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271 new COVID-19 cases mark yet another daily high for McLennan County

271 new COVID-19 cases mark yet another daily high for McLennan County

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McLennan County confirmed 271 new COVID-19 cases Friday, the third daily record in the past four days and the fourth-straight with new cases in the triple digits.

Local officials have urged residents to stay at home as much as possible and to remain only with people from their household as they celebrate Independence Day, though no mandatory stay-at-home order is in place. Gov. Greg Abbott implemented a statewide requirement Thursday to wear a face covering over the mouth and nose in public places, with few exceptions.

Since Sunday, 866 McLennan County residents have tested positive. Last week, 394 people tested positive, and the week before, 145 tested positive. When the county set a then-record-high of 15 new cases June 15, the total case count was 178.

Locally, 38 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. Friday's 271 new cases bring the total in the county to 1,563, which includes 1,258 residents with active infections, nine who have died and 296 who have recovered.

The local rate of tests coming back positive stood at 22% as of Thursday, according to an update posted to CovidWaco.com on Friday afternoon. That is up from about 1% as recently as June 10.

As the spread has accelerated locally, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District turned over contact tracing duties to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

During a press conference Wednesday, Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver said a contact tracer had told him the vast majority of people she talks to who have tested positive “feel an overwhelming sense of guilt about who they have exposed to the disease.”

“They are so concerned about having exposed parents or grandparents or others who are vulnerable," Deaver said. "They’re not that concerned about themselves, but they’re scared. They’re scared that they will cause someone who they love to get very sick or even die. And they usually say, ‘I knew better. I just wanted to see my friends, so I did. Now look what I’ve done.’

"Please think about that and take it to heart. I know you have loved ones that you don’t want to bring this disease home to. It is up to each of us to keep in mind every single day we are facing this pandemic, and we have got to get used to it because it’s going to be with us for many months.”

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