CORPUS CHRISTI, TExas — Corpus Christi and Nueces County gave an update on the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday afternoon.
Mayor Paulette Guajardo started off the press conference with an update on the officer involved shooting that took place at a local apartment complex earlier in the afternoon.She then gave updated information from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, regarding pregnant woman and COVID-19.
Although information has been muddled since the COVID-19 vaccines were released, new information states that it is safe for pregnant women to receive the COVID-19 shot. Additionally, the CDC updated their information on Tuesday, and pregnant woman are now at an increased risk to contract the virus, so vaccinations are encouraged.
She then reiterated that a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be available on Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the CHRISTUS Spohn Memorail Hospital site. Additionally, the vaccine clinic at La Palmera is open Monday through Saturday.
Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales took the podium shortly after, and listed resources that the county has been able to gather over the course of the pandemic in preparation for what could possibly come. She emphasized that hospital capacity is scarce due to a shortage of nurses, and explained that too many hospitals diverting patients in the region and in San Antonio makes it difficult to provide care to those who need it most.
She explained that in late June, the hospitalization rate was at 2%, and over the next three weeks it increased by 1% every week until July 21, when it started increasing by 1% every few days. As of Tuesday, our hospitalizations are now at 12.68%.
She said the state of Texas is working with us to get resources, but it will take time. In the meantime, the county is doing everything they can do get the surge under control. Canales said they are working on getting more home-bound vaccinations, and they are working with BCFS teams to get a rapid infusion center (antibodies) along with a mobile infusion center to the region. These centers will provide outpatient antibody treatments to patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, which will in turn help lower hospitalizations. She said these antibody infusion treatments have been authorized by the FDA for emergency authorization use.
These efforts along with more vaccinations will help get the COVID-19 surge under control once again.
Ending the conference, Health Director Annette Rodriguez explained that 80% of all COVID-19 cases in Texas are now the delta variant. She said it is highly contagious, and it is a vaccine preventable disease. Everyone, whether vaccinated or not, should continue practicing frequent hand washing, sanitizing, wearing a mask, and social distancing because it is proven to work.
She provided the following data:
- First 10 days of July: 264 COVID-19 cases
- Last 10 days of July: 2,016 COVID-19 cases
- First 10 days of July: 309 hospitalizations
- Last 10 days of July: 1.080 hospitalizations
Rodriguez explained that 97 percent of hospitalizations right now are un-vaccinated patients. This variant is causing cases in a very short period of time. The variant is spreading vast among the un-vaccinated and so many people are getting sick at once, which is putting pressure on the local healthcare system.
You can find the full COVID-19 update on the City of Corpus Christi's Facebook page and Youtube.