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Local officials stress no need for coronavirus panic

City manager Peter Zanoni, Mayor Joe McComb
Posted at 4:21 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 19:03:24-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — City and county officials want to make sure people have all the facts when it comes to COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, those officials held a joint news conference at City Hall. While a lot of the information was the same -- wash your hands; stay away from large crowds -- there were more details about the testing lab coming to Corpus Christi, and how many people are now being monitored.

“The good news is we have no cases in Nueces county, currently,” said Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb.

While there are no confirmed cases, health department told KRIS 6 News that five people are being monitored for possible exposure to COVID-19. In addition, the need for self-monitoring was stressed, especially for those who may have come into contact with someone who’s being monitored.

“Is your temperature going up, do you have a cough, are you having shortness of breath? Those are all indications you may be getting sick. especially the temperature,” said city manager Peter Zanoni.

Zanoni said right now, it's business as usual for the city, but he and his staff are working on contingency plans in case the situation calls for it.

“We may have to redirect staff from what was a service, close that one and keep one that's critical,” said Zanoni.

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) announced our local health department would be part of a statewide lab network set up to test for coronavirus. That lab should be up and running by March 23.

“We had to upgrade our biological safety hood, so we could start testing,” said Health District Director Annette Rodriguez. “We do have kits ready.”

Most importantly, officials stressed that there's no need for public panic.

“People have to live their routine, normal lives; we just have to think about it a little bit differently,” said Zanoni.

As the local testing lab gets ready to open, officials said that if you're feeling sick, don't just go see your doctor. Instead, you should call the health department at 826-7200 to figure out your next steps.

Before Wednesday’s news conference, the Corpus Christi Independent School District issued a robocall alert to parents and staff regarding coronavirus. When asked about those calls, the district issued a statement which read “With campuses and district offices closed this week, automated calls are an effective way for us to reassure staff and families that we are continuing to monitor the situation, that there are no confirmed cases locally, and to remind everyone to continue practicing healthy habits.”