listed as currently active, with 45 recovered and 1 deceased.
Coryell County Judge Roger Miller is well aware of the fact that the numbers his office is tracking for the county don’t match those reported on the Texas Department of State Health Services website.
Miller is refusing to count “probable” positive cases, of which the number last week was around six cases included in the count from the state. Plus, there are other cases reported to Coryell County from Texas DSHS that aren’t for Coryell County addresses, such as a handful of cases which are actually Lampasas County. On Monday, Miller also said the state still has not counted a 4th COVID-19 related death, as identified by justice of the peace in the Copperas Cove area.
Also on Monday, the county commissioners voted to extend the county’s declaration of local disaster through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24.
Texas Attorney General rules against health districts mandating delay of school
On Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance on the opening of local schools for the upcoming school year, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, responding to a request from Stephenville Mayor Doug Svien.
“Education of our children is an essential Texas value and there is no current statewide order prohibiting any school from opening,” said Attorney General Paxton. “While local health authorities may possess some authority to close schools in limited circumstances, they may not issue blanket orders closing all schools on a purely preventative basis. That decision rightfully remains with school system leaders.”
Both the Bell County Health District as well as the Waco-McLennan County Health Districts had issued orders last week that those counties’ school districts would not be able to reopen their campuses until after Sept. 7.
However, Coryell County Judge Roger Miller has already said that he will not issue any type of order that would apply to all county ISDs regarding the reopening of classes for the 2020-2021 school year, saying on Monday that he believed it would be “foolish” of him to presume that he could create an order that would be appropriate and applicable to all the school districts in Coryell County, and that he has complete faith and confidence in the reopening plans that each school district is implementing, but if a district believes they need to delay he would support that.
Copperas Cove ISD is planning to reopen its campuses as scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 18, and is also offering an at-home learning option for families. Other school districts in the county are offering similar options, but are much smaller than Copperas Cove.
COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations throughout Texas
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported a total of 403,307 positive cases as of Wednesday afternoon. This includes an estimated 145,771 active cases, with an estimated 251,346 recoveries. On Sunday, there were a total of 5,810 new cases in the state.
Currently there are 9,595 hospitalized across the state, down from more than 10,000 on Sunday.
Presently in the state’s local Trauma Region L, which also includes inpatient healthcare facilities in Coryell and Bell Counties, there are 78 hospitalized for COVID-19.
The state’s seven-day testing positivity rate has fallen to 12.55 percent.
Back on June 26, Governor Greg Abbott announced he was pausing the phased reopening of the state, partly due to the fact that the state’s seven-day testing positivity rate had increased above 10 percent, and that hospitalizations across the state had risen.
The seven-day positivity rate was only 5.4 percent on June 1, but by July 1 was 13.43 percent and peaked at 17.43 percent on July 17. The positivity rate has had a continued downward trend since that time.
Testing continues to increase in the state, to include 3,539,368 viral tests and 237,895 antibody tests, with 11,227 positive antibody tests. In Coryell County, there have been a total of 14,168 tests. With that number, Coryell County ranks #28 in the state, in the number of COVID-19 tests conducted at healthcare facilities within the county.