Eighty-five infants under the age of 1 in a Texas county tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are pleading for help to stop the spread.
“These babies have not even had their first birthday yet,” Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District, told CNN. “Please help us stop the spread of this disease.”
The infants tested positive for the virus in Nueces County, which has the fastest growth in new cases based on a seven-day average than any other metropolitan county in the state, CNN reported Saturday.
Texas is one of several states — which also includes Florida and South Carolina — that have seen massive spikes in cases after elected officials were lax in preparing to stop the virus’s spread and reopened businesses too soon.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease, has urged state governments to be “as forceful as possible” in getting citizens to wear masks in public, which can help stop the spread. And in a Senate hearing last month, Fauci stressed that going out to bars will only make the spread worse.
“Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news,” Fauci said. “We really got to stop that right now.”
Texas state representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquin Castro sent a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) asking him to reverse his decision to open up businesses so quickly, according to CNN.
The condition of the babies wasn’t released, and health officials aren’t entirely clear about the effects of the virus on children. But a boy younger than 6 months old died from the virus last week in Nueces County, The Texas Tribune reported.
More than 300,000 people have been infected in Texas, and more than 3,800 have died. Those numbers continue to rise dramatically each day, with 4 out of 5 Texans living in a red zone county of high cases, according to the Tribune.
- Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
- 7 essential pieces of relationship advice for couples in quarantine
- What you need to know about face masks right now
- How to tell if you need to start doing online therapy
- Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
- Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
- The HuffPost guide to working from home
- What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
- Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.