In the weeks that followed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, health officials saw a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
In Bell County, health authorities told 25 News they expected the post-holiday surge to be worse than it actually was.
Temple and Belton are living up to the fears of Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell, director of the Bell County Public Health District. Officials are seeing over 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.
Dr. Robison-Chadwell says the rest of the county isn't doing as bad as she feared, but hospitalizations are a different story.
“When I said I expected it to be worse, my fear was that it was going to be well over 1,000,” she said.
Dr. Robison-Chadwell says the last update shows Bell County is at 840.9 cases per 100,000.
“I’m at the point now where I’m expecting to start seeing a drop off a little bit. We’re far enough away from the holidays that we might start to see that," she said.
The health district director says ideally, cases per 100,000 need to hover around 200 to reflect a low level of spread.
But if we take a look at hospitalizations, it's a different story.
“I would call this as the peak of the third wave. No comparison to the prior waves,” said president and CEO of Advent Health, Kevin Roberts.
Roberts says after the holidays, they saw a significant increase in hospitalizations.
“Our hospital is very busy, and the majority, a substantial amount of patients, are COVID positive," he explained.
Roberts says they are stressed but are managing.
“We are holding our own. We have everything we need to care for the patients we have,” he said.
Dr. Robison-Chadwell and Roberts continue to sing the same song they have been singing for almost a year now, urging the public to take precautions, wearing a mask, washing your hands and practicing social distancing to combat COVID-19.