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Coastal Bend experiencing upward trend in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 10:02 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 23:48:34-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend area is seeing an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19, according to data provided by the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
“Ten of the 12 Coastal Bend counties have shown an increase in cases over the past week, with Nueces (County) showing a sustained increase in cases, and Jim Wells (County) showing a pretty large increase in cases," said Texas A&M-CC researcher and biology professor Christopher Bird. "This consistency in increase in cases across ten of the 12 coastal bend counties indicate to me that this is more than just a blip on the radar.” Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District Clinical Director, and Alternate Local Health Authority, Dr. Kim Onufrak warns people to not get complacent with COVID-19.  

"I think in general, unfortunately, the environment in Corpus has been more lax,” she said.

According to the health department, as of Tuesday, 58 people in Nueces County were hospitalized due to COVID-19; 27 were in the ICU, seven on ventilators.

"We still are seeing people in the ICU," Onufrak said. "We still have people that are on the ventilators and unfortunately people are still dying in Corpus Christi from COVID. It's still here and it's still a real threat."

Bird reported during Tuesday’s COVID-19 press conference that the current transmission rate in the area is somewhere between 1.3 and 2.0, which means an infected person is likely to transmit COVID-19 to one-to-two people.

According to Bird, an area of concern in the area is Jim Wells County.

“The data for Jim Wells (County) indicates that the rise in cases is equivalent to that of Nueces County, and also the number of fatalities has been increasing in Jim Wells County," he said. "That's not something that's been happening in the Coastal Bend area, so it seems to be isolated to Jim Wells.”

Bird said it is too early to tell with the data if the area is likely to experience a spike like it did in July, but that it is a possibility.