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RGV COVID-19 Live Blog: A Dozen New Cases Reported In Rio Grande Valley

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 NPRstations 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.

Thursday, May 21

Here's what we know...

8 p.m. – Five new cases reported in Hidalgo County

There are now 472 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hidalgo County after five more individuals tested positive, officials shared on Thursday. The new reports include: 

  • A female in her 60s from Edinburg
  • A female in her 40s from McAllen
  • A female in her 20s from Pharr
  • A female in her 60s from McAllen 
  • A female in her 50s from Alton

Hidalgo County has tested over 8,000 residents for COVID-19, resulting in 6,914 negative cases. About 600 tests are still pending as testing sites increase in availability this week.

There are 187 active cases and 275 recoveries as of Thursday, according to county data. There are currently a dozen patients in area hospitals receiving treatment, including three in intensive care.

7:30 p.m. – Cameron County confirms seven new cases of COVID-19, 20 released from isolation

Cameron County Public Health released a statement on Thursday confirming seven additional cases of COVID-19 and 20 new recoveries from previously reported cases. 

The new positive cases included residents of Brownsville, Harlingen, Los Fresnos and La Feria. The youngest is a case of community transmission in a 17-year-old male from Harlingen. The oldest case of the group is 71-year-old female from Brownsville linked to a previous case. 

According to county data, 438 individuals released from isolation out of the 671 reported cases in Cameron County.

4 p.m. – Free Wi-Fi in UT Rio Grande Valley campuses

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley announced Thursday that campuses will have wi-fi connectivity available for students and staff throughout the summer semester.

The university, which has decided to continue with classes online, is encouraging students to practice social distancing and use the wi-fi from campus parking lots if a reliable signal is not available at home. This includes select parking lots on their Brownsville and Edinburg locations. 

For more information and resources, click here.

12 p.m. – 1,167 confirmed cases, 43 deaths connected to COVID-19 in the Valley

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

  • 467 cases, 10 deaths in Hidalgo County
  • 664 cases, 32 deaths in Cameron County
  • 14 cases, 1 death in Willacy County
  • 22 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


Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.
Reynaldo Leaños Jr. can be reached at reynaldo@tpr.org and on Twitter at @ReynaldoLeanos