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COVID-19 Surge Response Team Requested for Corpus Christi

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, a state surge response team might soon be headed to Corpus Christi. State Rep. Todd Hunter and the local legislative delegation requested a response team via email late Wednesday afternoon, July 8. Hunter received an acknowledgement almost immediately from the Department of State Health Services, and “that’s a good thing,” he said.

The response was immediate and proactive, signaling help is on the way and that the Coastal Bend is being assessed for specific needs where ventilators, oxygen, and staffing are concerned.

According to the email, staff are being deployed and the rest is under consideration.

“Problem is, we have to keep the pedal to the metal,” Hunter said. “It could change in one hour.”

With that in mind, he intends to keep up pressure on the state to get more help for the Coastal Bend as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise at alarming rates. On Tuesday, July 7, eight people died within eight hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 27.

“Our numbers are so high, we have to focus attention here,” Hunter said. “I want to make sure (state officials) know how impacted we are and that we need emergency help.”

Surge response teams were set up early in the pandemic by Gov. Greg Abbott to be sent into hot spots to stem the spread of the virus. A surge response team includes personnel, equipment, and supplies. The first were sent into nursing homes and meat packing plants.

The staff is on the way, according to the email; supplies should come next. Hunter will continue monitoring the situation to make sure it happens.

“The reaction was good, it’s constructive,” Hunter said. “It will be adequate when we actually get the supplies here. They are putting it on an emergency timetable, and something should happen soon.”

Nueces County is competing for state resources with other areas also experiencing a spike in cases, which is why Hunter plans to be a squeaky wheel.

“We are a hot spot, there’s no denying that,” he said. “And to get that quick of a response is a good sign, but everybody is drinking out of the same firehose. We have to keep on them.”

He credited the governor’s office for the quick reply and attention to the local delegation’s request.

“I think they are going to help, but that doesn’t mean everything is solved,” he said. “We are going to keep it up.”

To follow the latest news on COVID-19 in Corpus Christi, check the Corpus Christi Business News' COVID-19 Resource Page.

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