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RGV COVID-19 Live Blog: One Death, 20 New Cases Reported In Rio Grande Valley

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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...

Monday, May 11

8 p.m. – Hidalgo County confirms five new cases

Five people in Hidalgo County tested positive for COVID-19 according to officials on Monday. The new reports include: 

  • Female in her 20s from McAllen
  • Female in her 50s from Pharr
  • Female in her 30s from Alton
  • Male in his 30s from Pharr
  • Male in his 30s from Edinburg

On Monday, the county officially crossed the 6,000-mark for the number of COVID-19 tests admininstered. Given the 394 positive tests confirmed so far, Hidalgo County's positive rate of infection is at 6.3 percent according to county data. This is below the recommended rate of 10 percent issued by the World Health Organization.  
“Hidalgo County is preparing to ramp up testing over the next few weeks so the number of positive cases is expected to increase,” Judge Richard F. Cortez said in a statement. “If we maintain a positive rate this low, however, that will be encouraging.”

7 p.m. – Cameron County reports one death and 15 new cases

Cameron County Public Health confirmed the death of a 78-year-old man on Monday. He previously tested positive for COVID-19 and was resident of the Windsor Atrium nursing home, which has seen 10 deaths and positive cases in 32 employees and 57 residents including three new reports on Monday. 

Fifteen additional cases were also reported on Monday: five from Brownsville, nine from Harlingen, plus a 68-year-old male from San Benito.

The youngest case reported is an 13-year-old male from Brownsville and the oldest of the group is a 100-year-old female from Harlingen. 

Twenty of the 23 reported deaths in the county are directly linked to case clusters in area nursing homes. Cameron County leads the Valley in the number of deaths and confirmed cases, crossing the mark for 500 positive cases three days ago on May 9.

5 p.m. 15 days of free COVID-19 testing in May for Cameron County

Eighteen COVID-19 testing sites will be available in Cameron County between May 16 and May 31 free of cost. 

The Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Health and Human Services and the Texas Military Department are jointly organizing the operation in collaboration with the county. 

Testing sites are scheduled in La Feria, Brownsville, South Padre Island, Rio Hondo, San Benito, Port Isabel, Combes, Los Fresnos, Santa Rosa, and Harlingen. 

Tests are administered by appointment only between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at specified locations and limited to one test per household. To register, individuals must register online or by calling (512) 883-2400 "no more than 24 hours in advance of the desired testing date."

Visit txcovidtest.org for dates, locations and online registration.

3 p.m. Food Bank RGV mass distribution scheduled for Tuesday, May 12

In lieu of a weekly emergency pantry for the general public at their headquarters in Pharr, Food Bank RGV will be hosting a Valley-wide mass drive-thru distribution on Tuesday, May 12. 

The one-day event is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. or until capacity is reached at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg.

The distribution is open to the public regardless of residence but a picture ID, proof of address and use of facial coverings is required. Car trunks are advised to be empty and each vehicle is limited to a maximum of two families.

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Food Bank RGV will continue their regular distribution for senior citizens ages 60 and older on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or until capacity is reached. 

12 p.m. 929 confirmed cases, 31 deaths connected to COVID-19 in the Valley

As of Monday morning, the four Valley-area counties have reported the following counts: 

  • 389 cases, 8 deaths in Hidalgo County
  • 512 cases, 22 deaths in Cameron County
  • 14 cases, 1 death in Willacy County
  • 14 cases in Starr County

Data visualizations are maintained and published by journalist Ronnie Garza on the website https://www.rgvcovid19info.com. Hover over the graph to view updated values.

| Find previous COVID-19 blogs here |

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