BELL COUNTY, TX — Bell County is seeing some of the lowest infection rates it's seen since September, but how accurate is the latest data since the health district didn’t update it’s COVID-19 dashboard due to last week’s harsh weather?
“Our last incidence rate is 115.2, now that's excellent to see it that low,” said Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell, director of the Bell County Public Health District. “However, I don't know how much of that is the impact of people not getting tested when they couldn't go anywhere.”
Dr. Robison-Chadwell says it's because of the storm that the numbers may be skewed, but it's not enough of a change to worry about.
“I think we're still in a decline, because we were seeing that decline before the weather hit,” she explained. “So, hopefully it's not a significant shift, but don't be surprised if we see it go up a little bit.”
Local hospital officials believe the downward trend is largely due to the community’s efforts to help fight the virus, especially since the holidays.
“People have definitely taken more seriously the whole masking and social distancing and isolating,” said Kevin Robers, president and CEO of AdventHealth Central Texas. “I think that has helped tremendously.”
Roberts explains the low case counts are merely a pit stop on our journey to normalcy.
He says more than 65% of his staff received their COVID-19 vaccines and now, he has no employees with COVID-19 or in quarantine.
”The vaccine is working in that workforce, and that is wonderful news because as that becomes more dispersed among the community, we can expect those numbers to go down," said Roberts.
However, with clinics shut down and roads nearly impassable last week, Dr. Robison-Chadwell says there will most likely be a spike in cases in the next few weeks, but officials are ready to get shots in folks' arms once again.
”We put things on pause, but now it just means that we have to get back into gear again,” she said. “It's always hard to have to stop and then shift back and drive again. So we're getting that underway.”