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Bell County at highest COVID-19 threat level

Posted at 9:07 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 23:24:38-05

The Bell County Health District has once again raised its COVID threat level and this time, to its highest threat level.

Bell County is now under a level 1 COVID threat which means ... there is severe uncontrolled community transmission of the virus.

”The county did this because of the rapid rise of cases in the community but also, the rapid rise in hospitalization.” said Dr. Tresa McNeal, Baylor Scott&White, Temple.

Doctors with Baylor Scott and White in Temple say the spike in hospitalizations is due to the number of infections overall.

”That’s the challenge with Omicron, is that there is a much higher amount of people overall, infected with the virus. Which means, even if it is a smaller percentage of people needing our help, that is still a significant number to deal with.” said Dr. McNeal.

Meanwhile, school districts across the state are moving to remote learning and that is exactly what the Killeen Educators Association is asking their district to do.

”Everyone is stressed. In the survey we took of our members, the majority wants to see a mask mandate, the majority wants to see us go virtual,” said Rachel Bourrage, President of Killeen Educators Association.

They are not just pushing for a couple of days of virtual learning.

”It would be nice to see our district go virtual for a few weeks, 6 weeks or so until the variant is under control.” said Bourrage.

In the meantime, doctors are urging precautions.

”If you are having symptoms or you are not feeling well, please stay home. If your symptoms are such that you need help, you’re feeling short of breath, we want you to come to see us,” said Dr. McNeal.

They also recommend wearing a mask and getting vaccinated if haven’t already.

Killeen ISD released the following statement:

Killeen ISD strongly encourages employees and students who are ill to stay home. District leadership continues to monitor COVID cases and remains in constant contact with the Bell County Health District to ensure our Public Health Guide is aligned to local recommendations.

Parents and employees can help us keep our doors open by adhering to public health recommendations to get vaccinated, wear a mask and properly isolate if they are in close contact with a COVID positive individual.