S Pg1 6-25 COVID-19 Spike Has San Pat Eyes Set Across the Bridge_2.jpg

A interactive map of positive COVID-19 cases in Texas from the Texas Health and Human Services website shows the 62 positive cases San Patricio County has reported opposed to the 485 Nuces County has just across the Harbor Bridge. 

SAN PATRICIO COUNTY – At 4 p.m. on June 18, the Nueces County Public Health District released their daily number of new positive COVID-19 cases which was 52, the largest in one day for the city. At 5:20 p.m. they updated those number to 65 new positive cases, taking the total number of cases up to 485.

Also on June 18, Nueces County reported it’s second COVID-19 related death in a week bringing their total virus related deaths to five. As of that day, the number of hospitalizations in Nueces County was 73.

On that day it was also reported that a Corpus Christi Firefighter was experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms and later tested positive. The Nueces County Public Health District and the Fire Department then placed 19 firefighters in isolation through June 29.

On a local level, San Patricio County Public Health Preparedness Manager Clara Rieder reported 10 new cases on June 15, the largest number in one day for the county. Throughout the week, nine more cases were reported with the total active case count moving up to 26 cases by the time of publication on June 19.

“The risk at this moment when it comes down to it because most of them have had direct contact with someone, the majority of them are not connected with the community,” Rieder said. “But when it comes down to it, when you’re going out in public, you are taking a risk. So it’s best to do what you can to help prevent yourself from getting the virus or spreading any other illnesses to anyone else. Just following the CDC guidelines for facial covering, washing your hands, avoiding large areas like stores. If you don’t need to go to the grocery store, don’t.”

Around the county, some restaurants and store have been closing back up, offering to-go orders or curbside pick-up orders in order to help stop the spread of the virus. Rieder said that ultimately it is up to the business if they chose to shut their doors as nothing is mandated by the county or state level for them to do so.

With numbers on the rise just across the bridge in Corpus Christi, there is a worry spreading across the county that residents could begin to see their numbers go even higher in the very near future.

“There’s always that worry, especially with a lot of the holidays coming up,” Rider added. “And when it comes to the holidays, graduation celebrations, a lot of individuals seem to think that because the state has been opening up,  everything goes out the window.

She recommends the public not make any big travel plans and try not to go to areas where you see that there’s large spikes in numbers.

And of course, practice good hygiene like washing your hands, wear a mask when in public spaces and practice social distancing.

It was also reported on June 15 that a Gregory-Portland student had tested positive for the virus and had attended his graduation ceremony on June 12.

“We’re doing what we can with what information we’re given, but it’s something we’re still looking into,” Rieder said.  “At this moment, we don’t have more information to release to the public, and once we do we will. We are aware of the situation and we are working as hard as we possibly can to make the information available for others to help prevent the spread.”

For those at the G-P commencement ceremony, she recommends they monitor themselves closely and if they feel ill to check with their primary care physician.

“COVID-19 is not going away,” Rieder added. “I really hope it doesn’t do what other viruses that are out there in the world have done which is mutate and continue to spread. Since it’s brand new, we’re still doing a lot of studying on it. We don’t know exactly what the future holds for it.

“Just like every other virus like the flu or common cold, it’s not going to disappear. It’s something that we just have to accept and do what we can to prevent the spread.”