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RGV COVID-19 Live Blog: Texas' Public Health Region 11 Completes Testing In Nursing Homes

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.

Here's what we know...

Friday, June 5

9 p.m. – 22 new cases, 14 recoveries in Cameron County

Cameron County Public Health confirmed 22 new cases and 14 recoveries on Friday. This takes the total number of cases up to 863 known cases, 615 of which have now recovered.

Single cases were reported in Rio Hondo and San Benito on Friday. Half of the new cases are from Brownsville. Nine are from Harlingen, including the youngest – a case of community transmission in a 1-year-old girl – and the oldest in the group: a 90-year-old female who is likely a resident of the Veranda Nursing Home. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services Public Health Region 11 confirmed on a press call Friday morning that nursing homes in the region have completed testing residents and staff for COVID-19, fulfilling a state mandate from Governor Greg Abbott.

In Cameron County, positive cases from nursing home clusters account for about 25 percent of known infections and nearly 70 percent of the county's deaths related to COVID-19.

7 p.m. – Twelfth death, 22 additional cases confirmed in Hidalgo County 

A 60-year-old man from Alamo is the latest death in Hidalgo County, officials confirmed on Friday. He is the twelfth person to die in the county after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Twenty-two more cases were announced on Friday, including a second Hidalgo County employee who is now in isolation. The county's purchasing department, where the unidentified employee works, is being sanitized.

12 p.m. – Newest case in Willacy County

A woman in her 50s who is linked to a previous case is the latest to test positive for COVID-19 in Willacy County, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Friday. 

There are now 22 known cases of COVID-19 in Willacy County, according to The Monitor.

10 a.m. – Texas Department of State Health Services press call

Officials from the Texas Department of State Health Services announced on a press call Friday morning that Public Health Region 11, which oversees the Rio Grande Valley, has now completed Governor Abbott's mandate to test all nursing home residents and staff. 

Also in regards to testing, officials say that the turnaround time for COVID-19 screenings and results has been shortened in the last week due to support from state agencies and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Regional Health Director Emilie Prot noted that two Valley-area counties are ranked in the state's top 15 counties for new COVID-19 cases and fatalities, with Hidalgo County at No. 13 and Cameron County at No. 15. The rankings are based on data gathered earlier this week on Wednesday, June 3. 


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