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Health department tested to keep false information curbed

No confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nueces County
Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 22:42:27-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District said there are no coronavirus cases in Nueces County, but they are monitoring two individuals that met the criteria for monitoring based on the Center for Disease Control's guidelines.

The health district said the individuals are being monitored at their homes and will be checked for symptoms over the next 14 days.

Annette Rodriguez, the director of the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District, says if we were to have a positive case in the area, the Health Department would let the community know.

"We're working real hard to get everybody as prepared as possible." Rodriguez said.

A confirmed case in San Antonio raised concerns in South Texas, but Rodriguez says that case is very low risk.

"You need to be within six feet of the person, speaking to them, (that) would be the way to actually pick it up." she said.

Local health officials are facing new challenges with misinformation causing additional worry.

Monday a rumor made its way around the internet causing fear of a confirmed coronavirus case at Christus Spohn Shoreline in Corpus Christi. But we later learned it was unfounded.

"I think you just need to be careful of what you say on social media. I think there's no reason for us to raise the level of anxiety or panic in the community."

The health district reviews the CDC's updated guidelines on a daily basis.

"This virus is different in that nobody has antibodies to it." Rodriguez said.

That difference changes the health district's process for what they call contact tracing.

"We usually go to them, they'll wear a mask and we talk to them and we get all the history. This one is going to be different and the CDC guidelines ask that we not do that but that they actually call us or text us so we have that social distancing." Rodriguez said.

"Because one thing you definitely don't want is your health department staff to get sick because if they get sick, it would be very hard for us to do all the tracing that we need to do to make sure that everybody is safe."

Rodriguez also said there is a state-based coronavirus hotline that has health professionals available to answer all questions.

That number is 1-877-570-9779 and is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.