BELL COUNTY, Texas – The Bell County Public Health District reported 140 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday – a new record for a daily count in the county.
With nearly 1,900 total cases, health officials are worried they will see a spike in the next few weeks due to holiday celebrations last weekend.
“We have not yet seen the impact of the activities on the Fourth of July weekend,” says Baylor Scott & White’s Dr. Bobby Greenberg. “We are very concerned based upon reports of lack of physical distancing and people doing some of the things we would really like them to do that we are gonna see a much larger spike in patient volume.”
The county will not know the full effects of the weekend’s activities for another week or two. Even for those thinking they are asymptomatic, it could be a few days before anyone feels the effects.
“If I’m sitting and having lunch with my friend, and both of us are in an asymptomatic phase, I think we are actually in a pre-symptomatic phase,” Dr. Karen Brust said. “You might be contagious for about two days before you develop any sort of symptoms.”
Doctors displayed a chart showing activities – ranking them by how much of a risk they are for spreading the virus. For example, pumping gas is among the least risky activities, while going to a bar is among one of the riskiest.
Dr. Greenberg still thinks the county can handle it.
“Are we worried? Yes. Do we think we can manage it? Yes. We absolutely do,” Greenberg said. “We are actively managing our business. We’re making sure we can take care of the patients that are coming to the Emergency Department, and we are taking care of the community at large.”
They also believe these kind of restrictions are some we will all have to deal with for a while.
“I also think the virus is gonna be with us for, potentially, years to come,” Brust said. “I think it’s kind of time to learn to live in connectivity with this virus, and the way to do that safely is to physically distance, mask when we can not, and wash hands as frequently as possible.”
Of the 1,886 total positive cases in Bell County, only 146 have been hospitalized and there have been 13 deaths.