CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Cases and hospitalizations are on the rise across the country and Nueces County is no exception, according to public health director Annette Rodriguez, the Delta variant could be to blame and it could be in the county.
"We don't have an official document that shows we have Delta in Nueces County," she said. "But it is obvious to us that the Delta variant is circulating in Nueces County."
She said that the department will be sending samples to the state.
"We're actually now allowed to send some of our samples to verify if it's Delta," Rodriguez said.
The younger population between the ages of 20 to 35 are being more affected by the variant, especially those who are not vaccinated.
"We're looking for those individuals that are positive, so we’re starting to send that off to the state," she said. "But still we want to find out if the Delta variant is circulating here in Nueces County."
While there have still been cases of fully vaccinated people getting the virus, the main goal of the vaccine is to prevent people from becoming hospitalized.
Watch the full interview with Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez here:
As COVID-19 is seeing another surge globally. Texas is seeing a similar uptick. Austin Public Health and other officials announced Thursday they are moving the Austin area back to Stage 3 of the COVID-19 risk-based guidelines due to rising cases of COVID-19 and the emergence of the delta variant in Travis County.
KXAN-TV reports that Dr. Desmar Walkes, an Austin-based health authority, said intensive care units are strained due to the increase in cases in the area. The 7-day rolling average for new cases in Austin has tripled from 30 to 90.
“This has to stop,” Walkes said at a news conference, “and we know how to make that happen."
Even though we haven't officially confirmed that the Delta variant is in our area, Rodriguez still encourages individuals who have not been vaccinated to do so, and to wear masks until they are fully vaccinated.
According to the vaccination rates reported between July 4 and July 10, 143,287 of 362,294 Nueces County residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Texas as a whole reports a 48.9 percent total vaccination rate, which is significantly short of the 75 percent to 90 percent that the CDC defines as reaching herd immunity.
Rodriguez says the majority of cases and hospitalizations they see are from younger people, citing a lack of vaccinations.