As cases surge, leaders stress importance of COVID-19 precautions

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 19:32:50-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The numbers from the local and state health departments don't lie, we are in the middle of a coronavirus surge.

That has not escaped the attention of state and local officials, but will the numbers prompt a change toward new or tighter restrictions?

Judge Barbara Canales is concerned about Nueces County’s recent spike in cases. However, she believes it’s not too late to turn the trend around.

Coronavirus numbers are spiking in Nueces County. Between June 8-12, the county reported 47 new cases, the most of any week not associated with the STX beef cluster (May 11-15).

“In that scenario [STX Beef outbreak] we knew those 100 cases were directly or indirectly, family members or workers, were from one spot,” said Canales. “This is different because this is everywhere.”

This week started with 24 more cases Monday, though those were from three days of testing and included 13 positive tests Saturday, three Sunday, and another seven Monday. Nueces County reported another 31 cases Tuesday.

“The numbers tell us that is impacting us and that we need to change our personal direction, and I think we can,” said Canales.

Governor Greg Abbott attributed the spike in Texas numbers to more testing at nursing homes and prisons. He also believes that everyone can help prevent the virus from spreading.

“Everyone now knows how to make safe decisions to prevent contracting COVID-19 and to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Abbott at a press conference in Austin Tuesday.

Each phase of Abbott’s reopening plan has been followed by a surge in cases. However, Canales believes it was important to get the economy on the road to recovery. She also believes it’s too soon to start thinking about tightening restrictions again.

“Having our community so in need and dependent on getting small business back on our feet, we had to reopen,” said Canales. “We’re going to have to figure out how to live with this.”

For now, living with COVID-19 means staying at home when possible, social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask.

“If you wear the mask, if you sanitize your hands, if you maintain your distance when you go shopping, you’re going to be doing the types of things that ensure that you do not get COVID, and that you will not be spreading COVID,” said Abbott.

Canales urges every Nueces County resident to do their part.

“It’s such a small, small effort to protect so many,” said Canales.

Canales understands people are quarantine fatigued but says if they don’t do their part now, we could face many more months of the pandemic affecting us.