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Bell County leaders react to coronavirus concerns

Posted at 7:27 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 20:27:21-05

BELL COUNTY, TX — Concerns surrounding coronavirus continue to be a focus nationwide. In Bell County, health leaders are paying careful attention and have plans in place should there be a case.

On Tuesday, an aircraft carrying 248 troops from South Korea to Fort Hood was delayed after two soldiers became sick. The illness was later ruled not to be consistent with coronavirus. However, this did raise questions about the many returning soldiers that are serving in that area of the world.

“Current estimates are that the virus is present only in the southern region of South Korea,” said Lt. Col. Steven Lamb, III Corps Deputy Public Affairs Officer. Officials say soldiers serving in South Korea are at "very low risk" based on their proximity to impacted areas of the country.

The post says that they still take measures to ensure safety.

“Medical teams in South Korea and at Fort Hood are screening and following established protocols in the pre-departure and post-departure phase of the returning flights from South Korea,” said Lamb.

Command teams are educating soldiers on the symptoms, how to get help, and prevention strategies.

25 News reached out to the Bell County Health District several times to learn more about their plan in the event that coronavirus impacts the area.

“Since we don’t have any cases locally, our focus is continued coordination with our local, state and federal partners to keep up to date on any new guidance and maintain situational awareness,” said Amanda Robison-Chadwell, Bell County Health District.

The emergency management coordinator in Temple says the state will be holding daily update calls with guidance recommendations starting Wednesday. Before, the calls were just on a weekly basis.