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Here's what health experts say is causing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Coastal Bend

COVID-19 cases have reached the triple digits in the past two days locally.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — COVID-19 cases in Nueces County have reached the triple digits in the past two days which is something we have not seen since April.

3News spoke with Dr. Kim Onufrak with the City County Health District and she tells 3News that these numbers are concerning.

So, the question is, what’s leading to the recent increase?

Dr. Onufrak says more people traveling and more summer gatherings are just some of the many factors contributing to the large number of COVID-19 cases that we're seeing here in Nueces County.

"Relaxed mask mandates also contribute to this, our low vaccination rate we should be closer to 70 percent to really control this but we're closer to 40 than we are to 70 so all those contribute to our high number, the fact that we have a very contagious variant, nobody is wearing a mask nobody is social distancing," said Dr. Onufrak.

Dr. Onufrak also adding that the majority of positive COVID-19 cases are patients who are not vaccinated, and the majority of hospitalized patients are not vaccinated as well. Which is why she is urging residents who have not yet received the vaccine to go ahead and do so.

RELATED: One COVID-19 related death, 300 new cases in Nueces County on July 21. Here's a breakdown of cases in the Coastal Bend.

"Even if you do get COVID again from the vaccine you're not as sick so it does prevent hospitalizations it does prevent deaths, it's not 100% it's not a total cover to prevent you from getting COVID if you get vaccinated, but it does prevent severe illness it does prevent hospitalizations, it does prevent deaths," said Dr. Onufrak.

If you are vaccinated Dr. Onufrak says with numbers increasing and variants on the rise do not let your guard down. Urging residents to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and take all of these safety precautions to keep yourself and other safe.

RELATED: If you get COVID-19, will you know it's the Delta variant? Here's why you likely won't

Dr. Onufrak says the best way to protect yourself from the COVID-19 variants is to get the vaccine.  There are multiple places where you can get the vaccine one of those places is La Palmera Mall and for more information on vaccine locations, click here.  

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