CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In an interview with 3 News on Saturday, Nueces County Public health Director Annette Rodriguez said one of the babies who tested positive is a newborn whose mother also has the virus.
During Friday's daily COVID-19 update at City Hall, Rodriguez announced 85 infants under the age of one tested positive for the coronavirus.
On Saturday, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales clarified that the county did not have a sudden surge of 85 infants that tested positive for COVID-19 but since the beginning of the pandemic.
"Some people may say 85 doesn't sound like a lot compared to 8,000. It's all how you look at it you know," Rodriguez said. "Are these your children?"
The number reflects the cumulative total of positive tests for infants under the age of 1 since the beginning of testing in mid-March, which has resulted in 8171 positive test results.
"These children are not two yet, they are under one," Rodriguez said. "They cannot wear a mask and so they are unprotected."
Rodriguez urged people to not take their children to the store or places where they know there's a greater risk of catching the virus
She said there's been around 25 patients hospitalized at Driscoll Children's Hospital which helps children 18 and younger but she does not know how many of those were infants.
Canales said while the elderly and those with existing medical conditions are at greater risk of illness and death, anyone can get the virus, from the elderly to infants, and without regard to race, gender, or economic status.
She said the county has been aggressive in testing the family members of those infected, especially those who work or live in high-risk situations: senior care centers, jails, group homes and halfway houses, and meatpacking plants.
Officials said contact tracing and testing immediate family members for those with known exposure who work in high-risk critical infrastructure jobs, might account for the higher degree of testing and positive test results among infants.
One child under the age of one has died. That child was brought to the hospital with unrelated symptoms and tested for COVID-19 while at the hospital. Annette Rodriguez said the child later died at home from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Officials said they don't know if the coronavirus was the cause but an autopsy is being conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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