Bell County Judge David Blackburn is encouraging everyone to continue to be vigilant in the battle against COVID-19. He issued the following statement during the Monday, November 16, 2020, Commissioners Court meeting.
November 16, 2020
Bell County Judge David Blackburn Statement in re COVID19 in Bell County:
On October 8, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-32 to reopen certain venues to 75% capacity and allow resumption of elective surgeries in certain counties. Counties that reside in Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) with high COVID-19 hospitalizations are excluded from these reopening’s. Per the GA-32, areas with high hospitalizations means any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.
A county within a TSA that has high hospitalizations may still reopen up to 75% if the county meets attestation parameters established under GA-32.
According to State DSHS COVID dashboard for yesterday, Trauma Service Area L (which is comprised of 6 counties , Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, Mills) there was a total of 1,282 staffed hospital beds and 310 of those were currently available…meaning we are at about 76% capacity.
Under the Governor’s Order relating to reserving hospital bed capacity, this means that , for the region, we are at about 91% of capacity relative to the Governor’s threshold for hospital bed capacity.
Discussions with our 3 area hospital system administrators also indicate that our local hospital capacity, while being managed, is seeing signs of stress as it relates to bed capacity and COVID. BSW currently has 46 COVID patients, the highest census of COVID patients since mid-August. While BSW is below the Governor’s 15% threshold number requiring elective surgeries to cease, I am advised that they are currently not scheduling any new elective surgical cases that require a hospital bed for the first part of this week.
Seton and Advent are also experiencing much the same as BSW as relates to hospital capacity and COVID patients and are making adjustments to better manage hospital bed capacity in order to stay below the Governor’s 15% threshold.
I share all this to simply say that we need to heed the advice and counsel of our health authorities and continue to be vigilant in our COVID health protocols. Maintaining social distancing, wearing our face coverings when we are out and about and can’t maintain social distancing, and washing our hands frequently remain our best line of defense against COVID.
These health protocols are also our best line of defense against a return to more stringent health, economic and business measures. I don’t think any of us want a return to some of the measures we saw in the Spring of this year … measures that we are seeing re-imposed in other parts of the country as we speak.
As we gather for the upcoming holidays with friends and family, please be careful and safe…for your own good, and for the good of those friends and family that are with you.
Bell County Judge
The Temple Chamber of Commerce has proudly hosted a celebration of the military and veterans the past 35 years. Due to the pandemic, the 36th annual event was reimagined as a virtual salute to honor those on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. This recognition will include the military (13th ESC/Fort Hood, 1st Medical Brigade/Fort Hood, 36th Sustainment Brigade/TxANG), veterans, JROTC, law enforcement, fire & rescue, EMS, and medical/health care professionals.
UNITY WITHIN COMMUNITY is the theme for the 36th Military & First Responder Salute.
The traditional components of the Military Appreciation Luncheon such as the presentation and retirement of the Colors, National Anthem, Vietnam Era Veteran pinning, patriotic music, and messages of support are being recorded to create the virtual program.
Also, videos have been requested from various partners to ensure an impactful virtual program sharing the message of how the partners have waged “war” against the pandemic.
Community and military leaders have been asked to provide a short “shout-out” to recognize our honored guests for their engagement and leadership in the community.
Replacing the annual luncheon, the Chamber and HEB are planning LUNCH TO GO outside of the Santa Fe Business Center on October 27, 2020, from 10:30 am - 2:00 pm (while supplies last).
Veteran organizations, food kitchens, shelters, and sponsors will have an opportunity to pre-order lunch for pick-up. The general public, including walk-ups, will be accommodated with LUNCH TO GO either using a drive-up process or to-go table.
Video footage will be taken of LUNCH TO GO to include in the virtual presentation.
The inaugural airing of the finished product will occur on Tuesday, November 10, on the Temple Chamber of Commerce YouTube channel.
The overall video will be approximately 30-45 minutes in length. It will mix a message that is mindful of the struggles all have endured since early March, and the importance of the Greater Temple community bonding together to help our neighbors.
Photos from filming
TEMPLE, TX – The City of Temple has partnered with United Way and the Temple Chamber of Commerce in response to the economic hardships experienced by small businesses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizations have established a Small Business Grant Program in an effort to retain jobs and stabilize local businesses. This program provides gap financing for businesses that have lost revenue as a result of social distancing and are at risk of layoffs or closure.
The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds.
“The primary goal of the program is to provide support so that businesses can retain jobs held by low to moderate income persons,” said Stephanie O’Banion, United Way CEO. “We are also hoping to provide assistance to microenterprises with low to moderate income owners. We know that these businesses are vital to the economic health and well-being of our community.”
The program will use $90,000 of CDBG-CV funds to provide grants of up to $5,000 to businesses with up to fifty (50) full-time equivalent employees at the time of application, or up to five (5) full-time equivalent employees with a low to moderate income owner. The business must demonstrate a loss of gross revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to be considered for funding.
Applications will be accepted through August 5, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. on the United Way website.
Due to the anticipated number of submissions and limited funding, applications will be processed by an evaluation committee composed of United Way, Temple Chamber of Commerce, and City of Temple staff.
For more information about this program, contact the United Way by calling 211 or visiting www.uwct.org.
The application can be found here.