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RGV Blog: Cameron County Reaches 25 COVID-19 Related Deaths

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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...

Tuesday, May 12

9 p.m. – Two deaths and 17 new cases announced in Cameron County 

Cameron County Public Health confirmed Tuesday that two previously reported cases – an 86-year-old female and an 80-year-old female – have died while receiving treatment for the novel coronavirus in area hospitals. There are now 25 COVID-19 related deaths in Cameron County. 

 
Fourteen recoveries and 17 new cases were also announced on Tuesday. The youngest cases reported include a 4-year-old female from San Benito and a 6-year-old female from Harlingen. The oldest case of the group is an 81-year-old male from Harlingen.
 

Fifteen of the new reports are linked to previous cases. There was one case of community transmission in a 57-year-old male from Brownsville and a travel-related case in a 30-year-old female from San Benito. 

 
According to county data, 297 of the 544 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cameron County have recovered.

 
8 p.m. – Nine more positive tests reported in Hidalgo County 

Over 400 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Hidalgo County, according to officials. On Tuesday, nine new individuals were reported as positive for the disease, bringing the total count to 403. 

The new reports include residents of Mercedes, Hidalgo, Edinburg, McAllen and Pharr. Six of the nine new reports are in their 20s.

Ten more people were "released from isolation" on Tuesday, taking the total number of recovered cases to 233. There are currently 162 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, including 16 patients receiving care in hospitals with three in intensive care.

3 p.m. – Hidalgo County announces plans to expand testing for residents

More drive-thru COVID-19 testing centers will be available soon in Hidalgo County, officials announced via press release on Tuesday. 

Chief Ricardo Saldaña, head of Hidalgo County’s Emergency Management Division, said the next opportunity for testing is on Wednesday, May 13 in Hargill. Saldaña and other county officials working with state agencies to set up more testing sites in the coming weeks. 
 

Mobile Test Collection sites confirmed this week include: 

  • Wednesday, May 13: Hargill Elementary at 13394 4th St. (4th & Wilson) in Hargill 
  • Thursday, May 14: Monte Alto ISD at 25149 1st street in Monte Alto 
  • Thursday, May 14: Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School at 39200 Mile 7 Road (Pueblo de Palmas) in Mission

While the process is free of charge, those seeking tests must register for an appointment at a specific location. Registration opens "24 hours before the test date" online at txcovidtest.org or over the phone at 512-883-2400.

12 p.m. – 949 confirmed cases, 32 deaths connected to COVID-19 in the Valley

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

  • 394 cases, 8 deaths in Hidalgo County
  • 527 cases, 23 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