Officials at today’s City/County coronavirus press briefing maintained a more somber than normal tone as they laid out the case for where Nueces County is heading. On Friday, the number daily number of confirmed positive cases rose to 548 cumulative cases. That number officials said is concerning and will continue to rise.
Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales, who is still in self-quarantine after testing negative for coronavirus, spoke via pre-recorded message. On Thursday, she had mentioned that she was considering a mask order and that one could come as soon as today. That message today was backed off a bit, saying that she believed that we need one here in Nueces County and Corpus Christi, but that she is trying to draft what she thinks is an ideal order, if there is such a thing? Judge Canales said that she will continue to work with elected leaders on the issue through the weekend and she may also have an order sooner rather than later. It is highly likely that any order will not be well received in a county that is obviously still not taking this problem very seriously.
In fact, Dr. Christopher Bird with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, said that cell phone tracking data shows that area residents are nearly back to where they were prior to March when the COVID-19 pandemic started to impact our community. Dr. Bird said that movement numbers went down to only about 84% during the stay-at-home orders and are now back up around 94%. The distance people are traveling from Corpus Christi is back at around 100%, meaning people in Texas and our area are back on the move acting as if nothing was wrong. And that is the problem.
Dr. Bird noted how if you drive out to the beach you can see large gatherings and parties everywhere, which he would describe as two or more cars next to each other, though it is much worse than that.
“Now is not the time to hosting a party,” Dr. Bird said. “We need to take this seriously.”
Dr. Bird also pointed out that that per capita daily rate for our area is actually higher than places like El Paso, San Antonio and Dallas. That he said is cause for alarm.
Officials also said that they would be updating numbers over the weekend once again, a process which they had stopped doing after Texas began the process of reopening.