The Killeen Daily Herald reports that the number of COVID-19 cases has shot up big time in Bell County.

Health officials said Thursday there have been 32 new cases reported, 10 of which are connected to Destiny World Outreach Center.

According to the Bell Country Public Health District, this is the highest daily increase reported in the county.  Their are at least 528 cases in the county now.

In a statement forwarded to us by Paul Romer with the City of Belton, Amanda Robison-Chadwell, Director of the Bell County Health District, wrote that the increase in cases can be attributed to several factors, including more gatherings taking place, complacency following mask and social distancing recommendations, and more frequent testing in healthcare settings.

"I’m concerned people are bored and complacent about COVID-19," Robison-Chadwell writes. "As much as most of us really want this virus to go away, we really do need to continue to be vigilant. Early efforts to stop the spread helped. If we go back to that same level of vigor with handwashing, masking, and social distancing, we will likely see the numbers level out again, though I do not expect the numbers to drop as low as they were in April or early May."

Robinson-Chadwell went on to say that it appears that tehre are more cases popping up in those under 60, which seems to indicate that those in higher risks groups are still being cautious. She recommended that those under 60 who are at high risk should remain vigilant, and said the relatively low hospitalization rate seems to indicate that they are.

According to FME News Service, Destiny World Outreach Center pastor Chad Rowe said the virus came from an asymptomatic Foot Hood soldier who attended the Killeen church to sing during a livestream service they held.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn is scheduled to host the county's weekly COVID-19 news briefing Friday, June 12 at 1:30 PM. You can stream it live on the Bell County Office of Emergency Management's Facebook page.

You really hate to see this happen, and the spike in COVID-19 that's going on now in Bell County shows that the virus has not vanished.  As businesses continue to open up and more people are going out, it's very important we still do our best to social distance and wear masks.  Stay safe out there.

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