COVID-19 curve is flattening, but it's not flat

Posted at 2:39 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 22:21:28-04

While it seems like we are flattening the curve in the Coastal Bend, officials tracking COVID-19 said we should not let our guard down.

In March, the spread of the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic, but Nueces County and counties across the Coastal Bend and Texas didn't see an outbreak until late June.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi researcher Christopher Bird, who has been tracking the virus in the area with university's COVID-19 modeling task force, said the virus still is here.

"We've definitely flattened the curve here on the big outbreak we had here in Texas," he said. "We are down to (a) double-digits number of cases per day, but we want to get it down to single digits.”

Bird also said reopening Texas, or going back to normal, is what seems to trigger a rise in cases.

"We wouldn't have to go back as far back towards normal to trigger another outbreak, because COVID is more widespread right now,” he said.

While cases are in the double digits and deaths remain in the single digits, Bird said the goal is reduce that to zero.

At Tuesday's weekly joint city-county news briefing, Bird said that in the last seven days, the Coastal Bend has seen a dramatic drop in the number of cases reported per day.

“It's up to us what happens," he said. "Our behavior, at some level, dictates what happens. There is one exception to that: As we go into what we call 'flu season,' really, what is happening -- the transmission rate increases and it changes.”

Health officials advise everyone get a flu vaccine to better protect themselves.

Jason Page, a local resident who has tracked the virus for himself, said people are starting to relax more.

“it seems like the numbers have gone down," he said. "People are getting more relaxed. I, myself, have realized I have been more relaxed when i go out."

Bird is encouraging people to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus and help keep cases low in the area.