NUECES COUNTY, TX — Eighty-five infants in one Texas county have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, according to multiple reports. The statistic reveals a startling development amid a recent surge of cases in the Lone Star state.
Annette Rodriguez, public health director for Nueces County, said at a meeting Friday the statistic was discovered during a review of the county’s coronavirus data.
“These babies have not even had their first birthdays yet,” Rodriguez said. “Please help us to stop the spread of this disease. Stay social distanced from others; stay protected. Wear a mask when in public and for everyone else, please do your best to stay home.”
Nueces County is home to Corpus Christi. The beachfront location has become one of the virus epicenters in the state, adding well over 2,000 new cases for each of the past two weeks, the Texas Tribune reported.
Last week, a Nueces County medical examiner Adel Shaker confirmed that a baby boy, less than 6 months old, had tested positive for COVID-19 and died.
Texas is one of several U.S. states that are currently experiencing alarming spikes in coronavirus cases and death rates.
The state reported 174 new deaths, the most in one day since the coronavirus outbreak began. For the fourth consecutive dat, it also reported more than 10,000 confirmed new cases Friday.
The rate of positive cases also climbed above 17 percent for the first time, according to The Associated Press.
The grim markers were announced hours after Texas gave public schools permission to keep campuses closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall. Nearly a third of the more than 3,700 coronavirus deaths in Texas have come in July.
In Houston, Dr. Alison Haddock of the Baylor College of Medicine told AP the current situation is worse than after Hurricane Harvey, which swamped the city with floodwaters in 2017.
“I’ve never seen anything like this COVID surge,” said Haddock, who has worked in emergency rooms since 2007. “We’re doing our best, but we’re not an ICU.”