Hidalgo County reported its first child death among the 20 residents who died of COVID-19 on Friday.
The child, a girl from Pharr, is listed as being between the ages of 0 and 19 as the county declined to disclose more details citing state and federal privacy laws.
“The death of this child reaffirms that children — and no age group — are not immune from the devastating impact of this deadly virus,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez stated in a news release. “It is imperative for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease. This death hits home the reality that COVID-19 does not spare even the youngest members of our community.”
The county also reported 531 new positive cases, bringing their total number to 21,806 and their active cases to 5,003.
There are also 530 people currently hospitalized due to the disease while 223 of them are being treated in an intensive care unit.
Starr County reported 38 more positive cases of the coronavirus on Friday for a total of 2,729 for the county. Of those, 1,664 are active cases.
Among the newly confirmed, most — 32 of them — are under the age of 50.
Two of them are only a year old — one is a girl from Rio Grande City and the other is a girl from Roma.
There are also a 3-year-old, a 4-year-old, two 5-year-olds, an 8-year-old, a 9-year-old, two 10-year-olds, three 11-year-olds, and five 12-year-olds.
The oldest among them is a 66-year-old woman from Rio Grande City.
Friday’s numbers follow one of the county’s highest single-day reports on Thursday when 111 people tested positive for COVID-19.
That report included a 5-month-old boy from Roma and a 6-month-old boy from Rio Grande City.
So far, the county has reported a total of 22 deaths related to the disease while another 51 are pending confirmation by the state.
Willacy County reported an additional 17 COVID-19 cases for a total of 751 confirmed.
Four of the new cases are of children under 10.
“Our officials and staff continue to work very closely with our neighboring counties and state health services department,” Willacy County Judge Aurelio “Keter” Guerra stated in a news release. “The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will conduct case investigations on this, and all positive COVID-19 cases that arise and ensure that proper isolation and 14-day quarantine is strictly adhered to.”
Guerra added that DSHS will ensure family members stay isolated and quarantined and that the family has supplies needed to stay at home and follow protocol.
“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,” Guerra said. “With this knowledge, citizens are urged to continue to stay at home, social distance and routinely wash hands and wear face covering, cover/block your sneeze and coughs.”