TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) – The Bell County Public Health District has announced a large number of new COVID-19 cases, and is emphasizing the importance of residents to continue to follow preventive precautions for COVID-19.

The Health District received information Friday about a large number of new cases of COVID-19 infection – which included a backlog of cases reported from Fort Hood. The 227 cases date from June 3 through June 17, and the vast majority are from the Killeen area. All of these cases were confirmed with PCR testing, and primarily affected people in their twenties.

While the overall number of cases in the county remains relatively low, there has been a steady increase in the number of new cases over the past two weeks. The Bell County Public Health District urges everyone to continue to follow precautions – including hand washing, wearing a mask in crowded indoor places if you are at high risk of complications, social distancing when in crowds, staying home if you are sick and getting tested if you have symptoms. 

The Health District says vaccination remains the best defense, and booster doses for both children and adults are highly recommended to provide better protections against the Omicron variant – which is the primary variant circulating now. 

“COVID-19 is still circulating in Bell County and across the globe. Although we have made progress in this pandemic response, we must remain diligent to keep COVID-19 cases at bay. At this point, we have preventive steps we can each take to protect ourselves and those around us. We encourage you to continue to practice these precautions. The COVID-19 booster is an important tool to gain the fullest protection available at this time, even if you have already received your initial vaccine series,” says Amy J. Yeager, Public Health District Director.

The FDA has now approved both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for infants and children six months to five years of age. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact their children’s primary care providers, pediatricians, or the Bell County Public Health District (254-939-2091) next week to get their children immunized.