CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There has been a 4,570% increase in positive COVID-19 cases in one month in Nueces County.
Thursday, the Health District reported a total of 1,552 cases. Last month on that day, the total number of cases reported was 32.
Daily COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Nueces County, and the Omicron variant accounts for 95% of all new cases in Texas.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted to curve this record-breaking wave,” Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo said. “Your City-County Public Health District continues to provide multiple opportunities to receive your vaccinations at no cost. Let’s remember to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines we know have worked, including vaccinations, masking, staying home when you are sick, and maintaining a social distance.”
The public health district urges everyone two years of age and older to wear a mask when around people outside of their family members, social distance, and wash their hands often.
Health Director Annette Rodriguez said that they anticipated the surge but didn't think the case count would be as as high as it is now.
"We knew it was coming," Rodriguez said. "We didn't know it was going to be a wave of this magnitude."
Rodriguez added that the 1,552 cases confirmed COVID-19 cases reported Thursday were more than 1,500 cases higher than the 32 cases reported one month ago.
"I'm definitely disappointed that people are not putting their masks back on because I think they believe that, there's this interesting phenomenon that if you think you're young and healthy that you're not going to get it or if you get it you're going to get a mild case of it," Rodriguez said.
She added that people who've had both their shots think they're protected but she said everyone needs a booster shot. Dr. Chris Bird with Texas A&M Corpus Christi whos been helping with COVID-19 research said the surge will continue and may not be the last.
"The cases have been following our projections now for several weeks," Bird said. "I didn't make any changes to our projections last week so this percentage of increase we're seeing was predicted."
Rodriguez adds that hospitalizations right now are overwhelming and that before the holiday season was when the numbers were starting to rise back up.
"The hospitalization numbers are still just rising exponentially. It's crazy," Rodriguez said. "We were down so low and we're probably getting close to 200 hospitalizations. And the day before Christmas we were at 25 people who had COVID-19 in the hospital and now we're going to hit 200 very soon."
Bird said this may not be the last surge if people continue to not get shots or wear their masks. Both Rodriguez and Bird said that the best defense is vaccination and testing against the virus. Rodriguez even adding that the numbers speak for themselves.
“These numbers are projected to continue to rise until we reach the peak, which should be around the end of January,” Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez said. “Until then, we ask that you use your public health measures to stay safe.”
Residents are urged to get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of symptoms. Early testing leads to faster treatment and reduces the number of patients admitted to local hospitals. Testing is provided FREE to the public. The best form of defense against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, if eligible.
For information on where to receive your COVID-19 vaccine and get tested, visit our website at www.cctexas.com/coronavirus.
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