KINGSVILLE, Texas — Gloria Berry, a resident of Kingsville, just got out of Christus Spohn-Corpus Christi hospital after being hospitalized for heart and lung conditions.
She said she was transferred out of Christus Spohn Hospital-Kleberg because there wasn’t a cardiologist on hand. She said she had to wait two days to get a room because rising COVID-19 cases have caused the hospital to prioritize more severe illnesses.
“It was crowded, there were very few rooms. I had to wait two days for my room in there,” she said.
She said while she is vaccinated, she is still worried about getting the virus, especially after cases started rising in Kleberg County. She said she’s encouraging people to get the vaccine, especially after her husband was hospitalized for months with the virus, but understands that people have different reasons for not getting it.
“It’s a sad thing people don’t want to take the shot but I also understand that a lot of them get sick with it and some of them die. It’s everybody’s choice as to how they want to do it. I had to protect me and my family,” she said.
Rising coronavirus cases in Kleberg County have caused Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid to issue a disaster declaration, urging FEMA to reimburse the county so they can bring in more nurses and open up another wing in Christus Spohn-Kleberg Hospital.
“I don’t ask for help very often but when Kleberg County judge asks for help, I expect that help to be on board immediately. You know I’ll stop at nothing to provide safety for my community,” Madrid said.
He issued the declaration on Saturday and since then, the Texas Division of Emergency Management has provided Christus Spohn-Kleberg Hospital with 10 high flow ventilators.
Madrid said he is expecting to bring in nurses this upcoming week, but if FEMA doesn’t provide the money to do so, he will use the county’s American Relief Fund to do so.
In order to help COVID-19 cases go down and prevent businesses from closing, Madrid said the county is working with school districts to vaccinate kids before school starts.
“I just want the community to know that you know what, we’re behind the scenes, we’re ahead of the game, we’re working non-stop 24 hours a day. We’re not going to stop working for our citizens until this thing is eradicated,” he said.
However, some Kleberg County residents like Sylvia Salazar, a Kingsville resident who works as a waitress at Mexico Grill Restaurant, aren’t scared of the virus necessarily, but are worried about how it will affect businesses.
“I’m scared that we will close, but I’m not scared of the corona. I’m just afraid of the politicians, that they’ll close and hurt my pocket,” Salazar said.