Valley coronavirus cases up by 302 in single day

The Rio Grande Valley on Monday saw more than 300 new coronavirus cases confirmed in a single day, as well as three more deaths across as many counties.

Hidalgo County reported 193 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday night, its highest single-day total yet, as well as one additional fatality of a man with the disease.

The Pharr man was in his 70s and suffered from underlying health conditions.

The additional cases bring the total for the county to 1,882, 146 of which are in hospitals. Of those, 15 are in intensive care units.

“The numbers continue to grow more troubling,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez wrote in a release. “The death of one of our neighbors, however, goes beyond numbers and becomes a tragedy. I extend my condolences to this man’s family and friends. I have been working with medical experts today to see what more can be done. And while I continue to weigh options, they all say the best thing we can do is what we have been doing: staying home when we can, avoiding crowds and wearing facial coverings in public.”

County officials also announced that an unidentified employee with the Mission tax office tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

“The employee has been ordered isolated and the office was sanitized over the weekend,” a statement from the county stated. “All safety measures have also been followed by the tax office, including: physical distancing; Plexiglas shields between employees and the public; temperature monitoring; and the availability of hand sanitizers to ensure exposure is minimized and promote the well- being of staff and visitors.”

Twenty-three individuals were released from isolation Monday, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,120.

The Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg confirmed an additional two cases of COVID-19 among its staff in a release from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Monday.

According to the statement, the latest cases involve youth development coaches and bring the total there to three.

“The agency is identifying any youth or staff members who might have had contact with the employee,” the release stated. “Those youth will be administered a COVID-19 test, and stay members will be asked to self-isolate following CDC guidelines.”

The new cases at Evins are among nine COVID-19 cases confirmed at secure TJJD facilities since the pandemic began.

Cameron County also reported one additional coronavirus-related death and 101 new cases Monday evening, raising the total number of cases there to 1,647.

The latest fatality, an 88-year-old who resided at Spanish Meadows Nursing home in Brownsville, brings the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in Cameron County to 49.

An additional 58 individuals recovered Monday, Cameron County announced, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,002.

The new cases include a 6-day-old newborn from Indian Lake and a 75-year-old man from Brownsville.

So far, Veranda Nursing Home has reported 35 employees and 63 residents who have tested positive, 11 of whom have died. Spanish Meadows has had six employees and 11 residents who test positive, including two who have died.

The Rio at Fox Hollow in Brownsville has six employees and 13 residents who have tested positive and Alta Vista in Brownsville has one employee and three residents who have tested positive.

Port Isabel Service Processing Center has seven employees and 53 detainees who have tested positive.

Health officials confirmed another coronavirus-related death in Starr County on Monday along with eight new confirmed cases.

The new cases bring the total for the county to 379.

The new death was of a man in his 90s who died Monday morning at Starr County Memorial Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, according to Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county’s health authority.

Officially, the man is the county’s second fatality related to the disease.

A third death, of a Starr County resident who was hospitalized at McAllen Medical Center, occurred last week but Vazquez explained that the Department of State Health Services had not yet confirmed the patient was positive for COVID-19.

The county’s first confirmed fatality was reported on June 6. That case was of an 80-year-old woman with chronic medical conditions.