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 Media, KERA in Dallas and KUT in Austin.
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Here's what we know...
7 p.m. – Hidalgo County finds six additional cases of COVID-19
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Hidalgo County is now at 136 after six new cases were confirmed by Hidalgo County officials on Wednesday. The new reports include:
- Male in his 20s from Donna
- Female in her 40s from Donna
- Male in his 40s from La Joya
- Female in her 50s from Pharr
- Female in her 60s from Alamo
- Male in his 70s from Mission
Over 5,100 residents have tested negative for the virus with 98 tests still pending as of Wednesday. Out of the 359 positive cases confirmed, 216 have already recovered according to county data. Seven have died in Hidalgo County due to complications from COVID-19.
6:30 p.m. – Cameron County confirms one death and 15 new cases
Cameron County Public Health announced Wednesday that a 74-year-old male resident of the Windsor Atrium nursing home has died while being treated at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen for the novel coronavirus.
The county also reported 15 new cases on Wednesday, including one employee and two residents from the Windsor Atrium facility.
170 positive cases have cropped up in connection to two Harlingen nursing homes, accounting for 18 of the 19 deaths reported so far in Cameron County.
According to county data, about 51 percent (240 out of 469) of those who initially tested positive for COVID-19 have now recovered.
5:30 p.m. – Valley-area virtual town hall streamed by Rio Grande City addresses census and coronavirus response
Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villareal hosted a virtual town hall on Facebook Live Wednesday afternoon.
The two-hour virtual event also included Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Starr County Health Authority Dr. Jose Vazquez, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, and Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen.
2:30 p.m. – Hidalgo County plans to set up local grants to individuals and small businesses
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced the next step in the county's response to COVID-19: a grant program designed to aid eligible individuals and small businesses.
According to Cortez, the Commissioners Court will be asked to begin appopriating funds from the federal government and establish guidelines for grant eligibility starting next week. Relief funds to the community could amount to up to $38 million under federal guidelines.
Judge Cortez addressed the economic plan and provided an update of Hidalgo County's response to coronavirus via livestream on Wednesday.
"To date, we have suceeded in slowing the spread of the virus," he said, noting that "we are into week number eight" of the pandemic but will still need two more weeks to assess the impact of reopening the state.
"This is a call to action for everyone's benefit. Don't let your guard down," he said. "Hidalgo County, it's up to you to continue to act resposibly by avoiding large gatherings, keeping physical separation, covering your face, sanitizing often touched surfaces and avoiding unecessary travel."
12 p.m. – 830 confirmed cases, 26 deaths connected to COVID-19 in the Valley
As of Wednesday morning, the four Valley-area counties have reported the following counts:
- 353 cases, 7 deaths in Hidalgo County
- 454 cases, 18 deaths in Cameron County
- 13 cases, 1 death in Willacy County
- 10 cases in Starr County
Statewide COVID-19 Resources
- 2-1-1 (option 6)
- 956-247-3650 (24/7)
- 956-292-7765 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Willacy and Starr Counties