The number of COVID-19 related deaths has now risen to 17 in the Rio Grande Valley as both Hidalgo and Cameron counties reported people succumbing to the disease Wednesday evening.

Cameron County has announced that there have been three more COVID-19 related deaths there.

According to a county news release, the three fatalities were a 79-year-old woman and an 83-year-old man, both of whom were from the Veranda Nursing Home, as well as an 85-year-old woman who was a resident at Windsor Atrium in Harlingen. 

Cameron County cases stemming from the Veranda Nursing Home thus far include 27 employees and 56 residents who have tested positive, including seven who have died. There have also been 52 employees and 41 residents who have tested negative. 

Windsor Atrium has had 29 employees and 24 residents test positive for the virus, including three who’ve died. There have also been five employees and two residents who have tested negative.

The three deaths reported Wednesday raise the number of COVID-19 related deaths to 12 in Cameron County. 

“We are sad to report three more people have passed due to coronavirus,” stated Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. in a news release. “We want the families to know that we, as a community, are mourning the loss of their loved ones.”

The county also announced that there are 12 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of cases to 333 in Cameron County, of which 148 individuals have recovered.

Hidalgo County on Wednesday also reported the death of a 59-year-old Mission woman who tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fourth person in the county to die as a result of the virus, and the 14th in the Rio Grande Valley.

The woman had underlying medical conditions and died Wednesday, County Judge Richard F. Cortez confirmed in a Hidalgo County news release. 

“It pains me that another person in our community has died from complications related to this disease,” Cortez said in the release. “I extend my best wishes and deepest sympathies to her family.”

The county announced that six more people have tested positive as of Wednesday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 281 people.

Willacy County, where there are currently eight cases, was the first county in the Valley to report a death tied to COVID-19.