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Duval County is now number one in coronavirus cases percentage wise

In one week, cases have grown over 580-percent in the rural area.

DUVAL COUNTY, Texas — Texas is currently making headlines for the rapid increase in positive coronavirus cases. Now, Duval County now has the dubious honor of being number one percentage wise in new cases.

Judge Gilbert Saenz spoke with 3News today about possible reasons COVID-19 cases have spiked dramatically in Duval County. In one week, cases have grown over 580-percent in the rural area.

"We've opened up and people relax and think 'maybe it's getting better,' because we're being allowed to do certain things, but we need to continue taking all the actions that will contain and protect us," Judge Saenz said. 

Saenz said another reason is ramped up testing. Last week, the county tested 341 residents in a single day. This increase is alarming, and Saenz thinks the worst is still to come.

"Don't expect it to slow down, unfortunately, too much, so I think we should probably be prepared for the numbers to continue to rise, but at the same time we can get ahold of this rise in cases if we do our part," Saenz said.

Currently, Duval County is under a mandatory curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. for all residents. Masks are also required at all businesses and public gatherings are prohibited. Saenz said anyone in violation of those orders could be cited and fined. 

Above all, he wants his residents and people across the state to be rational when considering this pandemic and our own behaviors.

"Not panicking, remaining calm, remain responsible and take care of one another," Saenz said. 

He is optimistic that with everyone working together, we can slow this virus down.

"We're going to adapt," Saenz said. We're going to adjust and we're going to have the strength and wisdom to protect everyone possible while keeping things rolling in the right direction."

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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