The Rio Grande Valley has now surpassed 30,000 COVID-19 cases, according to data released by officials from the four counties Friday.
A total of 30,500 people have now tested positive for the virus Valleywide, as officials in Hidalgo and Cameron counties reported an additional 38 fatalities.
Officials in Hidalgo County have confirmed that 28 more people here have died as a result of COVID-19, and an additional 360 people tested positive for the disease Friday.
The coronavirus has now claimed the lives of 644 Hidalgo County residents, according to the county’s figures.
“I extend my deepest sympathy to the friends and families who have lost a loved one today,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said via a news release posted to Twitter Friday.
The county added that 813 people remain hospitalized with the disease, including 234 in intensive care units.
Some 422 Hidalgo County residents were also released from isolation Friday, meaning they “have been symptom free for 10 days, including three days without a fever,” the release stated.
In total, 17,006 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 19, when the county reported its first case. Of those, 10,321 have been cleared, leaving 6,041 net active cases, according to the news release.
During the month of July, the number of people testing positive in Hidalgo County has more than tripled — increasing by 327% since July 1, while fatalities have skyrocketed by 1,300%.
Some 13,024 people tested positive during the month of July, compared to 3,407 who tested positive during the month of June, county figures show.
Also during July, 598 people lost their lives to the disease, compared to just 36 fatalities reported throughout the entire month of June.
The number of people hospitalized or in local intensive care units has also risen sharply this month.
Hidalgo County reported 813 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, a 197% increase from the 274 who were reported to be hospitalized on June 30.
And the number of those admitted to the ICU has risen by nearly 13 times — from 19 on June 30 to 234 as of Friday.
Over in Cameron County, officials reported an additional 10 fatalities Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities there to 216.
Additionally, 816 more people tested positive — shattering the single-day record for Cameron County by 85. The previous single-day record was reported Thursday, when 731 people tested positive.
Of the 10 deaths reported Thursday, the youngest was a 41-year-old woman from San Benito, while the oldest was a 96-year-old man, also from San Benito.
In all, 10,971 people have tested positive for the virus in Cameron County, with a total of 4,065 having recovered, according to a statement issued Friday.
Like Hidalgo County, the number of COVID-19 positives and deaths in Cameron County has risen precipitously over the last month.
The 10,971 cases reported Friday are nearly triple the 2,399 cases Cameron County reported on June 30.
Meanwhile, fatalities there have jumped by three-and-a-half times — from 55 deaths reported as of June 30 to the 216 reported on Friday.
And in Starr County, an additional 42 people tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of people who have tested positive there to 1,983, country officials confirmed via a news release.
Those testing positive there range in age from an 11-month-old baby girl from Rio Grande City to a 92-year-old man from Roma, according to the release.
Meanwhile, six more people in Willacy County have tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed Friday.
The county’s total number of confirmed positives now stands at 586.
The new positives include a boy “in their one’s,” two teen girls, a man and a woman — both in their 40s, and a man in his 70s, according to a news release.
“This is just another reminder that this virus is in our neighborhood and with more testing being done, the more likely it will be to get another positive case,” Willacy County Judge Aurelio “Keter” Guerra said.
The county judge further implored residents to continue to stay home, practice social distancing when out in public, wear masks and wash hands frequently.
“Please continue to take all local, county, CDC and Texas DSHS recommended precautions to keep your family safe. Stay safe everyone and let’s get through this together,” Guerra said.