Third COVID-19 related death reported in Victoria County

VICTORIA, Texas — Victoria County Public Health Authority Dr. John McNeill reported the county’s third COVID-19 related death at Monday’s briefing, bringing the Victoria County death toll to three. The patient was a male in his 60s that had been previously been hospitalized in Victoria.

The county also reported six new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, bringing Victoria County’s total to 127. McNeill said that 77 of those patients are considered fully recovered, with 47 remaining active and 12 patients hospitalized.

In a rare show of personal opinion, Dr. McNeill sought to clarify public misperceptions about COVID-19 and its relation, or lack thereof, to the seasonal flu. Dr. McNeill stressed at Monday’s press briefing that far less is known about the novel coronavirus, but that it’s unquestionably more contagious and lethal than the common, seasonal flu.

“Trust me, COVID (virus) is not the flu. It’s not the flu, folks,” McNeill said.

“The average person with the flu will give it to about 1 to 1.3 patients,” Dr. McNeill continued. “The average person with coronavirus will give it to anywhere from 2.3 to 2.5 to an even higher number of people. So that right there is exponential growth.”

Victoria OEM personnel also provided an update at the briefing regarding last week’s outbreak at PAM Southeast. As of Monday, that outbreak has left 14 individuals infected, 10 of them Victoria County residents.

In following this week’s directive of Governor Greg Abbott, certain Victoria businesses will be eligible to reopen beginning on Friday, provided they stay at 25% capacity or less. Those businesses eligible to reopen under Phase One of the Governor’s plan include retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls.