NUECES COUNTY, Texas — The number of babies with the coronavirus in Nueces County continues to grow. Back in mid-July, it was reported that since the pandemic began there had been 85 infants under her age of two who had tested positive. Since that last report, the number has nearly doubled.
We had a laundry list of coronavirus questions for City-County Health Director Annette Rodriguez. Right off the bat, we were astounded to find out that the number of children under the age of two who have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past two weeks has doubled from mid-July’s total pandemic number.
"Since March until now, it’s close to 167 so from the last time I reported, I don’t remember that exact date, but we had 85 infants, 23 months or younger, and since that date that number has almost doubled and that hasn’t been a very long time period," Rodriguez said.
On August 4, we found out that 20,000 people are under quarantine in the County. We followed up on that news with a question about whether or not there is any way to guarantee that those people were staying in quarantine.
We were told that the Health Department is largely going on the honor system, but contact tracers are trying to stay in touch with those folks. Also, we are told that people are calling authorities to tell them about their neighbors who are violating the quarantine.
"Neighbors actually know a lot more than we do especially in small communities," Rodriguez said. "They know who’s positive and which family members are supposed to be in quarantine. They call us and we look up the information and if it shows that you are supposed to be in quarantine, and you’re not, we call them and we talk to them. They report them at grocery stores, so they have reported them, let me be honest with you.”
Rodriguez added that authorities do have the power to get a court order to force someone to remain home and if they don’t, they can be jailed.
She also told us that so far only one person from a halfway house has had to be threatened with jail for not complying. She said the threat did the trick and they stayed in quarantine.