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Flu season + COVID-19 could be 'disaster' for Coastal Bend, experts encouraging social distancing and flu shots

"What it took was a tremendous amount of effort to get staff form the state & federal government to keep us afloat in our hospitals and that is my biggest concern."

NUECES COUNTY, Texas — From the very first case reported back in March to now, there have been more than 20,000 coronavirus cases reported in the Coastal Bend. Over 16,000 of those cases stem from Nueces County.

"You shouldn’t want to be visiting Nueces County. Our numbers are very high. As terrible as that sounds as a Public Health Director, I have to advise that people should not be visiting us at this current time" said Public Health Director of Nueces County, Annette Rodriguez.

She said slowing the spread needs to start at home.  

"We’re seeing that the whole family has it. This is not hereditary. You don’t have to spread it to your family members, you don’t have to spread it to your infants," said Rodriguez.

With COVID-19 lingering in the Coastal Bend for nearly half a year now, experts said, when flu season starts, it could create more complications for the community.

"There’s a high amount of certainty that COVID is gonna become more transmissible when the weather changes and we go into the fall," said Dr. Chris Bird of the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Task Force.

"Now we have Flu and COVID-19 coming together and it could be a disaster," said Rodriguez.

"What it took was a tremendous amount of effort to get staff form the state and federal government to keep us afloat in our hospitals and that is my biggest concern, that flu season will look like COVID," said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales.

Judge Canales said if we as a community can do our part now, then we can get ahead of flu season and then flatten the curve of COVID-19.

"We normally don’t wear mask, we normally don’t social distance, so it’s very possible that doing all those things consistently plus getting a vaccine, we can really see a decrease in the flu," said Canales.

While there’s no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, there is a vaccine to help prevent the flu. Canales also urged residents to take advantage of that resource as soon as possible.