Corpus Christi, Nueces County marks a year of fighting COVID

Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo and the town’s firefighters during an on-camera interview for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. The city’s Save Our Seniors program, which the state is now using as a model for immunization against seniors in the home country, was recognized nationwide in the network in early March. Courtesy photo

Corpus Christi and Nueces Counties have become state and national examples of how to do it right when fighting COVID-19. The mayor and district judge covered last year’s struggles, noted milestones reached in the present, and looked forward to a virus-rich future at a press conference at City Hall on Thursday, March 18 – one year to the first day introduction to the topic.

“March 2021 turned the history of our city on the pandemic,” said Mayor Paulette Guajardo.

She and Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales made important achievements that month, including a visit from Governor Greg Abbott to announce one Nationwide program to vaccinate seniors in their home country based on the local Save Our Seniors program. That brought NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to the bend in the coast to give the program national recognition as well.

“We hope that by sharing our story nationwide, more cities will be inspired to adopt our model of vaccinating seniors across the country and around the world,” said Guajardo.

For Save our Seniors, firefighters work with the Meals on Wheels program to identify seniors in the home country and vaccinate them in their homes. Abbott hired the Texas National Guard to do the same nationwide.

The city and county have also opened a variety of clinics to expand access to the vaccines to multiple populations. A vaccine hotline is available at 361-561-0151 to assist with registration questions and concerns.

“We’re now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for vaccine scheduling,” Guajardo explained of how the registration process works. “During the online registration you will receive a QR code that you need to receive the recording. You will be informed of your appointment by text or landline. ”

Online registration is at cctexas.com/vaccineregistration.

Canales had her own good news to share.

“Within a week, FEMA will give us $ 2.45 million upfront costs for vaccine distribution,” she said. “For the first time we will receive pre-financing.”

In 2020, the county had to prepay the cost of running its COVID-19 program and wait for reimbursement from two different federal programs. Now FEMA pays in advance.

“We are delighted to have received this advance funding,” said Canales. “We had to request this, we had to be proactive, and they heard us. Our fiscal health is just as important as our physical health. ”

She also pointed out the many opportunities that the city and the district have provided for vaccinations.

“You can get a vaccine in so many ways: mass clinics, mini-clinics, and stand-alone programs,” Canales said, adding that she looks forward to vaccines becoming available to everyone.

“Now is the time for someone at the state level to listen,” she said. “It is now time to open it up to everyone.”

She also stressed the importance of continuing to wash hands, wear face covering, and keep physical distance.

“We should honor all the souls we have lost by remaining safe,” she said. “There are so many little things we can do every day. We have fought for over a year now. Please keep fighting. “

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