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Coronavirus Update | Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Victoria County Public Health Department continues to monitor a novel (new) coronavirus that was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory disease. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID‑19”). Chinese health officials have reported tens of thousands of cases of COVID-19 in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in parts of that country. This virus should not be confused with other common human coronaviruses known to cause illness.

COVID-19 illnesses, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States with some person-to-person spread of this virus taking place outside of China. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020. Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria County.

The Victoria County Public Health Department (VCPHD) is working closely with the Texas Department of State and Health Services, local health and medical partners, and our emergency management and first responder community in monitoring and planning for the developing outbreak. The Victoria County Public Health Department will promptly report any confirmed cases in our jurisdiction.

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person: · Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). · Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. · These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. VCPHD recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. · Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. · Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. · Staying at home when you are sick. · Covering your cough or sneeze and disposing of used tissues in the trash immediately. · Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaners that are effective against human coronavirus or influenza.

Our greatest asset to slow the spread of COVID-19 are the members of our community. The public has the power to limit the spread of this and many other diseases by following these recommendations and teaching them in their homes and workplaces.

For additional and up-to-date information please refer to:

The Victoria County Public Health Department Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/victoriacountypublichealth/

Texas Department of State Health Services: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019‐ ncov/about/index.html

Update #4 Friday, September 14,2018  11:30 A.M.

The rain bands from the tropical disturbance (Invest 95L) have been moving on shore this morning. While this weather system is not forecast to develop any further, it will bring a rainy weekend to Victoria.

Rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches are possible in the Victoria area with isolated totals of 8” through the weekend with multiple rounds of heavy showers. The weather should start clearing on Sunday. Forecasters anticipate the possibility of heavy rain around the commute home so motorists are urged to use caution and slow down.

No damaging winds are in the forecast for the Victoria area with maximum wind gusts estimated at 30mph.

Coastal tides are running two feet higher than normal.

Victoria County is under a flash flood watch, so ranchers and farmers should move livestock and farm equipment away from streams and rivers. At this time, there are no indications that the Guadalupe River at Victoria will enter flood stage, although a rise in levels is forecast for next week.

Victoria emergency officials continue to monitor this tropical system, but this is the last update to Invest 95L, unless the forecast changes significantly.

Update #3 Thursday, September 13, 2018 5:00 P.M.

No significant changes in this latest update from the National Weather Service on the tropical system (Invest 95L) moving toward the Texas Coast.

Up to five inches of rain are possible in the Victoria area through the weekend with multiple rounds of heavy showers. The weather should start clearing on Sunday.

No damaging winds are in the forecast for the Victoria area with maximum wind gusts estimated at 30mph.

Coastal tides are running two feet higher than normal. There is a chance of water spouts and tornadoes.

Victoria County is under a flash flood watch, so ranchers and farmers should move livestock and farm equipment away from streams and rivers.

Victoria emergency officials continue to monitor this tropical system and maintain a high degree of readiness in case the forecast changes.

 

Update #2 Thursday, September 13, 2018 12:00 P.M.

NEWS RELEASE FROM: The Victoria Office of Emergency Management

The latest update from the National Weather Service is reporting that the tropical system (Invest 95L) moving toward the Texas Coast continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms, which will result in lots of rain for the Victoria area through the weekend. Up to five inches of rain are possible with coastal tides running two feet higher than normal.

While the system could develop into a tropical depression before it reaches the Texas coast, it is unlikely for the system to develop much strength before it makes landfall over South Texas. No damaging winds are in the forecast for the Victoria area with maximum wind gusts estimated at 30mph.

Flash flooding is a possibility in the Victoria area, so ranchers and farmers should move livestock and farm equipment away from streams and rivers.

Victoria emergency officials continue to monitor this tropical system and maintain a high degree of readiness in case the forecast changes.

 

Update #1 Wednesday, September 12 4:04 P.M.

The latest update from the National Weather Service about the tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico continues to forecast heavy rains for the Victoria area beginning on Thursday and continuing through the weekend. Rains between 3-4 inches are forecast for the Victoria area with elevated tides for coastal communities at 1 – 2 feet higher than normal.

The NWS reports there is a chance that this tropical disturbance could strengthen into a tropical depression that would impact the area from Corpus Christi southward with higher rainfall totals. However, the NWS said their confidence level in the forecast for Victoria increased, that the main impact from this system for the Victoria region will be heavy rains and higher tides along coastal communities.

Victoria emergency officials continue to monitor this tropical system and maintain a high degree of readiness in case the forecast changes.

The next update on this tropical disturbance will be at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, unless the forecast changes significantly for the Victoria region.