Corpus Christi officials are urging people in San Antonio and other cities in Texas to stay away from the coastal community as it battles a wave of COVID-19 infections.
“I’m going to do something I never thought I would ever say in my life. I’m going to ask the Texans to give us some distance from the coast,” said Barbara Canales, judge for Nueces County, on Monday.
The county reported four new deaths and 253 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 58 and 6,427, respectively.
Canales noted that people who own homes in the area have the right to be there, but asked day-trippers “to think about coming when we are not in crisis”.
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“I will be addressing Harris County, San Antonio, Bexar County, Dallas, and everyone in between who love getting to the coast,” she said. “I know why – we love it too. Any other normal summer we would greet you with open arms and thank you very much for helping us. But our survival and the health of our hospitals depend on this distance from the coast.
“When the coast is clear, we’ll let you know. We’ll have you come back, spend your money, enjoy all that is wonderful about the beaches of South Texas. But now we have to calm down.”
A federal team of intensive care nurses and respiratory therapists was dispatched to Christ Spohn Shoreline to support the hospital’s response. District officials also requested the state to provide a FEMA mobile morgue (a refrigerated trailer) and body bags.
On Monday, Canales said she was disappointed with videos of gatherings, crowded beaches and weekend pub fights. Pointing to a New York Times story of the Corpus Christi crisis, she said the ward made national headlines for “the wrong reasons.”
Annette Rodriguez, the public health director at Corpus Christi, described the spread of the congregation in the newspaper.
“I know because they said to the contact tracers, ‘Oh, I was on the beach and some San Antonio girls told us they had COVID at the end of the night,'” Rodriguez said. “‘And we shared a bottle.'”
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