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RGV COVID-19 Live Blog: 2 New Nursing Home Deaths Reported In Harlingen


This Post is Archived: Find the newest information on COVID-19 at the links below.

Texas Public Radio is updating information on COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley here. You can find the latest news from TPR in San Antonio here. Other NPR stations that are part of The Texas Newsroom are also live-blogging, including Houston Public MediaKERA in Dallas and KUT in Austin

The statewide coronavirus hotline is 2-1-1. CDC guidelines on what you need to know and what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 can be found here in English and Spanish, and embedded at the end of this live blog.
TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.

Here's what we know...

Thursday, April 23

9 p.m. – 23 people released from isolation in Hidalgo County, 9 more test positive 

Hidalgo County confirmed nine new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 290.

Six out of the nine new reports are in their 20s or younger, including a male infant from Mission and two male cases from Mercedes between the ages of 5 and 20.

County Judge Richard F. Cortez said 23 people were also released from isolation on Thursday, after being symptom-free for 10 days and having no fever for the past three days. 

According to county data, the gap between recovered and active cases is narrowing with a margin of 45  individuals. As of Thursday, 119 people have been "released," 167 are active cases and 4 county residents have died.

Of the active cases, 22 are in area hospitals and five patients are in intensive care.

8:30 p.m. Cameron County confirms 2 fatalities, 11 new cases 

Two residents of the Veranda Nursing Home who tested positive for COVID-19 died Thursday, according to Cameron County Public Health. 

The 81-year-old female and 92-year-old male are the fifth and sixth deaths reported this week in connection with the Veranda Nursing Home. There are nine deaths associated with the facility to date, four reported from another area nursing home, and 14 deaths in total for Cameron County.

Harlingen's nursing home case clusters account for almost 40 percent of Cameron County's cases. The Veranda Nursing Home has 27 employees and 56 residents who tested positive, and the Windsor Atrium facility saw 30 employees and 24 residents test positive as well.

Eleven additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Thursday, taking the total number of positive cases up to 344 for Cameron County.  Thursday's new reports were residents of Brownsville, Harlingen and San Benito. Eight out of 11 were linked to existing coronavirus cases and three were determined to be a result of community transmission.

5 p.m. – Hidalgo County shares information on community assistance programs for COVID-19 relief

After announcing $6 million in incoming federals funds from the CARES Act this week, Hidalgo County is sharing information on how to apply for community assistance. 

Households impacted by COVID-19 can get help paying an electric bill for one month by applying for utility assistance. The county also provides services on other emergency needs including: 

  • Rent assistance
  • Vehicle repair
  • Utility assistance/water
  • Utility allowance for sewer or trash collection
  • Medical supplies and medication
  • Internet assistance
  • Health insurance
  • Mortgage assistance
  • Gas cards
  • Grocery cards or emergency food

More information and applications can be found at HidalgoCSA.org

Community Helpline Numbers

Statewide COVID-19 Resources

  • 2-1-1 (option 6)

Cameron County

  • 956-247-3650 (24/7) 

Hidalgo County

  • 956-292-7765 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Willacy and Starr Counties

  • 956-421-5505
CDC Guidelines in English and Spanish