We're not out of the woods yet here in Central Texas, as a surge in COVID-19 cases here in Bell County leaves AdventHealth-Central Texas in Killeen short on beds.

COVID-19 cases in Bell County have spiked, and AdventHealth-Central Texas are running out of inpatient beds.

Mariana Rodriguez, spokeswoman for AdventHealth-Central Texas tell the Killeen Daily Herald“AdventHealth-Central Texas and AdventHealth Rollins Brook have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases at our hospitals, consistent with the recent surges throughout our community and region. Because of this, combined with the predictable demand for hospital beds, there is community-wide stress on inpatient bed availability, not limited to AdventHealth facilities.”

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple and Seton Medical Center Harker Heights have not reported bed shortages at the time of this writing.

So how bad is it? The Bell County Health District reported three new deaths related to the coronavirus. According to the district's dashboard, Bell County has 469 deaths and 360 active cases of COVID-19. Overall the state of Texas is reporting 3,462 new cases.

The push for vaccinations continue, and the rise is COVID cases will certainly help drive the vaccination numbers up. Rodriguez says, “Covid-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the community. The Texas Department of State Health Services website provides an online registration option, or you can call 833-832-7067 for a referral to a local vaccine provider. Additionally, vaccinations are offered at AdventHealth Family Medicine Rural Health Clinic at Lampasas, or you may call or visit the website of any local retail pharmacy for vaccine availability.”

If you're still choosing to not get the vaccine, at least consider wearing your mask.

It's Time to 'Stuff the Bus' for Central Texas Students

The new school year is just around the corner, and Central Texas students will face unique challenges as we put the pandemic behind us and look to the future.

One challenge no child should face is being without the essential school supplies they'll need to live up to their potential and achieve academic success.

That's where you and I come in. From July 19 to August 15, you can donate school supplies at the following locations. Donated supplies will benefit students in need in Belton ISD, Killeen ISD, and Temple ISD. (Click each district to view their 2021-2022 school supply lists.)

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