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Texas COVID-19 death toll rises to more than 50,000

Texas COVID-19 death toll rises to more than 50,000

May 22, 2021
Click here to view original web page at www.kwtx.com

Texas reached a somber milestone Thursday, even as restrictions are eased and the spread of COVID-19 in the state has slowed. (File) (CNN) (KWTX) – The statewide COVID-19 death toll rose to more than 50,000 Thursday. The Department of State Health Services reported 52 additional deaths Thursday, increasing the […]

Click here to view original web page at www.kwtx.com


Texas reached a somber milestone Thursday, even as restrictions are eased and the spread of...
Texas reached a somber milestone Thursday, even as restrictions are eased and the spread of COVID-19 in the state has slowed. (File) (CNN)

(KWTX) – The statewide COVID-19 death toll rose to more than 50,000 Thursday.

The Department of State Health Services reported 52 additional deaths Thursday, increasing the virus’ toll to 50,051.

At least 1,663 of the 50,051 lives were lost in Central Texas.

According to DSHS data Thursday the regional death toll includes 423 Bell County residents, 11 fewer than the last local count of 434; 33 Bosque County residents; 86 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 50 Freestone County residents; 27 Hamilton County residents; 108 Hill County residents; 33 Lampasas County residents; 43 Leon County residents; 78 Limestone County residents; 472 McLennan County residents,16 more than the local count of 456; 48 Milam County residents, one more than the local count of 47; 21 Mills County residents; 143 Navarro County residents, seven fewer than the local count of 150; 43 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.

Another 59 cases of the virus were reported Thursday in Central Texas, increasing the regional total to 78,924.

Statewide, DSHS reported 1,448 additional confirmed cases, 1,237 of them new.

At least 50,498 cases were active Thursday, 2,797,631 residents have recovered, and 2,103 were hospitalized, about 25 fewer than on Wednesday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 42 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Thursday, accounting for about 5% all hospitalizations and filling almost 4% of available beds.

At least 19 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Thursday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 4% of all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.

The statewide Lab Test Date positivity rate was 3.69% Thursday, down from 3.77% Wednesday.

A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.

Masks are coming off in Texas.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its mask guidance last week, and now says those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may resume activities without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

But Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that bars any county, city, school district, public health authority or government official from mandating face masks effective Saturday.

Some health experts say the order was premature and could lead to an increase in new cases, particularly as more virulent variants spread.

They urge residents who aren’t fully vaccinated against the virus to continue to wear masks.

The City of Waco Thursday announced updated protocols and beginning Friday will no longer require masks to be worn by the public outside on city property or inside city buildings except bus stations and the airport as required by federal law. Starting Friday city employees will no longer be required to wear masks except those assigned to the airport of bus station. Occupancy restrictions will be lifted Monday at city operated museums and venues. On June 7, city hall and the Development Center will again be open to the public. And on June 15, city council meetings will again be open to the public.

Statewide Thursday almost 54% of residents 16 and older have received one dose and almost 43% were fully vaccinated.

Just more than 37% of Central Texas residents 16 and older have now received first doses and almost 30% are fully vaccinated.

In Bell County, 33% of residents 16 and older have received one dose and 26% are fully vaccinated.

In McLennan County, 44% of residents 16 and older haver received one dose and more than 35% are fully vaccinated.

In Bosque County Thursday, according to data from the State Vaccination Dashboard, just more than 36% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; just more than 20% of Coryell County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; almost 27% of Falls County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; almost 23% of Freestone County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; more than 39% of Hamilton County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; almost 32% of Hill County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; almost 30% of Lampasas County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; just more than 30% of Leon County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; almost 26% of Limestone County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; more than 33% of Milam County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; more than 34% of Mills County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; more than 35% of Navarro County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated; almost 34% of Robertson County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, and almost 23% of San Saba County residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated.

Adolescents from 12- to 15-years-of-age became eligible last week for the Pfizer vaccine, second doses of which are administered 21 days after the first.

VACCINATIONS

The Department of State Health Services has notified vaccine providers across the state that they should begin to use the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate adolescents from 12- to 15-years-of-age after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use for people in that age group and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended it, as well.

Parental consent is required for vaccination of children 12-15.

Consent may be oral or written and a parent or guardian does not need to be present when a child is vaccinated, unless required by the provider.

Baylor Scott & White says vaccination appointments for children 12 to 15 must be scheduled by calling 1.844.BSW.VACC.

The state has halted weekly allocations of COVID-19 vaccine to providers because supply exceeds demand instead will fill vaccine orders as they come in.

The state has also opened a call center at 8 a.m. to connect businesses, organizations, and homebound seniors with mobile vaccination teams.

Businesses and civic organizations with 10 or more employees, members or visitors who are willing to be vaccinated may call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 3 to schedule a visit from a state mobile vaccine team.

Homebound seniors may call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 1 to request a mobile vaccine team to come to their homes.

A new White House initiative should make it easier to find available vaccines.

Text a zip code to GetVax (438829), or in Spanish to Vacuna (822862), and the response will list three nearby locations with vaccines in stock.

The Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler allows residents to sign up for COVID-19 shots through a list of public health departments and select preferred times of day for vaccinations. Those without internet access may call 1-833-832-7067 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Health District has paused updates of its local dashboard, but says they will resume if the county’s incidence rate rises to more than 80 cases per 100,000 residents.

State data, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 22,582 cases Thursday, but has not been updated since Monday.

The last local update set the virus’ death toll in the county at 434.

State data showed 423 deaths Thursday.

At least 181 cases were active and 21,861 residents have recovered, according to DSHS data.

The Baylor Scott & White Blood Center issued an urgent request for donors of all blood types on Monday.

“The medical center is consistently booking 60% appointments fewer than normal,” officials said.

The center is asking existing and first-time donors to visit BSWBLOOD.com or to call (254) 724-4367 to make an appointment to donate.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Thursday showed two active cases and a total of 370 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Thursday showed one active case and a total of 43 since March 2020, 31 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 10 cases involving students and three involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,800 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, including 915 involving students and 885 involving staff.

The Killeen ISD continues to offer free COVID-19 screening to students and employees from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on regular school days at the former Nolan Middle School building at 505 Jasper Dr. in Killeen, using the 2nd Street entrance. Screening is by appointment and students younger than 18 require signed waivers from parents or guardians. The state-funded testing uses BinaxNOW nasal swab tests, which provide results in 15 minutes. Information is available online.

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District dashboard showed 27,356 total cases Thursday, an increase of 23.

Local data showed 456 deaths, but DSHS data showed 472.

At least 138 cases were active Thursday, 26,762 residents have recovered and 16 were hospitalized, four of them on ventilators.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on May 27 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.

Free COVID-19 test sites are in operation in the Waco area. Additional details are available online.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 15 active cases Thursday, 14 involving students and one involving a staff member. Active cases during the spring semester peaked at 449 on March 4. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,997 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, six tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff through the summer. The university will not require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against the virus this fall, but is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The university has provided revised guidance for the summer, eliminating capacity limitations on outdoor activities, and making face coverings optional outside. Indoors, any student, faculty member or staff member who is fully vaccinated may meet indoors with fully vaccinated people in groups of 15 or fewer without face coverings or social distancing and may also meet with groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in groups of 15 or fewer without face coverings or social distancing.

The McLennan Community College dashboard showed no active cases Thursday and a cumulative total of 364 cases, 282 involving students.

The Waco ISD dashboard reported no active cases Thursday and a total of 294 student cases, 301 staff cases and 18 cases involving people classified as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed five cases across three campuses.

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had 7,024 confirmed cases Thursday, an increase of 22, and 275 probable cases.

At least 7,141 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed 86 lives in the county, according to state data.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Thursday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported two cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where 45 inmates were restricted and one was isolated; two cases involving employees at the Hilltop Unit; one involving an inmate and five involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an employee at the Mountain View Unit; one case involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit, and one case involving an inmate and one involving an employee at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 23 inmates were restricted and one was isolated.

The Cove House Free Clinic at 806 West Avenue D, Suite H, is offering free COVID-19 testing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Appointments are required and may be made by calling (254) 289-9865.

FALLS COUNTY

Falls County had 1,890 confirmed and 199 probable cases of the virus Thursday.

State data showed at least 2,040 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 32 residents, state data showed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported no cases at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin, and one case involving an employee at the Marlin Transfer Unit.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,156 confirmed and 644 probable cases of the virus Thursday.

At least 2,687 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 78 residents, state data showed.

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County had 3,467 confirmed and 2,366 probable cases Wednesday.

Of the total, at least 5,622 patients have recovered.

State data showed 143 deaths in the county.

Local data last updated on March 31 showed 150 deaths.

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,374 confirmed and 310 probable cases of the virus Thursday. Of the total, 1,630 residents have recovered and 33 have died, according to state data.

Freestone County had 1,118 confirmed and 828 probable cases Thursday. At least 1,834 residents have recovered and 50 have died according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported one case involving an inmate and two cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague where 57 inmates were restricted, and one was isolated.

Hamilton County had 722 confirmed and 58 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 742 residents have recovered and 27 have died, according to state data.

Hill County Thursday had 3,796 confirmed cases and 717 probable cases. At least 4,371 patients have recovered, and 108 residents have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Thursday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Thursday showed one case at the junior high.

Lampasas County had 1,856 confirmed and 337 probable cases Thursday. At least 2,138 residents have recovered, and 33 residents have died, according to state data.

Leon County had 1,277 confirmed and 363 probable cases Thursday. At least 1,584 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data.

Milam County had 1,457 confirmed and 1,093 probable cases Thursday. At least 2,537 patients have recovered and 48 have died. Twelve cases were active Thursday, and no residents with the virus were hospitalized.

Mills County had 595 confirmed and 63 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 635 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data.

Robertson County had 1,730 confirmed cases Thursday and 424 probable cases. At least 2,071 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data.

San Saba County had 524 confirmed cases Thursday and 256 probable cases. At least 760 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported one case involving an inmate and two cases involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit where one inmate was isolated.

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