Victoria public health officials preach caution as county, state reopen

VICTORIA, Texas — At Friday’s COVID-19 press briefing, Victoria public health officials advised county residents to remain diligent in social distancing and wearing facial coverings as the Texas economy officially begins the first phase of its gradual recovery.

At the briefing, Victoria Public Health Authority Dr. John McNeill cautioned local businesses to adhere to the Governor’s rules regarding a 25% capacity limit, while also warning Victoria residents a second wave of the novel coronavirus could come as early as August or September.

“One of the things that we’re concerned about is that this second wave will probably occur,” said Dr. McNeill. “They (infectious disease experts) think it will be in August or September, that will correlate typically with the time that we start to worry about influenza.”

McNeill added that it was incumbent on citizens at a local level to do their part to try and mitigate the spread of a possible second wave.

“That just means that we have to continue to be vigilant, we have to be very careful,” Dr. McNeill said. “In a way, we’re going to have to get our feet wet a little bit to see how this is going to work out.”

Victoria OEM also announced at the briefing that starting next week, briefings will take place twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, in an effort to further relieve local leaders. Daily updates will still be provided to the public on the city’s Office of Emergency Management website and Facebook page.

County officials reported one new case of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing Victoria County’s total number to 140. Of those 140 cases, 34 cases are suspected from community transmission, 82 cases are considered recovered, and 53 remain active. The county reported one new COVID-19 related death on Friday, a woman in her 60s.

Public Health Director David Gonzalez added that the county has conducted 1520 tests as of Friday’s briefing, 260 of those in the past week.