TEMPLE, Texas — Judge David Blackburn, city mayors and the Bell County Public Health District Board of Health urged Bell County residents to help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially amongst children, in an open letter.
The open letter posted Monday states that COVID-19 cases numbers among children are on the rise. It also states that multiple children in local hospitals are suffering with complications of the virus.
According to officials, Bell County is "lagging" behind the state with about 38.75 perfect of fully vaccinated individuals.
Bell County is at level one (Severe Uncontrolled Community Transmission) with an incidence rate of 451.9 per 100,000, according to officials.
Some of the incidence rates in local school district maybe higher, and students currently do not have an option for virtual learning, officials state.
The letter lists ways to help slow the spread of the virus:
- If eligible, take advantage of one of the multiple opportunities we are fortunate to have locally to get vaccinated. The vaccine is your best defense against COVID-19 Note: 90% of inpatients in our local hospitals with COVID-19 are unvaccinated
- Wear appropriate face masks when indoors in public places. This is particularly important in settings with people ineligible for the vaccine (e.g., children under 12 in schools).
- Practice physical distancing from individuals who don’t live in your household.
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces, especially if they have poor ventilation.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second
The letter closes out by stating that our healthcare system may be reaching a breaking point and allocating scare resources may be necessary.
"We realize there are disagreements about balancing individual freedoms with the collective welfare of the community. Regardless of where you stand on those issues, we must work together to protect ourselves, our families, and our fellow citizens, "officials said.
Read the full letter here.