Victoria OEM addresses uptick in local COVID-19 cases

VICTORIA, Texas — On Friday, Victoria Office of Emergency Management personnel held their first COVID-19 press briefing since May 7th following a recent surge of coronavirus cases in Victoria County.

The county reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday — the highest single-day spike since the local economy was reopened — to bring the county’s active case total to 39. For reference, Victoria County reported just 15 active cases on June 2nd, and the total has risen by 20 in the last week alone.

“Fearfulness is certainly not helpful, but we can’t let common sense precautions go to the wayside,” said County Judge Ben Zeller at the briefing. “We still need to take appropriate precautions, and those precautions are the common sense things we were talking about daily a couple months ago.”

Those present at the briefing included Zeller, Mayor Rawley McCoy, Public Health Authority Dr. John McNeill, and public health director David Gonzales.

“This disease is still out there, it’s still very contagious, and it’s coming back,” said Dr. McNeill. “And the numbers have increased.”

Local officials are continuing to stress practicing safe social distancing, wearing a mask when in public, and washing or sanitizing hands regularly. They added that despite the recent uptick in cases, no restrictive measures were planned for the county at the time of the briefing.

“I can tell you the numbers that we have now, I think are lower than they’re going to be,” added McNeill. “In other words, they’re going to increase.”

Victoria County reported three new active cases of the virus on Friday. The county has reported eight COVID-19 related deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic.