Local leaders struggle to keep up with demand for COVID-19 tests

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 23:18:09-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — At Tuesday's daily city-county COVID-19 press briefing, Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni said that, while 22,106 novel coronavirus tests have been performed for people in Nueces County since the pandemic began, many more are needed.

But supplies are difficult for him and other local leaders to find. It's why the city can only test 200 people per day, three days a week.

“If people still need to get tested, they can call still the health district," Zanoni said. "But the test won’t be administered this week, and maybe not even next week, because of the backlog (of people requesting tests) that we have.”

Nueces County does testing of its own, but County Judge Barbara Canales is dealing with the same supply issues.

“We need to get this (supply shortage) down and get rid of this backlog of people who need testing,” she said.

Another need for the medical community right now is manpower.

Last week, local hospitals sent a request into the state for additional nurses. Zanoni estimates that hospitals received between 20 and 30 nurses in response, and he's dipping back into that well in hopes of getting more.

“A COVID patient takes a lot more care," he said. "So we need more nurses, because there’s more COVID patients. But we do have a request in for 20 more from the state.”