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'Extreme risk': Nueces County COVID-19 threat level at red

Level 4: Extreme Risk is the highest threat level.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nueces County is in the highest risk level for COVID-19 community transmission, according to Nueces County dashboard.

Level 4: Extreme Risk is put into place when there is an uncontrollable spread of the virus or healthcare capacity is critical. 

At this level, attending indoor and outdoor events, going to gyms, visiting bars or restaurants is not recommended for anyone, vaccinated or not. 

Over 1,000 new cases were reported over the weekend in Nueces County.

As Omicron fuels a rapid surge in local COVID-19 case numbers, it was only in Jan. 5, that the City-County Public Health District confirmed it was here. But now new tests results have just come back and confirm that the variant has been here since at least mid December.

"Today one of the samples we sent here at the health department came back positive for Omicron," said Health Director Annette Rodriguez. "We sent that sample the persons specimen was selected on December 16th."

Credit: Nueces County

And with so many people now wanting to get tested for COVID-19 our ability to do more of those tests may come to a halt by next Tuesday.

"I believe we should get to next Tuesday before we run out of chemicals," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully the chemicals will come in before then and if they do will be able to continue."

On the vaccine front, the County is still hoping that everyone who can come in for a booster shot will do that. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said that doing so will lessen the effects that the virus has on the body. 

"People asked me all the time if the vaccines are so good, everyone's getting Omicron? So the vaccines are very good as well as the booster at third dose, because it will help lessen the severity of your symptoms and the hospitalizations," Canales said.

Canales also gave 3News an update on the situation with hospital staffing. The County had asked the state for 95 nurses and respiratory therapists. The good news is that some of those workers are already here.

"We are at the same exact point that we don't like to be which is that we have diminished hospital capacity," Canales said. "This is where people have to understand we already have Over 60 state nurses and respiratory therapists working in our community to help us out."

The judge also told 3News that she's notified state representatives that the county has asked the state to put in another infusion therapy center in the Coastal Bend. However, she adds the County has not gotten a reply about the request yet. The therapy would help treat individuals who are suffering from severe CVOID-19 symptoms.

RELATED: 1 COVID-19 related death, 1,130 new cases in Nueces County on Jan. 8 and Jan. 9. Here's a breakdown of cases in the Coastal Bend.

More from 3News on KIIITV.com:

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