CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — "We are in a very bad place in a very short period of time."
That grim assessment from Annette Rodriguez, City/County Public Health Director, was delivered to the Corpus Christi city council during their Tuesday meeting.
Rodriguez told council members that COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly across Nueces County.
On Monday alone, 478 new cases were reported.
The most alarming rise, said Rodriguez, is among the pediatric population.
About 100 cases among children are now being reported daily.
Rodriguez warned that with schools now opening, the numbers will continue to rise.
Rodriguez said the health department is working with local schools to try to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
The alarming statistics have prompted the city/county health department to pivot back to testing.
Annette Rodriguez informed the city council that on Monday, 550 people were tested for COVID-19 at the old Spohn Memorial Hospital.
104 of those test were sent to rapid analysis, 36 turned out positive.
Rodriguez says those test results indicate we have a 36% positivity rate.
Rodriguez told the city council that's a high percentage.
On the positive side, Rodriguez says vaccinations have climbed from 1,000 a week to 2,000 a week.
Residents can also keep numbers down by wearing a mask.
Rodriguez repeated the CDC's recommendation that everyone wear a mask when they are in a public setting.
There was also a disturbing assessment about our hospitals.
Rodriguez says hospital resources are stretched to the limit.
She says this time last year, we were able to stay ahead of the pandemic because there were a lot of doctors and nurses who had come from other cities and states to help beef up our local medical staff.
That's not the situation this year.
Governor Greg Abbott has promised to send medical staff to struggling communities but Rodriguez says she has no information on when that will happen or how many people will be sent.
There is good news for some who have been infected by the Coronavirus.
The public health director told the city council that the first shipment of Regeneron arrived Tuesday morning.
Regeneron is an antibody treatment that can help COVID-19 positive people avoid hospitalization.
70% of those who receive Regeneron treatment can avoid severe symptoms and stay out of the hospital.
The health district will hold pop-up clinics to distribute the Regeneron treatment.