Nueces County's region breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations
Nueces County’s region now has more COVID-19 patients in hospitals than at any point in the pandemic, while the county has reached its record for COVID-19 deaths reported in one day.
Thirty-two percent of people in area hospitals are suffering from COVID-19. The rate previously peaked at 30% in the summer of 2020.
The announcement came one day before the county reported 13 new COVID-19 deaths — a number not seen since August 2020.
The county’s COVID-19 hospitalization has exceeded 15% for two weeks. Until early August, county judges could impose mandates for mask wearing and limiting capacity at businesses if their trauma service area had a COVID-19 hospitalization rate of at least 15%.
Many of those patients are under the age of 50, public health director Annette Rodriguez said during a briefing on Wednesday.
“COVID’s still speeding up. It’s not slowing down,” Chris Bird, a biologist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi who is a member of a regional COVID-19 modeling task force, said during the briefing.
“So you can expect that the cases are going to continue to rise. Hospitalizations are skyrocketing. They’re going to continue to skyrocket for a good bit of time.”
Officials urged the public to get vaccinated and to wear masks indoors and in congregate settings, regardless of their vaccination status.
As of Wednesday, 922 people have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Eleven of those, about 1%, were fully vaccinated.
Almost 95% of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Nueces County were not vaccinated.
The state agreed to send 200 nurses to help ease the burden on hospitals in the region; between 50 and 80 would go to Nueces County, amounting to a fraction of the 550 workers needed, County Judge Barbara Canales said Monday.
But on Wednesday, she said, there was a silver lining: The state will send 80 additional nurses.
Vicky Camarillo covers Nueces County and statewide issues. See our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe.