(NY DAILY NEWS) – Eighty-five infants from one South Texas county have all tested positive for coronavirus as the Lone Star State quickly morphs into one of the country’s epicenters.
The babies, all under 1-year-old, are from Nueces County, which houses Corpus Christi, about 145 miles southeast from San Antonio, Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Neuces County, told CNN Health Saturday.
The county’s spike this month follows a trend of declining cases and led local officials like Rodriguez to urge people to wear their masks and practice social distancing to reduce the spread.
“These babies have not even had their first birthday yet,” said Rodriguez. “Please help us stop the spread of this disease.”
Rodriguez didn’t offer additional details on the infants’ conditions.
Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni noted the county has the “fastest growth in new cases on the seven-day average” of all Texas’ metropolitan counties.
Local officials say that around 8,100 people in the city have been diagnosed with the potentially lethal virus, which has been linked to 82 deaths, the outlet reports.
State representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquin Castro penned a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbot urging him to “rewind the efforts to reopen the state quickly; which came about by ignoring CDC guidelines.
“We need to provide local authority to local counties and cities to do what is in the best interest of their communities,” the representatives said.
In Cameron and Hidalgo counties, health officials are amassing refrigerated trucks for body storage because morgues won’t have enough room.
As of Saturday afternoon, more than 317,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 4,000 related fatalities had been reported in the state, according to Texas Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 case dashboard.