RGV COVID-19 Live Blog: Hidalgo County Confirms 9 New Cases, Announces Plans For Federal Funds | Texas Public Radio

RGV COVID-19 Live Blog: Hidalgo County Confirms 9 New Cases, Announces Plans For Federal Funds

May 19, 2020

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.

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Here's what we know...

Tuesday, May 19

8:30 p.m. –  30 COVID-19 related deaths in Cameron County 

Cameron County Public Health confirmed Tuesday that a 76-year-old male resident of the Windsor Atrium care facility is the county's thirtieth fatality connected to a positive case of COVID-19. 

 Windsor Atrium is linked to positive cases in 38 employees and 60 residents, which resulted in 14 deaths including Tuesday's report. Case clusters in this facility and two other area nursing homes total to over 200 positive cases, accounting for 31 percent of reported infections in Cameron County.

There are now 649 reported positive cases in-county, 410 of which have recovered according to county officials.

Fourteen new cases were also announced on Tuesday, including residents from Brownsville, Harlingen and Los Fresnos.

7:30 p.m. – 457 confirmed cases in Hidalgo County 

Hidalgo County confirmed nine additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases up to 457. 

Tuesday's new reports are all young cases: two men in their 30s from Weslaco, four people  in their 20s, and the remaining three individuals are below the age of 20. 

There are currently 190 active cases and 257 recoveries in the county, with 14 patients in area hospitals receiving treatment including three in intensive care.

5 p.m. – Hidalgo County Commissioners Court votes to reimburse municipalities with federal funds

About $63 million of the $151 million allocated to Hidalgo County by the federal CARES Act will go towards reimbursing the county's 22 municipalities. 

In a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, Hidalgo County Commissioners Court approved the reimbursement process, which requires municipalities to submit budget proposals that qualify under federal guidelines.

Municipalities with populations greater than 30,000 may receive a reimbursement of $110 per capita and those with less can access $80 per capita. 

“We trust that the cities will do the right thing and use some of these monies as grants for small businesses as we would have done – and as we intend to do in rural parts of the county and small cities,"Judge Richard F. Cortez said in a statement.

The remainder of the funds, according to Cortez, will go towards mitigation and preparedness efforts related to COVID-19, including the possibility of a local testing lab, forensic center and acquiring additional PPE.

 

12 p.m. – 1,119 confirmed cases, 40 deaths connected to COVID-19 in the Valley

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

  • 448 cases, 10 deaths in Hidalgo County
  • 635 cases, 29 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