Nueces County health official says 85 infants have tested positive for COVID-19

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NUECES COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Nueces County health official announced that 85 infants have tested positive for the coronavirus in that county, as of Friday.

The number is cumulative of all babies under one who have tested positive since the county began testing in mid-March.

As of Saturday, Nueces County has received 8,171 positive test results overall for COVID-19, according to Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales.

“For context, the spokesperson was using that statistic to illustrate that no one is naturally immune to this virus,” Judge Canales said. “While the elderly and those with existing medical conditions are at greater risk of illness and death, anyone can get the virus, from the elderly to infants, and without regard to race, gender, or economic status. The number was used to illustrate this point.

“However, without this context, stating this number during our press conference led many to believe that we had a sudden surge in infants under the age of one testing positive. We have NOT had a sudden surge of 85 infants testing positive.”

Canales says Nueces County has been aggressive in testing immediate family members of anyone who’s tested positive for the virus, and that may account for a higher degree of testing and positive results among infants. 

Nueces County Medical Examiner Adel Shaker told NBC News that a six-year-old boy who died last week tested positive for the virus.

According to Canales, the boy was taken a hospital with unrelated symptoms, but tested positive for COVID-19. He later died at home. An autopsy is being performed to determine whether the virus caused his death.

Earlier in the week, Canales enacted a temporary beach curfew and placed restrictions on beaches and parks in Corpus Christi, due to the rapid spread of the virus.

Corpus Christi’s city manager, Peter Zanoni, told CNN that as of Friday, Nueces County had the fastest growth in new cases in a seven-day average of any other metropolitan county in the state.

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