TEXAS, USA — This story will be continuously updated. 

SUNDAY, MARCH 29

7:45 P.M.

The Leon County Emergency Management reported Leon County's first case of COVID-19. 

The case is a 50-year-old man and emergency management said the case was travel related. 

5:10 P.M.

The Mayborn Museum extended its closure after originally announcing it would be closed through March 29. 

The museum said it will now be closed indefinitely.

"We are not announcing a reopening date at this time but are hopeful that we will be together soon," a press release from the museum said. "The health and safety of our staff, our guests, and the community remain our foremost priorities. We will continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and national officials as we plan for the future."

3:00 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District did not receive any new cases of COVID-19, leaving the county's total at yesterday's total of 36.

However, the number of patients hospitalized rose by one, making the total number of hospitalizations five. 

No deaths have been reported due to the virus in McLennan County.

Gov. Greg Abbott issues new executive orders

Texas Gov. Greg Aboott announced new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, including expanding an order mandating anyone flying in from certain areas to self-quarantine. 

In addition to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Orleans, anyone flying in from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, California or Washington state will now be required to be quarantined for 14 days, or for as long as they plan to stay in Texas.  

Anyone traveling into Texas via road from Louisiana will also be required to quarantine. Travel associated with commercial business, military or healthcare response and infrastructure needs will be exempt from that element of the order.

He also announced a new executive order that halts "dangerous felons" from being released into Texas streets, after the governor says there have been reports of local communities considering doing so to combat the spread of COVID-19 within jails and prisons.   

11:40 A.M.

The Brazos County Health District reported its second death related to COVID-19 and an additional four cases. The total number of COVID-19 in Brazos County is now 44. 

The second death was a female resident in her 90s who was hospitalized. 

Four cases remain hospitalized, down two cases from yesterday's report. 

SATURDAY, MARCH 28

5:00 P.M.

The Brazos County Health District reported its first COVID-19 related death in an afternoon press conference. 

The resident was a man in his 80s who was in hospice care. 

The health district also reported nine new cases of the coronavirus, making the total in Brazos County 40 cases. 

Six of the cases are currently hospitalized, as of Saturday afternoon. 

3:30 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported two new COVID-19 cases in the county, bringing the total to 36 as of Saturday afternoon. 

The number of hospitalized cases remains at four, while the county reports five recoveries. 

The Saturday update reported no deaths in McLennan County. 

2:40 P.M.

The Bell County Public Health District reported three new cases of the coronavirus, all in Killeen..

The total number of cases in Bell County is now 28, with no new deaths reported.

The cases are two women, one in her 30s and the other in her 60s, and a man in his 30s. 

FRIDAY, MARCH 27

3:20 P.M.

AdventHealth announced a new coronavirus hotline available to Central Texas residents. 

Residents can call the hotline at 877-847-8747 to be connected with resources on the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and the state health department. 

The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The hotline is not intended to replace a physician-patient relationship, but nurses can answer general medical questions and refer callers to the appropriate next steps, such as connecting them to a nurse or health care provider.

More information can also be found at CoronavirusResourceHub.com

3:15 P.M.

Killeen ISD announced that classes will not resume until Tuesday, April 7 due to Bell County Judge David Blackburn’s stay at home safe order that was issued Thursday.

During this time, students are encouraged to complete classwork through packets and/or online through the Continued Learning Center.

The district will continue to provide Grab & Go Breakfast and Lunch meals and pay all employees during the COVID-19 closure.

3:10 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health Department reported one new case of COVID-19 in the county which brought the total to 34 confirmed cases. 

Four cases have be hospitalized as a result of infections and no deaths have been reported. 

2:05 P.M.

Coryell County Emergency Management and Coyrell County Judge Roger Miller released a joint statement asking county residents to quit traveling through Bell and McLennan counties, and any county along I-35 as the cases along the interstate continue to grow. 

"Residents of Coryell County are strongly urged to cease all travel to and through Bell and McLennan Counties, as well as any county along the I-35 corridor, and the major population centers of DFW, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston," the release said. "Travel to any of these areas will increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19."

There are no new cases in the county besides the one case that was previously reported. However, the release also said that Coryell Healthcare Systems Hospital has tested 74 individuals and have had 65 negative results with nine tests pending.

The release reported that local levels of personal protective equipment were starting to become a concern. 

When asked how long the health crisis might last, Miller said it "is a marathon, not a sprint."

"I’m extremely pleased with our citizens and their compliance to our disaster declaration," he said. "But we’ve all got to remain steadfast in our good hygiene practices and social distancing. And above all, be responsible for monitoring your current health and stay at home if you aren’t feeling well. We’re going to get through this, and we’ll be a better County in the end.” 

1:20 P.M.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn issued a fourth directive, which extends and clarifies the stay-at-home order previously issued through April 6.

"Directive number four is primarily being issued for clarification purposes. There are no major changes to the stay home, stay safe directive," Blackburn said in a press conference. "All individuals, except those conducting essential activities at an essential business or providing services for an essential business, should stay home."

The changes included in the latest directive impact churches in that religious gatherings are now allowed for groups of more than 10. However, Blackburn noted in the conference and the updated directive that: 

"The demographics of many faith-based organizations comprise significant numbers of the COVID-19 high risk population group and gatherings in numbers greater than 10 puts those congregating at dire risk."

Secondly, Blackburn added gun shops to the essential business list included in the latest directive following questions about gun shop regulations around the state. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a press release via Twitter indicated that local governments could not regulate the sale, possession or ownership of fire arms using emergency powers. 

1:05 P.M.

Director of Bell County Public District Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell reports that Bell County has five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 25. Three of the new cases were in Killeen, one in Belton and one in Harker Heights. 

Robison-Chadwell added that statewide, there are 1,731 cases and 23 fatalities reported today in Texas. 

11:25 A.M.

The Brazos County Public Health District reported three new cases of COVID-19, making the total as of Friday morning 31 cases. 

Four of the cases have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. 

THURSDAY, MARCH 26

8:30 P.M.

The City of Killeen moved the May 2 election to Nov. 3. All election information can be found on the Kileen website.

6:20 P.M.

A majority of Copperas Cove City Council members voted down a stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.  

In another action, the council agreed to extend the disaster declaration by another week through Friday, April 3. The local declaration is in line with the one issued by Gov. Abbott and allows enforcement at the local level. 

The current requirements made at the federal, state and local level include:

  • Every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people
  • People shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of the Governor’s executive order.
  • Convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, and similar establishments shall cease providing self-serve food items, except when food items are individually wrapped or packaged.
  • People shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Every business or service provider shall take extraordinary measures to clean and sanitize their facilities in order to protect the health and safety of their employees and clients. In-home and on-site service providers such as satellite TV installers, electricians, plumbers, and repair persons shall also take extraordinary measures to prevent exposure to and spread of COVID-19.

This comes after the city reported a resident had contracted the virus. 

3:50 P.M.

The City of Waco said it will not postpone the May 2 election right now, as city officials continue urging residents to self-isolate and practice social distancing. 

"We feel we will be able to conduct a safe and fair election on that date," a release from the city read. "However, we are continually assessing the COVID-19 situation and if we believe we cannot, the election will be postponed. It is important to us that we continue to have elections and transition leaders. as long as we can do so in a safe and fair manner, so that our city can move forward with its business of serving our citizens."

The city also urged that residents with a high risk of contracting COVID-19 vote by mail. 

Waco Elections 2020
City of Waco

3:30 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District released details on its latest COVID-19 cases. 

There are currently 33 cases, out of which four have been hospitalized. 

Two cases have recovered, according to a release from the health district. 

There have been no COVID-19 deaths in McLennan County as of Thursday afternoon. 

Residents with general questions on COVID-19 can call the helpline at 254-750-1890. The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer general questions.

2:30 P.M. 

Gov. Abbott issued a new executive order mandating a 14 day self-quarantine period for people traveling by plane to Texas from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, citing the area as the epicenter of the coronavirus in the U.S. 

In addition to those three states, New Orleans is also included in the executive order as cases there have increased.  

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Abbott said the Department of Public Safety would enforce the executive order. The DPS will keep track of quarantine locations and will conduct visits to ensure compliance with the order.   Failure to comply will be considered a criminal offense with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 180 days in jail.

1:45 P.M. 

The Bell County Public Health District has reported the first death resulting from a COVID-19 infection in its latest report. 

The deceased person was a woman was from Temple and between the ages of 80 and 89.

They also reported one new case this afternoon, bring the total to 20 COVID-19 cases in Bell County. 

Meanwhile, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported five new cases, bringing the total in McLennan County to 33 cases. 

“Out of respect for the family of the deceased and to assure compliance with federal medical privacy rules, the Bell County Public Health District will identify when a death related to COVID-19 occurs but will not release any additional information such as city of residence or age range, unless the family specifically permits,” Director of Bell County Public District Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell said.

1:30 P.M.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission submitted a Medicaid waiver to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid. 

If the waiver is approved, it would give Texas more flexibility in administering Medicaid while the state continues to address the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a release from the governor. 

­If approved, the flexibility would include:

  • Temporarily extending existing prior authorizations for services so that Texans can get the care they need without delay.
  • Extending deadlines for state fair hearings and appeals.
  • Allowing services to be performed by telehealth, telemedicine, or telephonic contact.
  • Extending current medical necessity, service authorizations, and level of care authorizations for Medicaid programs.
  • Allowing the state to waive any requirements that require the signature of a physician, durable medical equipment provider, or Medicaid recipient.
  • Streamlining provider enrollment for out-of-state and new providers to increase the number of providers in Texas, which will ensure continued access to care.
  • Waiving requirements that health care professionals be licensed in the state in which they are providing services, so long as they have equivalent licensing in another state.

TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES

  • The House will vote Friday on the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief bill
  • The Senate unanimously passed the largest relief bill in U.S. history late Wednesday night. It includes sending checks of $1,200 to most Americans, as well as expanding unemployment benefits.
  • A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is being diverted to Guam so that all 5,000 aboard can be tested for coronavirus.
  • Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — almost five times the previous record set in 1982.

RELATED: US jobless claims soar to record 3.3 million as layoffs jump

12:15 P.M.

The Brazos County Public Health District confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19 in Brazos County. 

The total number of cases sits at 28 as of Thursday afternoon.

Of those cases, three have been hospitalized. 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25

5:15 P.M.

The City of Killeen has adjusted many of its services to protect employees and the public during the COVID-19 emergency. Here is a list of those changes:

Animal Services

  • Killeen Animal Shelter is closed to the public, and adoption services have been suspended.
  • Animal control issues can be reported to 254-526-4455.

Building Permits

  • The lobby is open for service with social distancing standards in place.
  • Many forms and applications are available online at KilleenTexas.gov/Permit and can be submitted digitally.

Fire Department

  • Fire stations are closed to the public.
  • Emergency response continues.
  • Call 9-1-1 in case of emergency. Call 254-501-7660 for non-emergencies.

Libraries

  • Killeen Main Library and Copper Mountain Branch are closed.
  • Curbside services are no longer available.
  • Online resources are available at KilleenTexas.gov/Libraries.

Killeen Arts & Activities Center

  • Closed to the public. Call 254-501-6519 or 254-501-6578 for assistance.

Killeen Civic & Conference Center

  • Closed to the public. Call 254-501-3888 for assistance.

Municipal Court

  • Court cases scheduled March 16 through May 1 are canceled and will be rescheduled.
  • Appearances for citations can be made by the listed date by email to municipalcourt@killeentexas.gov or phone at 254-501-7850.
  • Social distancing precautions have been implemented for defendants who must appear.

Parks & Recreation

  • Lions Club Park Family Recreation Center is closed to the public.
  • Killeen Community Center is closed to the public.
  • Athletic leagues are suspended until further notice. Call 254-501-6390 for assistance.
  • Stonetree Golf Club is closed to the public.
  • City parks and trails remain open, but social distancing and health precautions should be used at all times.

Police Department

  • Access is limited to the main lobby and jail visitor area.
  • Emergency response continues.
  • Reports will be taken by phone at 254-501-8800.
  • Call 9-1-1 in case of emergency. Call 254-501-8800 for non-emergencies.

Solid Waste

  • Regular collection of trash containers and brush continues on schedule.
  • Excess household trash (no bulk items) may be dropped off at new locations free: Killeen Community Center, Killeen Special Events Center, Lions Club Park and Long Branch Park.
  • Curbside collection of bulk items and construction and demolition debris has been suspended.
  • Recycling operations, including drop off at facilities and trailers, have been suspended.
  • The Transfer Station remains open for normal business hours; residents may dispose of up to 300 pounds of bulk items and excess waste-free once per month with a current City utility bill.

Utility Collections

  • All in-person services are rendered through the drive-through lanes.
  • A drive-through drop box is available 24 hours per day.
  • Payment methods, forms and contacts are available at KilleenTexas.gov/UtilityCollections.
  • After hours and weekend turn on requests must be received before 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

4:00 P.M.

The Bell County Public Health District confirmed one new case of COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon. 

The new case is a Temple woman between the age of 30-39. 

The total number of cases in Bell County is now 19.  

3:55 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District announced five new cases of COVID-19 in McLennan County, bringing the total to 28 as of Wednesday afternoon. 

3:40 P.M.

Coryell County officials released new information on its first COVID-19 case. The patient is a 55-year-old woman who lives in Copperas Cove and works for a long-term healthcare facility in Belton. 

As previously reported, she was tested at Baylor Scott and White Emergency Room in Temple and is currently in self-quarantine. 

3:30 P.M.

Limestone Medical Center opened a COVID Clinic with specially trained staff to serve the needs of patients that are concerned about the coronavirus. 

The COVID Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. These times are subject to change based on necessity and volume.

Services offered at the COVID Clinic:

  • Screening
  • Medical Exam
  • Testing (based on criteria and physicians discretion)
  • Documentation to return to work
    If you simply require information or have questions you may contact our COVID Healthcare Team at 254-729-3281 and ask to speak with our Specialty Clinic Nurses. If you would like an appointment at the COVID clinic you may call 254-729-3411 and request an appointment for the COVID Clinic. Walk-in appointments will also be accepted from 8 am to 11:30 am.

3:00 P.M.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas (will begin to offer Day Camps for mission-essential employees. Beginning Monday, BGCTX will operate essential family support day-camps for 5-12-year-olds at the following sites:

  • BGCTX Clements Teen Center (10-12 year olds) – 2900 East Elms Road, Killeen, TX 76542
  • BGCTX Woody Hall Unit (5-9 year olds) - 5100 Trimmer Road, Killeen, TX 76542
  • BGCTX Bigham Unit (5-9 year olds) - 304 West Avenue B, Killeen, TX 76541

During Day Camps BGCTX will partner with KISD to support food program provision for participants, regular sanitation of facilities, medical screening of participants, and continued learning requirements for youth.

At this time, in order to ensure compliance with COVID-19 related safety guidelines BGCTX staff will operate Day Camps with no more than 8 club members per staff member in a classroom. 

Families interested in Day Camp services must enroll eligible youth online at www.bgctx.org/supportDayCamps or at Club sites, and submit proof of residency and mission essential employment status prior to day camp participation.

12:50 P.M.

The Brazos County Public Health District reported five new cases of COVID-19 in Brazos County, bringing the total number of cases to 21.

Of the 21 cases, two of patients have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. 

With cases arising of community spread coronavirus, the health district will only be reporting the total number of cases altogether. 

10:50 A.M.

Fort Hood is sending its 9th Hospital Center to New York to assist the state with the coronavirus outbreak, according to Captain Tyson Friar. 

The 9th Hospital Center is a group of soldiers and equipment that act as a mobile hospital - capable of all that a hospital can do.

Although there is no word on how many beds the group will be able to provide, to 9th Hospital Center is deploying an advance party after receiving orders yesterday. 

10:35 A.M.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a $16.2 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living to help communities in the state provide meals for seniors.

The grant comes from $250 million authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which became law March 18. The funds will go towards distributing meals to seniors through organizations like Meals on Wheels. 

9:35 A.M.

The City of Copperas Cove announced that one of its residents has tested positive for COVID-19.

The resident was tested at Scott and White Medical Center in Temple. The release from the city did not provide details on the identity or age of the resident. 

According to the release, the resident has voluntarily quarantined themselves. 

The City of Copperas Cove also established a COVID-19 Hotline at (254)542-8920. 

The hotline may be utilized as another resource by citizens who are seeking further information and wish to speak with a City staff member. The COVID-19 hotline will be available beginning Thursday, March 26, with normal operating hours on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Citizens can also keep up to date and find current City information 24/7 by logging into the Official City of Copperas Cove Facebook page or logging into the City of Copperas Cove website. 

8:30 A.M.

Bell County opened a COVID-19 phone bank to help answers questions from those in the community.

City spokesman Paul Romer said it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number is 254-933-5203.

Calls received after hours and on weekends will be routed to 211.

The county also provides regular updates to frequently asked questions on its website.

TUESDAY, MARCH 24

Today's National headlines

  • President Trump is weighing how to refine nationwide social-distancing guidelines. Click here.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state could be as close as two weeks away from a crisis with 40,000 people in intensive care 
  • In an unprecedented move, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed until 2021. Click here.
  • Congressional officials say a deal may be reached today on a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package. Click here.
  • Chinese authorities are lifting a lock-down of Hubei province, the area most heavily hit by the virus. Domestic cases continue to subside.

9:00 P.M.

Milam County announced two positive coronavirus cases. The county also announced a shelter-in-place order.

5:45 P.M 

The City of Belton postpones May 2 election until November 3. The motion to shelter-in-place was also approved by the city.

3:30 P.M.

The Bell County Health District confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19. That brings the total to 18.

Here are how the cases breakdown by location, age and sex.

Bell County Male, 70-79

Bell County Male, 30-39

Belton Male, 20-29

Temple Male, 60-69

Temple Male, 60-69

Temple Male, 60-69

Temple Male, 50-59

Temple Female, 60-69

Temple Female, 50-59

Temple Female, 30-39

Temple Female, 20-29

Temple Female, 80-89

Temple Female, 30-39

Temple Female, 50-59

Temple Female, 20-29

Temple Female, 40-49

Kileen Female, 40-49

Kileen Female, 40-49

3:15 P.M.

The Heart of Texas Goodwill is offering virtual services to those staying home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goodwill can now continue to provide one-on-one assistance and employment readiness services to individuals facing barriers to employment. Examples of these virtual services include assistance with resume writing, job search, interview skills training and resource navigation. 

Also, the following virtual mini-class series is being offered for the following Job Readiness Training beginning Wednesday. 

  • Job Search: March 25
  • Resume Writing: March 27
  • Interview and Self Presentation: March 30
  • Job Search: April 1
  • Resume Writing: April 3
  • Interview and Self Presentation: April 6

If you are interested, please go to the Heart of Goodwill website.

2:30 P.M.

Gov. Greg Abbott said the total number of positive cases of coronavirus in Texas was 715 and that 11 people had died, in a press conference.

Abbott said 65 counties had at least one positive case and that 11,000 tests had been conducted.

Abbott said he would not be issuing a shelter-in-place order for the entire state.

By the end of the week, Abbott said the Texas Division of Emergency Management will have received 100,000 masks per day. He said an additional 100,000 masks would be coming by the end of the following week.

Abbott said anyone who wants to donate personal protection equipment, which includes masks and other medical supples, can go to www.texas.gov.

Abbott issued an executive order that would require hospitals to submit daily reports on bed capacity to the state health department and for healthcare providers to submit daily reports on the number of COVID-19 tests

12:50 P.M.

The Brazos County Health District reported four additional cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 16. 

The district said 12 of the 16 cases are travel related the others are believed to be community spread.

Fifteen of the patients are at home in self-isolation. One of the new cases reported today was hospitalized.

11:45 A.M.

The city of Lampasas issued a shelter-in-place order Monday.

Mayor Misti Talbert signed the order to take effect through April 3. No positive cases of coronavirus have been reported in the county.

9:00 A.M.

In a special session Tuesday morning, the Waco City Council extended the shelter-in-place order put in place on Monday by Mayor Kyle Deaver to April 7.

Director of the Waco-McLennan County Health District Dr. Brenda Gray also gave updates on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gray said there were a total of 24 cases in McLennan County but the county later corrected that to 23.

Gray said the rate of infection in McLennan County was 7.86%, which is higher than larger counties like Harris County, which has a rate of 1.5%. Harris County has more than 4-million people.

The Richland Mall announced on Twitter it was closed as of Monday until further notice.

MONDAY, MARCH 23

9:00 P.M.

The City of Temple fell under a mandatory “shelter in place” order issued by Bell County Judge David Blackburn. According to the city, most city services will continue to remain available to residents online and by phone, but non-essential services will no longer be provided by appointment.

  • The Police Department will temporarily suspend public fingerprinting services.
  • The City Secretary’s Office will only be available to take calls and inquiries from the public between 8:00 a.m. and noon Monday-Friday.
  • Drive-through service for water bill payments will be temporarily suspended. Online, phone, mail, and dropbox payments are still available. New service requests can be made at www.templetx.gov/newservice.
  • Sammons Golf Course will be closed.
  • The Temple Police Chief interview process will be postponed.
  • The Temple Public Library will no longer be offering books and other materials for check-out with curbside delivery service. Online e-book services are still available to those with a library card through the Temple Public Library Website.

Temple will continue to provide these services as safely as possible, while in compliance with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent possible:

  • Essential Governmental Functions - All services provided by the City of Temple needed to ensure the continuing operation of the City to provide for the health, safety, education, and welfare of the public.
  • Essential Critical Infrastructure & Activities - Work that is necessary to the operations and maintenance of the critical infrastructure sectors including public works construction, residential and commercial construction, airport operations, water, sewer, roads and highways, and solid waste collection and removal.

7:00 P.M.

The Limestone County Emergency Management Agency reported the first case of COVID-19 in the county. The patient was described as a 50-year-old woman. 

4:00 P.M.

Bell County joined McLennan County with a shelter-in-place order from Judge David Blackburn.

The order was set to go in place at 11:59 p.m.

The Waco-McLennan County Health District said its total positive cases were at 20. One of them is hospitalized.

3:00 P.M.

One of the cases of COVID-19 announced by the Bell County Health District is a Fort Hood soldier assigned to 3rd Cavalry Regiment, the Fort Hood press center said.

The soldier is between 30-39-years-old and is in self-isolation at his off-post residence.

Out of an abundance of caution, other soldiers who he may have been in contact with are self-quarantined in their residences.

Fort Hood also said a case announced over the weekend is a military retiree. He is a man between the ages of 40-49 living in Killeen. 

The man is in self-isolation at home in Killeen.

2:00 P.M.

The Bell County Health District confirmed six additional cases of COVID-19. That brings the total to 16.

Here are how the cases breakdown by location, age and sex.

Belton-Male, 20-29

Belton-Male, 70-79

Killeen-Female, 40-49

Killeen-Female, 30-39

Killeen-Male, 40-49

Temple-Female, 20-29

Temple-Female, 30-39

Temple-Female, 30-39

Temple-Female, 50-59

Temple-Female, 60-69

Temple-Male, 60-69

Temple-Male, 60-69

Temple-Male, 60-69

Temple-Female, 80-89

Bell County-Male, 30-39

Bell County-Female, 50-59

Directive #3 Stay Home Stay Safe DATE AMENDED ORDER & DIRECTIVE ISSUED: March 23, 2020WHEREAS, pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 418.108, Bell County Judge David Blackburnissued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency on March 18, 2020, due to a novelcoronavirus now designated SARS-CoV2 which causes the

1:00 P.M.

The Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas began operating a day-camp for kids ages 5-12 in Nolanville.

The two sites are at the Mary Marie Multi-Use Center at 400 Gold Star Ave. and at the JW Sims Community Center at 408 10th Sth.

Families can register for the camps online or at the club sites.

The camps run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

12:00 P.M.

Falls County reported its first positive case of COVID-19.

In Central Texas, there have been 17 cases reported in McLennan County, 10 in Bell County, 12 in Brazos County and one in Milam County.

The list of all cases in Texas can be found here.

RELATED: Belton woman lends helping hand to community during pandemic

11:30 A.M.

The Waco Transit System will only allow up to 10 people per vehicle at any given time, according to a WTS press release.

"We ask that passengers practice social distancing by utilizing seats that do not have a sign indicating "seat unavailable,'" the release said.

Fixed Route Service Hours will be adjusted to 7:15 am-5:15 pm, Monday-Saturday-until further notice.

For the latest service information, call (254) 750-1613 or (254) 750-1900 or visit the WTS website.

10:15 A.M.

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center changed its access and visitor policies throughout its clinics and medical homes.

The new policy allows for just one in-patient visitor at least 16 years of age. For outpatient clinic appointments, patients can have only one person with them who is at least 16-years-old.

Fort Hood said all visitors will be screened before entering clinical areas. Any visitor showing signs of a respiratory infection will not be allowed to enter.

The medical center also said the Main Outpatient Pharmacy and Clear Creek PX Pharmacy will only take drop-off prescriptions to be picked up later.

10:00 A.M. 

Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver declared a shelter-in-place throughout the city.

Deaver said all businesses that are not essential must close. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m.

Businesses that are considered essential include healthcare, television, gas stations, grocery stores and daycares.

All public gatherings are prohibited.

Deaver said only one member of a household should go to the grocery store at a time.

He said outdoor activity like walking, riding and hiking were allowed but said people should remember to follow the six feet social distancing guidelines.

WHEREAS, in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, now designated Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China; and pandemic and urged that all countries take urgent and aggressive action; and WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergencyregarding COVID-19;

McLennan County Commissioners issued the same declaration at their meeting at 10 a.m. It will go into effect at 11:59 p.m.

The county order impacts all cities and municipalities outside of Waco in the county.

ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONERS COURT OF MCLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS.

SUNDAY, MARCH 22

7:15 P.M.

Mexia ISD administration was notified that a sponsor on the Mexia High School band trip tested positive for COVID-19. According the the Facebook post by the district, the sponsor doesn't live in Limestone County and returned to his home immediately after the trip. 

"In abundance of caution the District has been in contact with the Texas Department of State Health, Region 7, which has advised that anyone who was on the trip showing symptoms of COVID-19 to call their doctor," the post read. 

6:50 P.M.

Ascension Providence and Baylor Scott & White Health - Waco Region will implement a "no visitor" policy in all hospitals. 

The policy began at Ascension Providence Sunday, March 22 and will begin at Baylor Scott & White Health - Waco Region on Monday, March 23. 

"There is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our patients, caregivers and the broader health of our communities," Ascension Public Relations Manager Danielle Hall said in a release. "During this pandemic, we mus prioritize the health and safety of our patients and caregivers."

5:30 P.M.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a mandatory shelter-in-place for the county. The order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

More than 100 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Dallas County.

Top National Headlines:

  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • IOC to consider postponing Tokyo Olympics during 4 weeks of talks.
  • Russia is preparing to send medical personnel and supplies to Italy.
  • Iran's supreme leader is refusing U.S. assistance to fight the new coronavirus.
  • North Korea says President Trump has sent a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seeking to maintain good relations.

3:15 P.M.

Gov. Greg Abbott spoke from the capitol about a more aggressive approach to dealing with coronavirus in Texas.

Abbott approved allowing retired nurses and those in school to begin working in hospitals.

Abbott issued two executive orders. The first will allow all healthcare facilities to postpone all surgeries that are not medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or preserve the life of a patient.

The second will allow for hospitals to treat more than one patient in a room.

Abbott said calls for a statewide shelter-in-place may be right for larger cities where COVID-19 is spreading but not right for the 200 counties in Texas that don't have any reported cases.

Abbott said he was "strongly urging" the federal government to step up production of personal protection equipment, or P.P.E., which includes masks, and other medical supplies necessary to protect against COVID-19.

Abbott said mandating a shelter-in-place is a local government decision.

He said his executive order issued on Friday, that shutdown bars, restaurants, theaters and prohibited gatherings of more than ten people, must be followed or those who violate it risk a $1,000 fine or jail time.

Abbott said it was impossible to tell whether or not schools would resume this year.

3:05 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported one new case of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 17 positive cases. 

2:50 P.M.

The Bell County Public Health District confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 through their website, making the total cases in Bell County 10.

Here are the total cases as indicated by the district

  • 1 case in Bell County (the extraterritorial jurisdiction)
  • 1 case in Belton
  • 2 cases in Killeen
  • 6 cases in Temple

11:00 A.M.

The Brazos County Health District confirmed two more positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 12.

Ten of the twelve cases are travel related. Two cases have no travel history and are believed to be community spread, according to the district.

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SATURDAY, MARCH 21

7:00 P.M.

The Bell County Public Health District confirmed an eighth COVID-19 case in Bell County.

The district said the patient is a woman between 40 and 50 and is hospitalized.

The woman was living in an assisted care facility. The district said it was unclear how the woman contracted the virus, so the case was being designated as one of community spread.

All residents and staff at the facility are currently undergoing testing.  

Residents will remain in place and staff has been asked to self-isolate at home, pending test results. 

3:20 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District confirmed 3 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 16. 

The new cases were tested through commercial labs and are not counted in the number of pending tests. 

11:20 A.M.

The Brazos County Health District confirmed four more cases of coronavirus Saturday morning, bringing the total to 10. 

Nine of the 10 cases are travel related, the district said. The other case has no travel history and is believed to be community spread.

All cases are at home doing self-care.

9:00 A.M.

Copperas Cove Independent School District announced Saturday morning it would begin offering weekend meals through a program called "Five Pack Friday."

CCISD spokeswoman Wendy Sledd said beginning March 27, families can pick up not only their breakfast and lunch for the day but additional meals to last them throughout the weekend.

Students will receive a larger bag that includes lunch for Friday, and breakfasts and lunches for both Saturday and Sunday each individually bagged and labeled, Sledd said.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 20

4:15 P.M.

The City of Killeen has established a phone hotline and a webpage to assist the community in understanding the local impacts of COVID-19. The situation continues to change, and these resources will help keep the public informed.

A COVID-19 hotline has been activated to answer questions related to the situation by phone. The phone number is 254-616-3209. Operators are available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The City’s COVID-19 webpage is available 24-hours per day and contains important information and resources related to the situation. It is updated regularly to keep the public informed. 

3:10 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District confirmed that there are now 13 cases of COVID-19 in Waco and McLennan County. 

It was not indicated whether or not the new cases are travel-related or community transmitted and details on the individual cases were not included. 

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District now has dedicated a phone line to answer COVID-19 or related questions or concerns. The number is 254-750-1890 and is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

2:50 P.M.

The City of Temple declared a local state of disaster, to fall in line with the national emergency issued by the president, the state one issued by Gov. Abbott, and the county declaration. 

The local disaster declaration, according to a city press release, will allow Temple officials to request disaster recovery assistance. 

The local declaration incorporates by reference the most current orders, declarations, and directives issued by Bell County's Judge and Commissioners Court. 

Temple's Recycling Processing Facility and Drop-Off Center #1 will temporarily close. Even with the closing facilities, there will be no changes to residential or commercial pick-up schedules, but recyclables will be diverted to the landfill until recycling services can resume. 

1:45 P.M.

Copperas Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz issued a Disaster Declaration for the City of Copperas Cove. This comes after the Executive Order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday.

There are currently no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the city.

The Disaster Declaration takes effect immediately and remains in full force until Friday, March 27.

1:30 P.M.

The Milam County Health District confirmed it had its first confirmed case of coronavirus.

The district website did not provide details on how the person contracted it.

1 P.M.

The Bell County Public Health District said the number of cases of coronavirus had risen to seven in a press conference Friday.

Amanda Robison-Chadwell said the seventh case had been locally transmitted to a male. All previous six cases were related to travel. 

Robison-Chadwell said the seventh person had direct, sustained contact with one of the other people with the virus.

Robinson-Chadwell said at a national level the total number of cases was 15,219 with 201 deaths. In Texas, she said there were 194 cases with five deaths.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said to be consistent with the executive order from Gov. Greg Abbot issued on Thursday, all massage parlors would close.

Blackburn said by close of business Friday, the county would post a FAQ document to the county website. He said it would be a good source of information for answers to the several questions the county has received.

A COVID-19 phone bank will go live on Saturday, Blackburn said. It will be available 24-7. The number to call is 211.

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12:30 P.M.

White House coronavirus task force update

  • President Trump said that Mexico and the U.S. have agreed to limit most travel between the two countries to slow the spread of the virus. The limits on travel will apply only to recreational and tourist travel. Trade will not be affected. The restrictions are similar to limits the U.S. and Canada put in place earlier this week along their shared border.
  • The Department of Education will not enforce standardized testing rules this year for students through the 12th grade. 
  • Trump said the administration has also temporarily waived all interest on federally held student loans and he said he's directed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to tell federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loans and loan payments, without penalty for at least the next 60 days. 

9:40 A.M.

The Bell County Crime Stoppers postponed their annual golf tournament to fall in line with new CDC coronavirus guidelines.

The tournament, originally scheduled for Friday, April 3, has been rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 25. at 1 p.m. at Stonetree Golf Club in Killeen.

"We'd like to thank our sponsors who continually support the Bell County Crime Stoppers, and we hope you continue to do so

9:30 A.M.

Income tax filing deadline moved to July 15

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration has decided to push the income tax filing date to July 15 from April 15.

THURSDAY, MARCH 19

9:30 P.M.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reported to the Public Health Authorities that two DPS employees have tested positive for COVID-19. 

A press release form the Texas DPS said, "Public safety is our number one concern, and the department will work in conjunction with public health authorities to provide any additional information necessary to notify the public of these positive cases. DPS continues to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services related to the COVID-19 pandemic."

5:55 P.M.

One of the seven coronavirus cases in McLennan County was identified as a Baylor University student, according to a release from Baylor University President Linda Livingstone. 

The student returned to Waco after traveling out of state to an area with high community transmission but self-isolated away from Baylor campus. This is the third case affiliated with Baylor as two professors are also among the seven cases in the county. 

"Individuals identified as having had potential exposure to the new Baylor-related COVID-19 cases will be directly notified by public health officials in coordination with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District," President Livingstone said. 

5:00 P.M.

Georgetown City Council unanimously voted on March 19 to extend the local disaster declaration issued by Mayor Dale Ross on March 14 through May 11.

4:00 P.M.

Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver said Thurdsay the county had identified a seventh case of coronavirus in the county. Deaver said the case was locally transmitted.

Deaver said the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District was still awaiting the results of eight tests but there is an unknown number of cases sent to private labs.

3:30 P.M.

Temple has one more confirmed case of coronavirus, making the total three. There are six total confirmed cases in Bell County.

2:30 P.M.

Woodway places stricter limits on gathering sizes

Woodway Mayor Bob Howard amended the city's disaster declaration to further limit the number of people who can gather. 

The new limit brings the gathering size down to 10 people. That number is down from 50 in the original declaration. 

Furthermore, businesses including nail salons, hair salons, barbershops and massage parlors are ordered closed by 1:30 p.m. March 19.

1 P.M.

Texas governor orders schools, bars, dining rooms to close temporarily

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide public health disaster for the first time in more than 100 years due to the coronavirus. 

Abbott also issued an executive order that requires all Texas schools, bars, gyms and restaurant dining rooms to close temporarily.

The executive order will begin on Friday, March 20 and end on April 3. 

Read more about what the executive order includes here. 

12:30 P.M.

McLennan County Commissioners place stricter limits on gatherings

McLennan County Commissioners extended the county's disaster declaration for a week after County Judge Scott Felton issued the initial declaration March 18.

The updated disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak prohibited community or private gatherings of more than 10 people anywhere in McLennan County. 

As defined in the declaration, the exception to the 10-person gatherings do not include: people waiting for transit, office spaces, schools, child-care facilities, residential buildings, temporary housing, hospitals, medical facilities, grocery stores, shopping centers, malls and other retail establishments. 

The new limit is lower than yesterday's, which capped gatherings at 50 people. 

Furthermore, the new declaration reiterated that restaurants and similar businesses may only provide take out, delivery, or drive through services. Bars, taverns and other locations where alcoholic beverages are consumed on location are closed until further notice. Indoor recreational facilities, like gyms, bowling alleys, pool halls and similar places are also closed indefinitely. 

Violations of the order will result in a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of no less than a dollar, up to $1,000 each day the order is violated. 

The updated declaration will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 19.

8:30 A.M.

Chick-fil-a coronavirus patient was not exposed to public

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said their is no danger of exposure to the public after an employee at a Chick-fil-A in Waco was confirmed to have coronavirus.

The health district said the employee at the Richland Mall location did not have any contact with customers and had not been at the location in the days before he was tested.

The district said they will follow up with all his direct contacts with phone calls.

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18

Today's top headlines

7:50 P.M.

Richland Mall Chick-fil-a employee diagnosed with coronavirus

The Chick-fil-A at Richland Mall in Waco temporarily closed down after an employee was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

"The health and well-being of all of our guests and Team Members are of utmost importance, which is why I wanted to provide an update on a recent situation that happened at our Richland Mall location," Franchise Operator Jake Roye said. "Out of an abundance of caution, I have decided to temporarily close our Richland Mall restaurant after learning someone on our team had a confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) diagnosis. We are working with the Waco-McLennan County Health District, as well as disinfecting and deep cleaning the restaurant in accordance with public health guidelines. "

According to Roye, a re-opening date will be decided after clearance from local health authorities.

4:45 P.M.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health district confirmed the sixth case of coronavirus in McLennan County and released more details on the fifth reported case. 

  • The fifth case is a 59-year-old male with a travel history to Wyoming.
  • The newest sixth case was confirmed as a 27-year-old male with an unconfirmed travel history. This case was confirmed at 11:45 a.m. 

2 P.M.

Bell County State of Disaster

Bell County Judge David Blackburn declared the count in a state of disaster as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the area.

The Bell County Public Health Department’s Amanda Robison-Chadwell reported that there are two more cases of COVID-19. That brought the total to five cases, with one case in Belton, two in Temple, one in Killeen, and one in Bell County.

12:30 P.M.

Temple cancels Bloomin’ Temple, closes city buildings 

The City of Temple canceled Bloomin’ Temple and closed government buildings, museums, pools and recreation facilities to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The city said most services would continue online, by phone or by appointment. The measures go into effect March 19.

11:40 P.M.

City of Robinson declares state of disaster 

The City of Robinson declared a state of disaster following the report that five people in McLennan County tested positive for the coronavirus.

The declaration takes effect March 18 at midnight and said restaurants will not allow the number of dine-in customers in the facility at one time to exceed one-half of its occupancy limit or 50 people, whichever is less. Restaurants with or without a drive-thru services may provide takeout, delivery, or drive-thru services as permitted by law.

Businesses are also required to provide social distancing of at least six feet between each dining party.

Public or private community gatherings, as defined in the declaration, are prohibited anywhere in the city.

Furthermore, indoor recreational facilities, including gyms and health studios, along with the community center, senior center, municipal court and Peplow Park are closed.

The move allows the city to allocate resources, use personnel and enact measures to prevent the spread the coronavirus.

10 A.M.

Waco-McLennan County Health District confirms five cases

The Waco-McLennan County Health District announced that McLennan County currently has five cases of COVID-19, making these the first confirmed cases in the county.

Health district Director Dr. Brenda Gray said all five of the cases were travel related.

Here are the details on the cases:

  • The first case is a 64-year-old man who returned from Israel on March 12. One of the people he traveled with lives in Bell County.
  • The second case is a 68-year-old man from Ecuador visiting family in McLennan County.
  • The third and fourth cases were a couple who traveled to New York. The 56-year-old man and 52-year-old woman are both professors at Baylor University, according to the university. Baylor said the two did not return to campus and are currently in self-isolation.
  • The fifth case was brought to the health district’s attention the morning of Wednesday, March 18 and are trying to locate the person.

TUESDAY, MARCH 17

7:10 P.M.

Two Killeen Educators Association members in self-quarantine 

The Killeen Educators Association released a statement late Tuesday that said two of its members were in self-quarantine due to secondary exposure to a person being tested for the coronavirus.

If the test comes back positive, at least seven other people will be directly impacted, including several Killeen ISD employees, according to the association.

8:30 P.M.

Bell County identifies third coronavirus case

The Bell County Public Health District identified a third positive cases of coronavirus. The case is awaiting confirmation from the Center for Disease Control.

The third individual is a man between the ages of 70 and 80 with a recent travel history to South Africa. According to the health district, they initiated a self-isolation protocol.

3:30 P.M.

TxDOT taking action to keep employees and public safe

The Texas Department of Transportation said they are acting to reduce the risk of the coronavirus by postponing or canceling in-person public hearings and gatherings through April 3.

However, they said the date was subject to change. The Texas Transportation Commission’s March 26 meeting will be excluded.

Work on transportation system projects will continue and outside restrooms will stay available at all times. They will be cleaned regularly between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Safety rest areas on highways throughout the sate will also stay open.

The TxDOT’s 12 Travel Information Center will close their lobbies until further notice to help protect against the coronavirus. Travelers can still speak with center counselors about road conditions or travel information between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling 1-800-452-9292.

11:15 A.M.

Killeen ISD superintendent says return to school date not official yet 

Killeen ISD superintendent Dr. John Craft said no official decision had been made as of Tuesday on when schools would reopen but he said they hoped to resume March 23.

Craft also said if classes do resume, parents would not be required to send their kids. He said any child kept at home would not be considered truant.

If classes do not resume, Craft said the district was working on a plan to offer online learning as well as providing hard copies of schoolwork for parents to pick up from the school.

“We won’t now how to decide until later this week,” Craft said. “We will make calculated decisions based on how the situation evolves.”

8:50 A.M.

Brazos County announces first positive case of coronavirus

The Brazos County Health District confirmed its first case of coronavirus.

According to the health district, the patient is a female in her 20s and is not associated with Texas A&M University or Blinn College.

The BCHD is coordinating with the Texas Department of State Health Services to investigate who she was in contact with. Health officials will contact those people directly.

Currently, the immediate health risk to the general public is low.

MONDAY, MARCH 16

7:30 P.M.

Baylor University postpones May commencement ceremonies, extends online instruction

Baylor University will extend online instruction for the rest of the spring semester. 

The university also postponed May commencement ceremonies, following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the federal, state and local health officials. 

The university asked in a press release that students and faculty do not return to retrieve belongings until a safe, orderly process later in the semester is established. There will also be restricted access to residence halls to only students who have no other option than to be on campus starting Monday. 

Baylor said they will still confer degrees in May and plan to invite May graduates to walk the stage in August. 

6:40 P.M.

Waco ISD authorizes superintendent to pay employees during school closure 

The Waco ISD Board of Trustee passed a resolution at an emergency meeting Monday that delegated authority to Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon to ensure all district employees are paid during school closures.

“During these times it’s important that we act responsibly and with care for our employees,” Kincannon said. “This resolution will guarantee all of our staff receive a paycheck to take care of their families. I thank the board for taking this action for the wellbeing of our community.”

This action taken by the school board also means Waco ISD students an staff won’t have to make up days the district is closed.

6:10 P.M.

Bell County 911 callers will be screened to determine coronavirus risk

After Bell County officials confirmed a second presumptive positive case of coronavirus, the City of Temple is continuing to take preventive measures to minimize risks for residents and city staff during city business and operations. 

The proactive measures are as follows:

When residents call 911, Bell County Communications will ask a series of screening questions to help determine if the patient is at risk of having coronavirus. If those questions show a positive response, the following precautions will be taken:

  1. Only responders required to properly handle the call will be dispatched.

  2. The first emergency response agency to arrive will have one crew member enter the building and take precautions to minimize the possibility of virus transmission.

  3. The patient will be evaluated, and if further responders are required for proper care, they will enter the building.

  4. The patient will be transported to the appropriate medical facility if needed after consultation with Medical Control Physicians.

  5. The patient will be transported using the proper protective measures.

  6. After treatment/transport is completed, any equipment used will be disinfected per established protocols.   

The Fire Chief/Emergency Manager will continue to monitor the situation and if further action is required by CDC/Public Health guidance, the department will take the appropriate actions to assure they are followed.

Temple Police Protocols

The Temple Police Department encouraged its employees to follow the CDC’s recommendations for personal hygiene to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The department is increasing sanitation efforts throughout its building, including areas where there is a high rate of public contact. Officers have also been encouraged to routinely sanitize their vehicles and equipment. Officers have been issued gloves and masks to protect themselves and those they come in contact with.

While public schools remain closed, TPD will allocate its School Resource Officers to patrol shopping districts to prevent and respond to potential issues. The department encourages residents to remain patient and calm while shopping. For the next four weeks, TPD will not hold any educational classes or community events. This measure will be revisited as the situation continues to unfold.

To reduce instances of in-person contact, residents are encouraged to use the department’s online reporting system by clicking the “Report a Crime” tab on the Police Department’s website.

Anyone needing to utilize the departments fingerprinting services should call 254-298-5575 to schedule an appointment. Fingerprinting will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Fridays until further notice.

The TPD’s top priority continues to be the safety of its citizens and the protection of its employees. The department is reviewing its operational plans to prepare for any changes to services or staffing shortages that may be caused by this virus. At this time, TPD has not experienced any staffing shortages or major impacts to services.

Municipal Court

While Municipal Court proceedings have been cancelled this week following guidance from the Texas Supreme Court, the Municipal Court clerk’s office remains open. Future court schedules are still being determined. 

Residents are asked to call or email the court remotely in order to get the most up to date information about their case. Due to health concerns regarding in-person court appearances, the Temple Municipal Court will begin accepting appearances by email, fax or letter. Requests by email, fax or letter should be postmarked or received by the scheduled court date. 

Public Meetings

Due to CDC guidance on social distancing, the City of Temple will be holding virtual meetings for the Temple by Design Draft Comprehensive Plan instead of the previously planned open house forums. To participate, please click here to view the presentation and leave a comment on each slide. To learn more about the Draft Comprehensive plan, visit the City of Temple website.

Any planned public meetings where “social distancing” can be maintained will continue as scheduled, including the City Council workshop and regular meeting. The City Council workshop has been moved to the McLane Room on the 3rd floor of the Temple Public Library in order to allow for more space to meet the CDC’s “social distancing” guidelines. The City Council meeting will still take place in Council Chambers at Temple City Hall. 

Emergency Management Updates

The City of Temple will continue to update residents with the latest developments using the coronavirus information page on the City of Temple website. All residents are still being asked to follow precautions from the Bell County Health District:

  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a disinfectant.
  • Don’t travel to areas with active community spread of the coronavirus.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content when soap and water are not available.

3:05 P.M.

Magnolia to close all properties in response to coronavirus pandemic

Magnolia announced Monday it would close Magnolia Market, the Silos grounds, Silos Baking Co., Magnolia Press, Magnolia Table and Little Shop on Bosque. 

The company said they hoped to reopen on March 30. 

"Our online shop at magnolia.com will remain open during this time, and our guest services team will be standing by to answer any questions you may have," the post on Instagram said. "Please be safe, and we can't wait to see you all soon."

1:50 P.M.

Bell County to postpone non-essential hearings through April 10

An administrative order was released by Bell County on Monday that ordered Bell County courts to only provide essential functions and hearings beginning March 16 through April 10.

Essential functions include criminal magistrate proceedings, CPS removal hearings, temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions, juvenile detention hearings and family violence protective orders. 

1:05 P.M.

Trudeau closes Canadian border to non-citizens

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced he is closing his country's borders to anyone not a citizen or a permanent resident amid the coronavirus pandemic.

11:30 A.M.

Coronavirus vaccine trial starts in Seattle

U.S. researchers began trials on an experimental coronavirus vaccine as a healthy volunteer was given the first shot. 

The National Institutes of health is funding the trial taking place at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Testing began with 45 young, healthy volunteers with different doses of shots co-developed by NIH and Moderna Inc. 

The goal of the first phase of this study is to learn about the vaccine's safety and see how the immune system responds to it. 

11 A.M.

SAT, ACT cancel spring exams due to coronavirus

Spring dates for college admissions test are being rescheduled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The groups that administer the ACT and SAT exams annouced they are putting off their next nationwide examinations. The SAT set for May 2 has been canceled, and the makeups for the March 14th exam, scheduled for march 28, have also been canceled.

9:10 A.M. 

Abbott waives STAAR testing requirements

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday morning that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements for the 2019-2020.

Abbott also requested that the U.S. Department of Education waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. 

9 A.M. 

Bell County identifies second presumptive case or coronavirus

A second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in Bell County, the Bell County Public Health District said Monday morning. 

The individual is a 70-year-old man living in the Belton extraterritorial jurisdiction with a travel history to Europe. 

Bell County Public Health has initiated a self-isolation protocol and contact tracing for this case. 

Bell County is currently in Stage 2 of its COVID-19 action plan. 

SUNDAY, MARCH 15

Woodway man in self-quarantine after indirect exposure to COVID-19

A Woodway man requested to self-quarantine after his roommate was exposed to the Bell County man who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Woodway city manager said the man works in the public safety department and has no symptoms of coronavirus. However, he requested they self-quarantine in an abundance of caution although he and his roommate were not showing any symptoms of the virus. 

The Woodway employee's regular job functions do not put them in direct contact with the public.

FRIDAY, MARCH 13

8:50 P.M.

City of Waco closes certain facilities to the public

The City of Waco closed certain facilities to the public beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, March 14 through at least midnight on March 29.

Facilities closed to the public include

  • City of Waco Public Libraries
  • Cameron Park Zoo
  • City of Waco Community Centers
  • City of Waco Senior Centers
  • Waco Convention Center & Visitors’ Bureau
  • Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument
  • Riverbend Ballpark/Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex

The city also said all rental facilities will be suspended through March 29. That includes park pavilions, athletic fields, Cameron Park Clubhouse and the Multi-Purpose Center.

Cottonwood Creek Golf Course will remain open for public play, but all scheduled events will be temporarily suspended through March 29.

The city also said gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited and that gatherings of more than 10 people are not recommended. They also urged people not to attend non-essential gatherings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

5:45 P.M.

Central Texas VA announces additional safety precautions

The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System said they are taking extra precautions to limit coronavirus exposure.

Starting March 16, TVHCS clinics said they will conduct mandatory screening to identify individuals who may have symptoms of respiratory illness and direct them for further treatment. The Temple and Waco Medical Centers started conducting screenings on March 16.

CTHCS includes the following medical centers and outpatient clinics:

  • Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple
  • Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Waco
  • Austin Outpatient Clinic
  • Brownwood Community Based Outpatient Clinic
  • Cedar Park CBOC
  • College Station CBOC
  • LaGrange CBOC
  • Palestine CBOC
  • Temple Clinic Annex
  • Joint VA/DoD Sleep Center in Killeen

The Central Texas VA said that veterans concerned they may have symptoms of the coronavirus, flu or cold call 1-800-423-2111.

5:40 P.M. 

Central Texas schools close in response to the coronavirus outbreak

Schools across Bell and McLennan counties announced extended spring breaks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

More area universities also announced closures. 

Most of the schools are offering curbside breakfast and lunch for kids. 

The full list of closures and services offered can be found here. 

3 P.M.

City of Temple cancels all events, increases cleaning measures

The City of Temple followed the recommendations of county health officials and is taking precautionary measures to protect against the coronavirus.

The city canceled all city events and said that any planned public meetings or forums where Bell County's social distancing guidelines can be maintained will continue as scheduled. 

"The safety of our residents, visitors, and city staff remains our highest priority," Public Relations Manager Laurie Simmons said. 

Starting March 12, the city custodial staff began implementing additional cleaning procedures in all city facilities including spraying all public entryway door handles and door knobs with hospital type disinfectant. 

2:50 P.M. 

Waco are school districts extend spring break in response to coronavirus threat

Waco area schools began announcing they were extending their spring breaks to slow the spread of the coronavirus among the student communities. 

These schools announced an additional week of spring break, from March 16-20:

  • Bruceville-Eddy
  • Axtell
  • Bosqueville
  • China Spring
  • Moody
  • Oglesby
  • Riesel
  • Valley Mills
  • Mart 
  • Hallsburg

These schools extended spring break by two weeks, from March 16-27:

  • Connally
  • Lorena
  • LaVega
  • McGregor
  • Midway 
  • Robinson 
  • Waco 
  • West

Greater Waco area school superintendents met to discuss their collective response to the coronavirus threat. 

There are currently no confirmed cases in McLennan County. In neighboring Bell County, there is one presumptive positive case of the coronavirus. The case is in the process of undergoing confirmatory testing with the CDC.

2:15 P.M.

Fort Hood takes more protection measures against coronavirus 

Fort Hood officials recommended that all military, civilians, family members and visitors on post take action to protect themselves and others from contracting the coronavirus. 

In response to Bell County’s announcement, Fort Hood said to:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
• Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash; cough/sneeze into your elbow if tissues are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Ensure all immunizations are up to date, including your seasonal flu shot.
• Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with family members and pets.
• Create an emergency preparedness kit.
• Create a pet disaster preparedness kit.
• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• If you are sick, call your medical provider for instructions on receiving care before going to the clinic
• Stay informed by routinely checking reliable sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local public health agencies.

You can find more information on the CRDAMC website.

12:30 P.M.

Texas governor activates National Guard in response to the coronavirus

Gov. Greg Abbott activated the Texas National Guard in order to be prepared to assist with response efforts against the coronavirus.

Members of the Texas National Guard that are healthcare employees and first responders are not included in the activation.

When the announcement was made, Gov. Abbott said no members of the Guard were needed to be deployed.

11:20 A.M.

President Trump declares national emergency on coronavirus

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday afternoon to bolster funding for fighting the coronavirus outbreak. 

Trump said the emergency would open up nearly $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak. He also said they would be waiving interest on federally owned students loans in effort to ease financial impact of the virus outbreak. 

He also asked every hospital in the U.S. to activate their emergency preparedness plan. 

8:50 A.M.

First presumptive case of coronavirus in Bell County

Bell County Public Health District identified the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 late Thursday night.

The case is in the process of undergoing confirmatory testing with the CDC. 

The individual is a 29-year-old man in Belton with a travel history in Barcelona and Paris from March 4 to March 10.

Bell County Public Health has initiated self-isolation protocol and contact tracing for this case.