CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 8-82020-03-31

(TEXAS) A new virus sweeping the globe reached pandemic status. Here`s the latest updates:

Milam County has had a total of 346 reported cases, 32 of which are active, and a death count of 3. The state of Texas has had 496k confirmed cases and 8,675 deaths. The United States has had 4.95 million confirmed cases and a death count of 161k.
 


From 8-7:

Texas saw a near-record day for deaths related to COVID-19 as restrictions were eased on nursing home visitations. State health officials on Thursday reversed a policy intended to keep the most vulnerable populations safe from the pandemic by allowing visitors to Texas nursing homes on a limited basis. The move ends isolation for many in nursing homes, who have not been allowed to have visitors since mid-March, or nearly 5 months. At long-term facilities, some indoor visitation will be permitted with certain protocols such as plexiglass barriers, no active cases in the home, and no physical contact. Restrictions will be tighter on nursing facilities, which must also test staff weekly and can only offer outdoor visits. The ease on nursing homes comes as Texas saw 306 more deaths Thursday, just shy of the single day record of 313. The total death toll is now over 7,800. Nearly 7,600 more cases of the virus were reported. There are over 467,000 cases in Texas, though only 135,000 are active. 

Bell County reported 52 new cases Thursday and added 1 new death. Their total case count is over 3,600, though the active case count is around 1,200. The virus has claimed 33 lives according to the state, or 12 more than the local count. McLennan County added 98 new cases Thursday as they inch closer to 5,000 total cases. Their active case count is nearly 1,900. There were also 2 more deaths, bringing their total to 55 per the state. Brazos County had 52 more cases, giving them just 426 active cases. They had no new deaths. Williamson County picked up 109 more cases and have more than 6,000 total. Their active case count is just more than 500. They also reported 3 additional deaths, giving them 86. In addition, the Williamson County Sheriff`s Office reported 13 inmates tested positive for the virus as of Thursday. Eight staff members also tested positive. A total of 64 inmates have been quarantined or isolated, but are not considered active cases. Falls County has 3 deaths and 57 active cases. Robertson County has 125 active cases and 2 deaths. Burleson County is at 52 active cases and 6 deaths. Lee County stands at 40 active cases and 9 deaths.  

FROM 8-6:

The State of Texas reported 8,700 more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the case load nears 460,000. The active case count shrank slightly to 136,000. Another 235 deaths were reported Wednesday, taking the death toll to 7,500. Bell County reported 53 new cases and have about 1,200 active cases. The death toll is at 33 according to the state count, though county officials list that number at 20. McLennan County had 54 new cases and reported 2 additional deaths. Their active case count is nearly 1,900 and their death toll per the state is 53, though county totals show 43. Falls County had 45 active cases and 3 deaths. Robertson County has 119 active cases and 2 deaths. Brazos County reported 20 more confirmed cases, giving them 451 active. There death count is unchanged at 46. Burleson County has 52 active cases and 6 deaths. Lee County has 40 active cases and 9 deaths. Williamson County reported 19 new cases and 3 new deaths. Their active case count is 522 and their death toll is 83. 

FROM 8-5:

Texas added another 9,100 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The total number of confirmed cases is now over 451,000, though only 137,000 are active. Another 245 Texans died Tuesday, bringing the statewide total above 7,200. Bell County reported 82 new cases and 1 new death. It is the 20th death for the county, though the state is reporting 33. Roughly 1,200 cases are active in Bell County. McLennan County has 123 new cases of the virus, bringing their active case count above 1,800. Their death toll is unchanged for the 1st time in a week. Brazos County had only 17 new cases and are hovering around 500 active cases. They have no new deaths in the past 24 hours. Williamson County inched closer to 6,000 total cases, though only about 500 are active. Burleson County has 62 active cases. Lee County has 41 active cases. Robertson County has 119 active cases. Falls County has 49 active cases.

FROM 8-4:

The Texas death toll due to COVID-19 rose above 7,000 as of Monday. There are now 442,000 total cases of the virus in the state and 137,000 are active. Bell County reported 62 new cases, giving them roughly 1,500 active cases. Their death toll is 32. McLennan County had another 135 new cases, increasing their total to 4,500. The County also reported 3 new deaths, upping their total to 51. Falls County has 47 active cases and 2 deaths. Robertson County has 119 active cases and 1 death. Brazos County reported 14 more cases and 1 new death. They have 528 active cases and 46 total deaths. Lee County has 63 active cases and 8 deaths. Burleson County is at 63 active cases. Williamson County had their death count adjusted down to 80, though their case load in total is nearing 6,000. 

FROM 8-3:

The Texas Governor weighed in late Friday on the school opening issue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Greg Abbott said local health authorities will be allowed to shut down schools is there is evidence of an outbreak once students have returned to campus. However, the Governor indicated they will not be allowed to shut district down before kids return to campus. The statement backs up the recent ruling by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. 

The reporting portal for the virus was down Sunday for maintenance statewide. As of Saturday, there were 9,500 new cases reported, bringing the total to 430,000. The death count rose by 268. The active case count is at 141,000. At last report, McLennan County had 31 new cases and 2 new deaths. They now have 48 total killed by the virus. Their total case count is above 4,400, including some 1,700 active. Brazos County has 525 active cases and reported no new deaths. Bell County has 3,300 total cases and 19 deaths. Williamson County remains at 100 deaths and has 559 active cases. 

FROM 8-1:

Milam County is currently sitting at a total of 314 cases, with 30 active cases and 3 deaths. The state of Texas has a total of 442,000 cases, with 7,265 deaths. The United States has a total of 4.64 cases, with 156,000 deaths.

FROM 7-31:

The State of Texas confirmed 8,800 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the statewide total to more than 412,000. There are currently 145,000 active cases. The death toll rose by 84 and is up to 6,274. Bell County reported 92 new cases, pushing their total beyond 3,300. Under 1,400 cases are considered active. The state shows Bell County has 29 deaths. McLennan County picked up 71 new cases, jumping their total past 4,200. They also added 2 new deaths. The county death toll is 44, though state data shows just 39. Falls County has roughly 50 active cases and the state has them with 2 deaths. Burleson County has 84 active cases. Lee County remains at 10 deaths and have less than 50 active cases. Brazos County reported another 37 positive cases, but had no new deaths. Their active case count is below 600. Williamson County had 118 new cases, though their death toll is unchanged at 100. Their active cases are less than 600. 

FROM 7-30:

Texas set a grim new record on Wednesday, smashing their previous high for deaths related to COVID-19. The state reported 313 new deaths, breaking the previous high of 197. The record death total also sent the cumulative total past 6,000 to 6,190. Texas also saw a spike in confirmed cases with over 9,000 on Wednesday. The state now has over 403,000 total cases, though only 145,000 are considered active. Nationwide, the death toll surpassed 150,000. 

Bell County reported 144 new cases Wednesday and 1 new death. The county has over 3,200 total cases and their death count is at 28. McLennan County picked up 84 new cases and had 3 more deaths. The cast total is 4,100 and their death toll is 42 according to the state. Brazos County had 32 additional cases and have roughly 600 active cases. Their death toll is unchanged at 45. Williamson County reported 118 new cases and their death toll stands at 100. 

FROM 7-29:

Schools are racing toward their 1st day of instruction, but having to make changes on the fly after recent rulings by state and local authorities. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday ruled that local health authorities do not have the authority to close schools on a preventative basis. Paxton weighed in on the debate about returning to school after multiple county health authorities issued proclamations to schools to delay in-person instruction. The ruling also caused the Texas Education Agency to do an about face on their own previous rulings. The agency previously said it would fund districts if local health authorities ordered them closed for in-person instruction, so long as they provide remote learning. Education Commissioner Mike Morath now says that policy will no longer apply in light of the recent ruling. Following the Paxton announcement, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Medical Authority Dr. Farley Varner rescinded an order mandating that schools delay their start until September 8th. Instead, Varner encouraged all schools to consider starting in-person instruction on that date. Bell County also implemented an order to delay school start dates. Belton and Rogers ISDs both agreed Tuesday to move forward with September 8th as their planned start date for the academic school year. Temple ISD is working toward a September 8th start. Salado ISD plans for that date to be the 1st day of school. 

Meanwhile, Texas added over 8,300 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as the state nears 400,000 total cases. The active case count stands at nearly 144,000. The death toll is 5,877, an increase of 164. Bell County reported 89 new cases as their active case count is under 1,500. Twenty-six Bell County residents have died according to the state count, though local officials show the count at 18. McLennan County added 66 new cases and have over 4,100 total. Their active case count is at 1,900. A total of 32 McLennan County residents have died. Falls County has 1 death and 55 active cases. Robertson County is at 124 active cases and 1 death. Lee County reports 47 active cases and 10 deaths. Brazos County picked up 34 new cases and has 661 active. They also reported 1 new death, increasing their total to 45. Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk also confirmed that 24 of 577 inmates at Brazos County Detention Center have tested positive. Another 10 inmates are under quarantine. Eight staff members tested positive and 9 are under quarantine. Kirk said his office is working with the health authority on the matter. Williamson County reached 100 deaths on Tuesday and have 550 active cases. 

FROM 7-28:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott made some major changes to the upcoming calendar as the state deals with COVID-19. Abbott on Monday issued a proclamation to extend the early voting period in the November General Election. Early voting will now begin October 13th and run through October 30th. The measure basically extends early voting by a week. The move also extends the period during which marked mail-in ballots may be delivered in person to the voting clerk`s office to include the day of the election. Abbott also announced that grade promotion requirements for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test have been waived for 5th and 8th grade students for the coming year. Districts must usually take into account a student score on the STAAR to determine if that student will move on to the next grade level. While the A-F rating system will remain in place, students enrolled in 5th and 8th grades will only be administered the STAAR mathematics and reading assessments once: in May to coincide with administration of other STAAR assessments for 3rd-8th grades. Students are usually required to re-take the STAAR test late in the year and sometimes in the summer if they do not meet grade level when taken during the spring. 

The State of Texas also announced a change to their calculations for the death toll. On Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services said fatalities for COVID-19 will now be counted when the medical certifier attests on the death certificate that COVID-19 is a cause of death. Under the new method, the Texas death toll rose from 5,038 to 5,713, though there were only 44 actual deaths reported Monday. The new method for counting means only deaths directly attributed to the virus will be counted. The total case count in Texas rose by just 4,200 on Monday, bringing the case count to nearly 386,000. There are over 146,000 active cases. 

Bell County reported over 3,000 total cases Monday, with roughly half considered active. They also reported 25 deaths. McLennan County picked up 56 new cases Monday, sending them past 4,000 total cases. The County also reported a 36th death from the virus, though the state`s new revised counting shows only 27. Falls County reported their 1st death from the virus. They have 103 total cases and 50 recoveries. Robertson County has 206 total cases and 80 recoveries. State data shows 1 death, though local data shows none. Brazos County reported just 23 new cases of the virus, dropping them below 700 active cases. Their death toll is unchanged at 44. Burleson County has 79 active cases and 219 total. Lee County reports just 47 active cases, though they have 10 deaths from the virus. Williamson County sits at 99 deaths and has over 5,300 confirmed cases, though 4,600 people have recovered. 

FROM 7-27:

The State of Texas passed a grim milestone over the weekend, topping 5,000 total deaths from COVID-19. There are now 381,000 total cases, of which over 147,500 are considered active. The state added 5,800 cases Sunday. The Brazos County Health Department reported 36 cases Sunday and have just over 700 active cases. They reported 1 death, upping their total to 44. Burleson County has 98 active cases and Lee County 97. Robertson County has 116 active cases. McLennan County reported just 29 new cases and have over 1,800 active cases. Their death count is 35. Williamson County added 4 new deaths, bringing their total to 94. Their total case load is above 5,300. Bell County has nearly 3,000 total cases, of which 1,700 are active. Their death toll is 18. 

FROM 7-25:

At the time of writing, Milam County has a total of 54 active cases. There is not a statewide active case counter, but the total case count sits at 384,000. The United States has a total of 4.19 million total cases, and also does not have an active case count, as those numbers fluctuate and are more difficult to track at the state and national levels.

FROM 7-24:

The United States passed a grim milestone in the fight against COVID-19 on Thursday, crossing the 4 million mark for total infections. Texas reported 9,500 more cases to take their total to over 361,000. The active case count rose past 152,000. Another 173 Texans died Thursday, increasing the death count above 4,500. Bell County added 59 new cases as they inch closer to 3,000 total. Their active case count is 1,200. Eighteen Bell County residents have died. McLennan County reported 4 more deaths, giving them 32 total. They also had 94 new cases of the virus, increasing their total to nearly 3,800. Their active case count is hovering around 1,700. Brazos County picked up 49 more cases and have less than 900 active. They saw no new deaths, though the virus has claimed 43 lives. Williamson County saw a large death increase of 10, giving them 89 total. Their case count is above 5,000. 

FROM 7-23:

A Central Texas county is making an attempt at their own face mask order. Robertson County Judge Robert Ellison on Wednesday issued an order requiring all county facilities and businesses to create and implement health and safety policies that would make face coverings mandatory. The order simply reinforces the current state mandate issued by Governor Greg Abbott, though the Robertson County order provides for no punishments for offenders. The move comes as Texas grapples with yet another record day for deaths due to COVID-19. The state saw 197 deaths on Wednesday, meaning over 4,300 Texans have now died from the virus. The statewide case count rose above 351,000, though active cases are at nearly 152,000. 

Bell County reported just 56 new cases Wednesday. Their total case count is above 2,800 and nearly 1,200 people have recovered. Eighteen Bell County residents have died. McLennan County added 3 deaths and 113 new cases Wednesday. The total case count is now nearly 3,700 with almost 1,700 active. Their death toll rose to 28. Williamson County topped 5,000 total cases and are holding at 79 deaths. Brazos County reported 80 new cases, including some involving the Brazos County Jail. There are currently less than 900 active cases and their death count is unchanged at 42. Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk said this week that 5 inmates and 9 staff members have the virus. Another 15 inmates are being quarantined due to possible exposure. Five employees are also being quarantined. According to Kirk, 2 of the inmates with the virus tested positive prior to being booked and the others got the virus inside the jail. Milam County recently had 3 inmates test positive and are considered under quarantine. A Milam County Jail staff member is also in recovery and expected to return soon. Burleson County has seen 4 cases of the virus in their jail and 3 staff members contracted it. 

FROM 7-22:

The City of Waco announced that Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Director Dr. Brenda Gray has been fired and is no longer employed by the district. She had the job for just over a year after taking over in June of last year for the retiring Sherry Williams. Gray came to Waco after serving as system director for the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center and as executive director for the Milwaukee area health education system. The move comes after a major spike in COVID-19 cases in the Waco-McLennan County area. The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District medical authority, Dr. Farley Verner, issued an order Tuesday barring public and private schools in the county from starting in-person instruction until after September 7th. The order will not effect remote, online learning. All schools in the county will have to submit written plans on resumption of in-person instruction to the district by August 21st. The order mirrors similar ones enacted in Dallas County, Travis County, Laredo, and El Paso. 

Texas reported another 9,300 confirmed cases Tuesday and 131 deaths. The state now has over 341,000 total cases, of which 151,000 are active. More than 4,100 Texans have died from the virus. Bell County added 87 new cases Tuesday to take their active case count above 1,600. Eighteen Bell County residents have died. McLennan County had 103 new cases Tuesday and added 1 new death. Their active case count is above 1,500 and their death toll rose to 25. Brazos County picked up 35 new cases Tuesday and have just over 900 active cases. They had no new deaths yesterday, though the virus has claimed 42 lives there. Williamson County added new deaths Tuesday, upping their death count to 77. Their total case count is inching close to 5,000, though the active case count is less than 1,000. 

FROM 7-21:

Texas and Texans now know the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to state leaders, Republican Comptroller Glenn Hegar projected a $4.6 billion shortfall in the budget. Hegar cited the ongoing pandemic and low oil prices as the main culprits in wrecking the Texas economy. The previous assessment from October expected a $3 billion surplus. Hegar said that while the federal government has provided significant funding to help state and local governments cover virus-related costs, it has not replaced lost tax revenues when the public was locked down or businesses closed. 

More schools are announcing news related to the virus. Belton ISD voted to waive technology fees for the coming school year. It will mean a savings of $240,000 for families. The district also voted to cancel some $40,000 in outstanding debts accumulated from last school year. Those debts represented repairs or replacement of technology devices, meal charges, and other replacement fees. Temple College announced they will offer mostly online learning for the Fall. Online learning will be available in synchronous format, meaning classes will have specific online meeting times, or in asynchronous format, meaning there is no meeting time. Exceptions will be made for health professions, career and technical education, and science disciplines. 

Another 62 Texans died from COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state death toll past 4,000. Over 7,400 more cases of the virus were confirmed, pushing the case load past 332,000. Of those, 150,000 are considered active cases. Bell County reported 148 new cases Monday, making for 1,700 active cases and over 2,600 total cases. Their deaths remain at 18. McLennan County added 59 new cases and they have 1,500 active cases. Their total case count is nearly 3,500. Two more deaths were also reported, increasing the death toll to 24. Brazos County reported 10 confirmed cases Monday and saw their active case count fall to 875. They also reported 2 new deaths, bringing their toll to 42. Williamson County also reported 2 additional deaths, upping their count to 74. Their total case load is nearing 5,000. 

FROM 7-20:

The State of Texas announced that US Navy medical teams were deployed Sunday to assist hospitals in 4 cities in South Texas. Governor Greg Abbott said the Navy teams were dispatched to Harlingen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Rio Grande City. Abbott also indicated that nearly half the state`s counties have recently been designated as Red Zones by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Another 7,300 cases were reported Sunday in Texas as the positivity rate of viral tests over the past week reached 15% statewide. Nearly 4,000 Texans have now died from the virus, 20% of those in the last week alone. 

Locally, Bell County has nearly 1,500 active cases. They reported a new death Sunday, bringing the toll to 18 there. Brazos County reported just 24 cases Sunday and fell below 1,000 active cases. They also reported a new death, bringing the number there to 40. McLennan County confirmed 122 new cases and now have nearly 1,500 active cases. Williamson County added several new deaths as their death toll soared to 72 over the weekend. Their active case count is at 1,000.

FROM 7-18:

The Texas Education Agency is backtracking on how schools will re-open this fall. The TEA on Friday said they could extend the start of in-person instruction beyond the original opening of school. Schools will be able to limit on-campus instruction for the 1st 4 weeks of school, and after that could apply to the TEA for 4 additional weeks. The guidance also provides exemptions for students whose families lack internet access or internet devices. Governor Greg Abbott also announced he would allocate $200 million in CARES Act grant funding to pay for internet access and devices for students who do not have it. 

Texas reported 10,200 more cases of COVID-19 on Friday and yet again set a single-day high for deaths with 174. The total death toll is now 3,735. There are more than 300,000 total cases of the virus and 141,000 are considered active. Bell County reported 73 new cases Friday and added 2 new deaths. While the death toll is up to 17, their active case count is 1,600. McLennan County added 113 new cases and also had 2 new deaths. Twenty-two residents have died and their active case count is 1,300. Brazos County picked up 60 confirmed cases and had no new deaths. Their active case count fell below 1,000. Williamson County added 2 new deaths to bring their total to 67. Their active case count also fell below 1,000. 

FROM 7-17:

More major stores are adding mask mandates as Texas Governor Greg Abbott reiterated no statewide lockdown is looming. Governor Abbott made the remarks Thursday after drawing criticism from fellow lawmakers that if people still refuse to wear masks, there will be no choice but to shut the state down again to stop the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Target and CVS stores announced they will also enforce a face mask requirement of shoppers and employees. Target will make masks mandatory as of August 1st and CVS will do so as of Monday. They join a growing list of companies taking mask orders into their own hands. The Associated Press also announced that teams of doctors and nurses from the US Army and New York state have arrived in Houston to help the city deal with the pandemic struggle. 

Texas reported another record-setting day for deaths on Thursday with 129. There were also 10,200 more cases added to the total tally, which is now just shy of 293,000. Officials said 133,000 cases are considered active and over 155,000 patients have recovered from the virus. Bell County added 86 new cases and their active case count is at 1,600. Fifteen Bell County residents have died. McLennan County picked up 96 new cases and have nearly 1,300 active. Nineteen residents have died. Brazos County said there were 53 cases on Thursday, bringing their active case load to 1,000. There were also 2 new deaths, taking the death toll to 38. Williamson County also increased their death toll to 65, an uptick of 4. They have 1,000 active cases. 

FROM 7-16:

Many Texans are beginning to fear yet another lockdown order from Governor Greg Abbott is set to come down. In an interview on Wednesday, Abbott said a shut down is not his goal. However, Abbott said that if people continue to refuse to wear masks, the state will not avoid that fate. Nationally, several major retailers and grocers are mandating masks in their stores. Retail giant Walmart and grocer Kroger made that announcement Wednesday. Walmart policy will begin Monday and will include all Walmart stores and their Sam`s Club affiliates. This will include the Walmart store in Rockdale. Kroger will enact their policy next Wednesday. Kohl`s department stores is also enacting mask orders as of Monday. Costco Wholesale was the 1st major retailer to require masks of patrons, doing so back in early May. Since then, Apple stores, Best Buy, Dollar Tree, and Starbucks have followed suit. 

Meanwhile, Texas reported yet another record day for infections on Wednesday with nearly 10,800 new cases. The state also reported a record-setting 110 deaths in a single day. Thirty-five of those deaths occurred in Hidalgo County. There are now a total over over 282,300 cases of COVID-19 in Texas and more than 129,600 are considered active. The statewide totals were adjusted Wednesday to remove some 3,500 probable cases in Bexar County that had been reported before the San Antonio Metro Health District clarified their reporting procedures that had included both confirmed and probable cases. Bell County reported 85 new cases and a total case count of over 2,300. They also reported a 15th death from the virus. McLennan County had 85 new cases and are now past 3,000 total cases. Their active case load is over 1,200 and they also confirmed a 19 death from the virus. Brazos County had 80 new cases and remain over 1,000 active. They had no new deaths yesterday. Williamson County reported 5 new deaths, bringing their total to 61. Their total case count is above 4,300, though over 3,100 have recovered. 

FROM 7-15:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is softening his stance on returning to school sooner as the state set yet another record for COVID-19 infections Tuesday. Abbott said in an interview Tuesday that districts will have more flexibility to keep schools closed for in-person instruction longer than originally anticipated. Previous guidelines called for districts to re-open for face-to-face instruction within 3 weeks of schools opening or else lose state funding. The 1st virus vaccine tested in the US is headed for final testing here. A 30,000-person study is expected to begin July 27th. That news comes as Texas set a single-day high for infections at 10,745. 

The state now has over 275,000 confirmed cases and more than 100,000 active. Bell County saw a single-day high for cases with 153 as their active case count rose above 1,600. McLennan County reported 176 new cases as their total case load nears 3,000. The active case count is 1,110 and 18 residents have died. Brazos County added a new death Tuesday, bringing the total to 36. Their active case count is above 1,100. Williamson County is just above 1,000 active cases and has 56 total deaths. 

FROM 7-14:

As case counts soar in Texas and the state has seemingly been declared a hot spot, Governor Greg Abbott on Monday announced the US Department of Defense is providing more resources to combat the virus. Abbott said the department activated additional US Army Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces to help fight the pandemic. The forces include medical and support professionals to help in hospitals statewide. A task force has already arrived in Houston and San Antonio. Four additional forces are coming. The statewide total for cases rose above 264,000 on Monday. The active case count is nearly 125,000 and recoveries are above 136,000. Over 3,200 Texans have died. 

In Bell County, the total case load rose to 2,137. The active case count remains above 1,500 and a total of 14 people have died. In McLennan County, there were 2 new deaths reported. With 19 deaths now, the active case count is nearly 2,300. Their total cases is over 2,700. Brazos County reported 60 more cases Monday. They have 1,100 active cases and their death toll remains steady at 35. Williamson County reported 2 new deaths, taking their count to 56. They now have over 4,000 total cases, with 1,400 of those active. 

FROM 7-13:

The Texas Governor is warning the state that if people continue to disregard his recent face mask mandate, the state could return to a shelter-in-place lockdown. Governor Greg Abbott made the statement in multiple end of the week and weekend interviews as the state continues to see record breaking numbers of hospitalizations, deaths, and infections. Abbott also acknowledged his mask order is not popular or convenient. At least 80 counties have opted out of the order and many others are simply refusing to enforce it. However, Abbott said a lockdown is looming if people do not comply. Meanwhile, the largest teachers group in Texas, the Association of Texas Professional Educators, urged Texas to delay resumption of on-campus instruction for the fall. The Association is made up of more than 100,000 teachers across the state. The organization is demanding the state require districts to include educators and parents in planning for on-campus instruction, allocate funds for substitute teachers in case of quarantines of teachers, and waive requirements for state testing. 

Texas reported over 10,000 cases Saturday and another 8,100 new cases Sunday. Nearly 3,200 Texans have died in total. Bell County has over 1,400 active cases and is holding at 14 deaths. McLennan County announced a 17th death from the virus. Their active case count is above 2,100. Brazos County has nearly 1,200 active cases and their death toll stands at 35. Williamson County added 2 new deaths, taking the total to 54. 

FROM 7-11:

Milam County has had a total of 157 confirmed cases, with 1 death. That makes an average death rate of .6%. The State of Texas is sitting at a total of 250,000 confirmed cases, with 3,129 deaths. That makes an average death rate of 1.25%. The United States has a total of 3.24 million, with an estimated 136,000 deaths. That makes an average death rate of 4.19%.

The State of Texas is still enforcing a mask mandate, although many sherriff`s offices across the state have been outspoken in their opposal to it, and have claimed that the order will not be enforced in their counties. The governor has claimed both that he will not pursue another shelter-in-place order, and that he would consider it, in the past few days, so it is unsure which direction the State of Texas will go in the next few weeks.

FROM 7-10:

The State of Texas is still enforcing a mask mandate, although many sheriff`s offices across the state have been outspoken in their opposition to it, and have claimed that the order will not be enforced in their counties. The governor has claimed both that he will not pursue another shelter-in-place order, and that he would consider it, in the past few days, so it is unsure which direction the State of Texas will go in the next few weeks.


From 7-10
Texas passed a grim milestone Thursday by reporting over 100 deaths in a single day for the 1st time since the pandemic began. With 105 new deaths, the virus has now claimed the lives of 2,918 Texans. The State also reported nearly 10,000 new cases for a 3rd straight day, bringing the total case count to more than 230,000. The active case count is 109,000 and recoveries stand at 118,000. With the news, Governor Greg Abbott moved to suspend elective surgeries in several areas over concerns about hospital capacity. Among the counties named under the suspension are Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Travis, McLennan, Limestone, and Falls Counties. 

Bell County reported a reported 140 new cases Thursday, leaving their active case count at more than 1,300. Thirteen people have died in the county. McLennan County added a 15th death from the virus and picked up 155 new cases. McLennan County`s active case load is now above 2,000. Brazos County reported 100 new cases Thursday, taking their active case count above 1,300. Their death toll is unchanged at 34. Williamson County has over 2,600 active cases and 51 deaths. 

FROM 7-9:

The hot-button issue surrounding masks and individual liberties continues to heat up here in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday published a letter to the City of Austin signaling his encouragement to the city to move forward with additional enforcement mechanisms for his order requiring face masks in public spaces. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the City is considering a resolution allowing for a fine up to $2,000 for anyone violating the rules. The City order would also allow them to take civil action against any person who maintains a business or site that does not comply with minimum health standards. Meanwhile, the City of Waco announced in a special bulletin that police will begin patrolling certain businesses to possibly cite customers or employees not wearing masks. Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver said since implementing a citywide mask order, his office has received numerous complaints. Residents will also now have a number to call to report mask violations. Several cities and counties have also elected to not enforce such orders based on the language in the recent executive orders from Abbott. The issue has also divided many across the state and the nation. 

As far as the case counts go, Texas reported nearly 10,000 new cases Wednesday, raising the total case load to more than 220,500. Of those, about 105,000 are active and 113,000 have recovered. More than 2,800 Texans have died. Bell County reported 118 new cases Wednesday, taking their case count near 1,800. The active cases stand at 1,200. Thirteen people have died in Bell County. McLennan County reported 239 new cases and another death. Their active case count is nearing 2,000 and their death toll is at 14. Brazos County picked up 78 more cases and have 1,300 active. Their death toll is unchanged. Williamson County is above 3,300 total cases. Burleson County reported 90 active cases and 19 recoveries. Falls County is up to 44 cases and 22 recoveries. Robertson County has 72 cases and 10 recoveries. 

FROM 7-8:

The current pandemic continues to wreak havoc on major festivals across Texas. On Tuesday, the State Fair of Texas officially canceled this year`s events. The news came down as Texas announced a record-setting day for COVID-19 infections, surpassing 10,000 new cases in a single day. Texas now has over 210,500 total cases, of which nearly 100,000 are considered active. While nearly 109,000 have recovered, over 2,700 Texans have died. Hospitalizations are becoming a number to watch as well. The state surged past 8,000 hospitalizations for the 1st time over the weekend, a number representing a quadruple increase from last month. 

Locally, Bell County reported over 1,600 total cases Tuesday. Their death toll is 13, though 469 people have recovered. Bell County Sheriff`s Office announced 7 inmates have tested positive as well. Of those, 1 has recovered and 6 are still being treated. Officials said a 3rd party medical vendor is monitoring all inmates at all times. Various areas of the jail are locked down to mitigate spread and avoid cross contamination. McLennan County added 173 new cases Tuesday to bring their total past 2,000. They have over 1,700 active cases and 13 deaths. Brazos County has 1,300 active cases and over 2,600 total cases. Their death count is 34. Williamson County picked up another death Tuesday, bringing their total to 46. They have nearly 3,200 cases total and almost 2,000 active. 

FROM 7-7:

The Texas Governor is responding to local government officials clamoring for more help and power to deal with COVID-19. During an interview Monday, Governor Greg Abbott blamed those local government officials currently asking for more authority to enact lockdown or shelter-in-place orders as the same officials who have absolutely refused to enforce any and all current executive orders already in place. That statement comes as the total case county in Texas has doubled in the last 2 weeks. There are currently over 200,500 cases of the virus in Texas, with 94,120 considered active. Roughly 100,000 people have recovered, though 2,655 Texans have died from the virus. 

Bell County reported over 1,500 cases Monday and have about 1,000 active cases at this time. Their death toll is 13. McLennan County added 2 new deaths, taking their count to 11. Their active case count is above 1,500 with only 300 patients considered recovered. Brazos County has over 1,200 active cases but saw no new deaths. Their death toll is 34 and their total case count is above 2,500. Williamson County reached past 3,100 cases, with nearly 2,000 active cases. Their death count also rose to 45.

FROM 7-6:

The state of Texas is nearing 200,000 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. Texas has over 195,000 cases and several record-setting days for new cases. The active case count is nearly 92,000. Over 2,600 Texans have died, though over 100,000 have recovered. Bell County is above 1,500 total cases, with over 1,000 of those active. Williamson County is nearing 2,500 total cases and nearly 1,500 active cases. McLennan County continues to see sharp increases and is now above 1,600 total cases and nearly 1,300 active cases. Brazos County is inching closer to 2,500 cases, of which 1,100 are active. Burleson County is up to 87 total and 39 active. Falls County has 34 cases and 15 active. Lee County stands at 72 total cases and 28 active. 

FROM 7-3:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday mandated face masks or coverings for all Texans, with few exceptions. The new executive order takes hold today and requires those in counties with more than 20 positive cases to wear a mask or covering on their face. It also provides for warnings and fines to individuals and gives authority to mayors and county judges to restrict outdoor gatherings involving over 10 people. The decision comes as nearly 8,000 Texans tested positive on Thursday. That news followed a US Government report that unemployment fell by over 11% as the economy added nearly 5 million jobs in June. With the recent rulings by the Governor, some events are now canceled. The City of Temple has canceled the HEB All American Drive-In Fireworks Show. The City of Taylor has also canceled 4th of July events. 

With 8,000 new cases Thursday, Texas now has 176,000 total cases. Of those, over 82,700 are active and over 90,700 are considered recovered. Roughly 2,500 Texans have died. Bell County reported 86 new cases Thursday taking the county over 1,300 total cases. They have 13 deaths and over 400 recoveries. McLennan County reported 224 new cases, a daily record, and brought their total case count to nearly 1,300. They have over 1,000 active cases and reported 9 deaths. Brazos County picked up 101 additional cases and have over 1,100 active cases. Their death toll stands at 31 and the total case count is above 2,200. Williamson County has over 1,200 active cases and 39 total deaths. 

FROM 7-2:

Texas again set a new single-day high for positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as a Congressional candidate announced she had the virus. Republican Congressional candidate for District 17 Renee Swann announced she and her husband both tested positive for the virus. Swann is currently running against former Congressman Pete Sessions in the GOP Primary Runoff Election. She and her husband will quarantine for 10 days and both are said to be asymptomatic. Meanwhile, Texas added another 8,000 confirmed cases yesterday. The state total is now nearly 169,000, though only about 78,000 are active cases. Nearly 2,500 Texans have died. 

Locally, Bell County reported nearly 1,300 cases after adding 79 positive tests. Just over 400 people have recovered and 13 have died. McLennan County went past 1,000 total cases on Wednesday and their active case load is high at 844 of those. Nine people have died. Brazos County picked up 122 new cases and have over 1,100 active cases at this time. While there have been no new deaths, they total case load is over 2,100. Williamson County is up past 2,200 total cases and is holding at 39 deaths. 

FROM 7-1:

As Texas set a record for positive COVID-19 infections, several Texas bar owners filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Greg Abbott. The $10 million lawsuit seeks to void the Governor`s executive orders shutting down their bars for the 2nd time since the pandemic began. All plaintiffs are part of the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance. It marks the 2nd lawsuit against Abbott this week. Over 30 bars filed suit in Travis County on Monday. The suit also seeks to keep Abbott from enforcing his closure order and prevent him from issuing similar orders without proper notice of at least 24 hours. The bar industry in Texas employs over 800,000 people. 

The number of confirmed virus cases Tuesday in Texas reached nearly 7,000 and the total since the pandemic began is now nearly 160,000. The state death toll is approaching 2,500. Only 72,700 cases are considered active at this time. Locally, Bell County reported over 1,200 cases after another 128 positive tests Tuesday. Thirteen people have died. McLennan County is inching closer to 1,000 total cases after 162 new cases were reported Tuesday. The county also added another death, marking 9 now since the pandemic began. Falls County has 29 total cases and 10 recoveries. Robertson County is up to 46 cases and 10 recoveries. Brazos County reported 62 new cases Tuesday and have nearly 1,200 active cases. Their total case count is now above 2,000. The County also reported 2 more deaths Tuesday, bringing their death toll to 31. Williamson County also added new deaths, bringing them to 39 total. Their case count is above 2,200 with nearly 1,200 of those active. 

FROM 6-30:

Statewide cases of COVID-19 continue to see steep increases as businesses and local government officials start to fight back against the rules. Texas now has over 153,000 total confirmed cases, of which nearly 70,000 are considered active. Over 2,400 Texans have died, though over 81,000 have recovered. Positive tests increased by 15,000 just since Friday and local elected officials in Harris, Bexar, Dallas, and Travis Counties have lobbied Governor Greg Abbott to allow them to implement their own restrictions and stay-at-home orders. Many cities and counties have implemented face mask requirements for businesses without opposition from Abbott, though the Governor had previously issued executive orders banning local governments from imposing fines or penalties against people not wearing masks. 

Locally, Bell County is now above 1,100 confirmed cases after 51 new positive tests Monday. The County also indicated a 13th death from the virus. While Bell County was among those that implemented mandatory face mask rules last week, the Commissioners Court on Monday voted unanimously to amend the order from County Judge David Blackburn and change the wording from required to encouraged. McLennan County also added 51 new cases on Monday, sending their total case load to 795. They also reported 2 additional deaths Monday, bringing the death toll to 8. Nearly 600 of their cases are active. County officials also reported the Hispanic population in the county is being disproportionately affected. Brazos County saw 121 new cases Monday and now have over 1,000 active cases. Their case count since the pandemic began is nearly 2,000. They have not reported any new deaths, though they have 29 total. Williamson County reported 2,100 total cases and over 1,000 active cases. Their death toll is 37. Williamson County towns Round Rock, Georgetown, Hutto, and Taylor all enacted mask orders, which take effect Wednesday. 

FROM 6-29:

Multiple states, including Texas, are backing off their aggressive re-opening plans as they continue to see record infection rates. The world itself passed major new thresholds over the weekend as worldwide deaths passed half a million and confirmed cases surpassed 10 million. Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week issued an executive order to shut down bars, scale back restaurants, and close rafting and tubing outfitters. Texas in the past week or 10 days has seen the highest positivity rate in the country and officials are becoming concerned about hospital capacity. Texas now has over 137,600 confirmed cases and over 2,300 deaths. Nearly 60,000 cases are considered active. Various counties and municipalities are now enacting orders mandating businesses required employees and visitors wear masks. Bell County, Milam County, the City of Marlin, and others are all now under such orders. 

Bell County entered the weekend with over 1,000 total cases, though 377 have recovered. Twelve people have died. Brazos County has more than 1,000 active cases and reports 29 total deaths. McLennan County increased their case count to 624 total, including 424 active. Their death toll is 6. Williamson County is nearing 2,000 total cases, with roughly 1,000 considered active. Their death count is 35. Testing will take place in Robertson County July 1st at Hearne High School and the Pidgeon Center in Franklin. 

FROM 6-27:


Milam County is sitting at 80 cases, the State of Texas at 138,000, and the United States at 2.51 million. This comes as the state of Texas is now backtracking on its re-opening by closing bars, and several counties, including Milam, have declared states of disaster.

From 6-26

A total of 5,996 new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday statewide while in Central Texas 176 new cases were confirmed. A total of 2,384 Central Texas residents have been diagnosed with the virus, which has claimed a total of 29 lives in the region including 12 in Bell County, two in Coryell County, and one in Milam County. The state reported 1,009 confirmed cases Thursday in Bell County, an increase of 84. The state reported 321 cases Thursday in Coryell County. Falls County had 25 cases with six recoveries, and Milam County reported 78 confirmed cases in Milam County, 25 of which are active.

From 6-25:

Public health officials here and around the state are again worrying about hospital capacity as the total number of COVID-19 cases in Central Texas rose by 122 to 2,208. Milam County reported 73 new cases with one death and 47 recoveries. Bell County reported 84 new cases of the virus and McLennan County reported another 52 and a sixth death, a man in his 40s. Bell County reported 903 cases Wednesday, where at least 357 patients have recovered. Fifty two new cases were reported Wednesday in McLennan County, raising the total to 473 where a total of 293 cases remain active, 174 patients have recovered and 556 residents are being actively monitored. The state reported 322 cases in Coryell County.

FROM 6-24

American health experts are warning the country that the next few weeks are critical in the fight against COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress as much Tuesday, issuing an urgent plea for people to avoid crowds and wear masks. The nation`s top infectious disease expert also indicated the country will not slow down virus testing. The top health execs met with Congress as troubling virus surges worsened Tuesday in several states: Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, and Texas. All set new single-day records for new virus confirmations. Over 120,000 Americans have died and over 2.3 million have contracted the virus. 

Here in Texas, the state reported nearly 5,500 new cases, setting a new single-day record. The virus has infected over 120,000 Texans and killed 2,220. Over 70,000 have recovered. Texas Children`s Hospital in Houston announced they will now admit adult patients in order to provide more hospital capacity in the struggle against the virus. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday said additional cases of the antiviral drug Remdesivir has been distributed to hospitals around the state. The Texas Education Agency on Tuesday released some guidelines for returning to school. The guidelines mandate districts offer some form of on-campus instruction this coming school year. Remote learning can be an option for districts, parents, and teachers but cannot be the only option. The guidance also includes operational considerations for districts that lay out recommendations, but not requirements. 

More locally, Bell County reported 50 new cases on Tuesday, taking their total to 819. They also reported 1 new death, increasing the death toll to 11. Fifty new cases were also reported in McLennan County, raising their total to 421. Five people have died from the virus. Brazos County health officials reported 45 new cases to bring their total to 1,305. Their death count is holding at 25. Williamson County is up to nearly 1,500 cases and their death toll is 32. 

FROM 6-23:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday called the recent spike in COVID-19 cases unacceptable. The state saw another 3,200 cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the state total to 114,881 cases since the pandemic began. The death toll has reached 2,192. Abbott also indicated hospitalization have doubled since Memorial Day and said he has not ruled out re-imposing lockdown orders, though that will be a last resort. Various hospitals are also reinstating no visitor policies. The Governor urged Texans to stay home if you can, wash your hands often, and wear a face mask when you do go out in public. 

More locally, Bell County is up to 769 cases, adding 53 new ones on Monday. Ten people have died and 332 have recovered. McLennan County picked up 17 new cases and are up to 371 total cases. Lee County now has 52 total cases and 3 deaths. Fourteen people are recovered. Falls County has 23 cases and 5 recoveries. Robertson County sits at 32 cases and 10 recoveries. Brazos County added 16 new cases for 1,260 total. Williamson County is now past 1,400 and has 32 deaths. 

FROM 6-22:

Texas continues to see record numbers of infections and hospitalizations with regard to COVID-19. According to the Texas Tribune, over 4,400 new cases were reported Sunday in Texas. That marks the 4th time in 5 days that Texas has recorded a record number of infections. The state also set





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