RGV reports first COVID-19 death in Willacy County

Willacy County reported a fatality from the coronavirus late Saturday night, the first in the Rio Grande Valley.

The man who died was in his 60s, but officials in Willacy County could not say what his exact age is or where exactly he lived.

He died Saturday.

However, they did say he died in a hospital, but could not confirm what hospital.

Authorities in Willacy County referred questions about the man to the Texas Department of State Health Services, adding that limited information was provided to them by the agency.

“I want the family of the deceased to know that we understand how hard it must have been for y’all to go though what you all have gone though in the last days and weeks,” said County Judge Aurelio Guerra.

He also offered his condolences.

“I want you to know on behalf of the county, the cities and indeed the Rio Grande Valley, our deepest condolences to you and your family and God bless,” he said.

This is the first death from COVID-19 since the virus took hold here in late March.

As of Friday night, there have been 174 positive cases in Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy and Cameron Counties.

“When you get into the little bitty towns, they’ll only tell you we got one in the county undisclosed,” said Frank Torres, emergency management coordinator for the county.

There have been several cases in Hidalgo County where officials have not disclosed the location of the individual because they believe releasing that information would interfere with federal medical privacy laws.

New Cameron County cases

Cameron County Public Health has received confirmation of 15 new COVID-19 cases.

This raises the total number of cases in Cameron County to 77. Of those, 11 individuals have been cleared.

The new cases include:

  • Brownsville: 16-year-old female, community
  • Brownsville: 45-year-old, travel-related
  • Brownsville: 54-year-old male, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 48-year-old, lined to previous case
  • Harlingen: 69-year-old female, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 78-year-old male, link to previous case
  • Harlingen: 81-year-old male, link to previous case
  • Harlingen: 81-year-old female, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 82-year-old female, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 84-year-old male, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 87-year-old male, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 87-year-old female, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 88-year-old male, linked to previous case
  • Harlingen: 54-year-old male, travel-related
  • San Benito: 28-year-old female, linked to previous case.

Cameron County Public Health continues operations as part of the COVID-19 response plan and is conducting the epidemiological investigations to identify others who may have been exposed and test the individuals showing signs and symptoms. Cameron County Public Health will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they are received. Cameron County recommends that the public abide by the Shelter In Place Order issued by Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr and continue practicing preventative measures.

For information on coronavirus, please contact the Cameron County Coronavirus Hotline at (956) 247-3650, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., or refer to the Cameron County Public Health website for more information and updates at http://www.cameroncounty.us/publichealth/index.php/coronavirus/.