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7 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nueces County

No cars were lined up for testing Monday afternoon, March 23, at the Nueces County drive-through test site in Corpus Christi. A state-authorized laboratory began processing samples taken from patients Monday. Nueces County now has seven confirmed cases. Staff photo

A COVID-19 test processing laboratory opened in Nueces County on March 23, testing 20 samples. Of those, six were positive for the novel coronavirus. All six were travel-related with patients having gone to Costa Rica, Ireland, Spain, New Orleans, and Houston. One was not a resident of the county, announced health officials.

The total number of cases is now seven, including a Houston travel-related case announced by officials Saturday, March 21.

“We are improving our process for getting testing completed,” Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni told reporters. “We finally got authorization to test locally and are testing more persons more quickly.”

County Judge Barbara Canales is expected to announce a shelter-in-place order Tuesday, March 24, that will go into effect Wednesday, March 25. Zanoni was asked what that shelter-in-place would look like.

“If you don’t have business to do, stay at home,” he said. “There will be numerous exceptions. For example, if you have to get out for health care purposes, jobs, to get food and medical supplies.”

The city has been enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order, which was issued last week, especially on the beaches. The executive order limits gatherings to 10 or fewer people and states that people should stay at least 6 feet apart.

“We need to be cautious and listen to what health care professionals are telling us,” Zanoni said. “We need to reduce travel outside of home and city and practice social distancing. Those are the messages we want to get out to people.”

Symptoms of the illness include headache, a fever over 100 degrees, and a dry cough. (For information on how to tell the difference between a cold, the flu, allergies, and COVID-19, click here.)

If you think you might have COVID-19, call the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District at 361-826-7200, and a representative will give you instructions. Drive-through testing is done by appointment only.

For more information on the disease and other news about how the pandemic is affecting the Coastal Bend, check out Corpus Christi Business News’ COVID-19 Resource Guide Page.

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