SAN ANGELO, Texas — With COVID-19 cases on the rise in San Angelo and the state of Texas, San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter held a press conference on Friday afternoon to give an update on the state of COVID-19 in the community.
"The pandemic has not gone away. If you take a look at the 40-49 age category last week, there was an 87% increase in the number of positive cases. 87%," Mayor Gunter said.
According to the Mayor and local health authority Dr. James Vretis, the number of positive cases has increased in every age group in the Concho Valley this past couple of weeks. Currently, the positivity rate is 13.7%.
"The governor has said, any rate above 15% is a cause for concern. Well, we're on that line. We're really close," Mayor Gunter warned.
According to the city's health department, 38 citizens have been hospitalized this week because of COVID-19. Three weeks ago, that number was 13.
"In a three-week period, it went from 13 to 30 to 38," Gunter said.
Per Governor Abbott's ruling, if the positivity rate reaches 15% or more, Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd will be in charge of deciding how local officials respond; whether that be decreasing occupancies, closing down bars, etc.
"I don't want people fearful of living. I want them aware of what's happening in this city. I want them aware of what's happening in our hospitals," Mayor Gunter said.
Neither Mayor Gunter nor Dr. Vretis could provide a clear answer on what they would do if San Angelo's numbers continue to rise and possibly reach a 15% positivity rate.