85 babies in Texas test positive for COVID-19 as the state struggles to contain the virus
The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the U.S. and despite the previous belief that children were largely spared from the virus, a number of sobering statistics have come to light to challenge that assumption. After Florida reported that a third of children being tested for coronavirus receive a positive test, one county in Texas has just announced that 85 infants under the age of one have tested positive for the virus.
In Texas, which has become a COVID-19 hotspot state, Nueces County is seeing an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases that Texas Tribune is calling it one of the “fastest-growing outbreaks in the state.” In Texas’ Nueces County, where the beachfront Corpus Christi is located, Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Nueces Count just announced (via CNN) that 85 babies under age one have tested positive for the virus.
“These babies have not even had their first birthday yet. Please help us stop the spread of this disease,” Rodriguez stated.
Nueces County Medical Examiner Adel Shaker shared with the Texas Tribune last week that an infant less than six months old tested positive for COVID-19 and died shortly after. “It’s not anything that anyone can be prepared to face, even with the best plan,” Shaker said at the time.
Very little is known about these children, why so many were tested or if they were exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, but the reaction is all the same…more calls from local officials urging citizens to wear masks and practice social distancing. “This is a pandemic that could affect any one of them at any time,” Rodriguez said.
Currently, Texas is trailing Florida and California for most COVID-19 cases as the state struggles to contain the virus. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has finally issued a statewide mask mandate and closed down previously open establishments like bars, but the White House Coronavirus Task Force designated almost half of Texas’ 254 counties as “red zones” — an area where at least 10% of COVID-19 tests are positive — and Texas hospitals are quickly filling to capacity and running out of ICU beds.
Roberta Schwartz, executive vice president at Houston Methodist tells Vox that “every day, or every other day, we’re turning another unit of this hospital into COVID units. It’s slowly starving out the other services that we offer.”
State representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquin Castro sent a letter to Governor Abbot, urging him to allow counties and cities to reinstate stay-at-home orders if needed.
“Texas is now not where it should be relating to fighting Covid-19. Therefore, your office should take immediate action to rewind the efforts to reopen the state quickly; which came about by ignoring CDC guidelines,” the letter stated (via CNN). “We need to provide local authority to local counties and cities to do what is in the best interest of their communities.”