Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez made a concerning announcement during Wednesday's COVID-19 news conference that wasn't a surprise for most people.
“Omicron is here in Nueces County," she said. "And we have three confirmed positive cases.”
All three patients who have that new variant of COVID-19 are men — two of them between the ages of 20 and 30 and the third between 60 and 70.
One of them is fully recovered.
The health department still has to follow up with the other two.
Also Wednesday, Nueces County reported 634 new cases of COVID-19, down from Tuesday afternoon's report of 960 positive cases.
The county has also reported one COVID-19 related death, a man in his 70's with comorbidities that included congestive heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and end-stage renal disease. This brings the total death count in the county to 1,314.
The county's total case count is now at 72,980 with 67,875 recovered.
Another note of concern came from Dr. Christopher Bird, a researcher from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi who's been running models on the behavior of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began.
“Hospitalizations are increasing exponentially now," he said. "They’re not just increasing linearly like they had been last week."
Bird says that's especially troubling with hospital capacity down 30% from where it was during the surge of the Delta variant over the summer because of staffing problems.
But he and county and city leaders say precautions like mask-wearing and getting the COVID-19 vaccine are effective in preventing virus transmission.
"Use the tools we have to fight this virus," Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said. "And know that nothing has changed. We’re in this fight still together.”
"You know what to do," Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo said. "Get fully vaccinated. Get your boosters. Make good decisions, and let’s help keep Corpus Christi healthy.
You can watch Wednesday's COVID-19 update in its entirety below.