A 74-year-old woman who died of COVID-19 complications Sunday is Nueces county's first COVID-19 related death.
A family member who answered the door at the woman's home confirmed to KRIS 6 News that their relative died Sunday, as was announced by Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni during Monday's regular city/county COVID-19 daily update.
"When we lose one a little piece of us is lost as well," said Nueces Co. Judge Barbara Canales during the news conference.
Zanoni said the patient was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in early March, but tested negative before being released from the hospital at the end of March. The family member, who did not want to be identified, said the elderly woman didn't want to eat and spent most of her time sleeping after being released from the hospital.
"The patient was initially a COVID-19 patient, the determination was made that while the cause of death was not COVID-19, it was a related COVID-19 death," said Corpus Christi-Nueces Co. Public Health District Director of Health Annette Rodriguez.
The woman recently was re-admitted to the hospital with stomach pain and other complications, but Zanoni did not specify what they were. He did emphasize, however, that COVID-19 is a new illness and information is limited regarding risk factors for severe disease and complications.
For that reason, Rodriguez said it's crucial for people to limit their time in public places.
"As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the Health District continues to suggest that people stay home," she said.
Canales said she expects "robust discussions" about requiring facemasks at Tuesday's commissioners' court meeting. but said that measures that are currently in place are important, too.
"Let's remember the best thing we can do is continue that social distancing," she said.
She said she empathizes with people who are itching to get out of their houses and resume their normal lives.
"I can see there's a little ants in your pants," Canales said. "They want to get out, go to parks and beaches. But, I want to implore you to help us to do the best thing we can -- which is to mitigate the spread of this virus."
Nueces county has had 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Fourteen of those patients are considered recovered, while 76 are considered active cases.
Rodriguez also said 19 samples were taken from patients Monday, and all tested negative.