Three more Willacy residents COVID-19 positive

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found three more Willacy County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, pushing the rural area’s total case count to 1,206.

On Tuesday, the county’s emergency management officials reported Sunday’s findings showing a man and woman 40 to 49 years old and a man 50 to 59 years old have contracted COVID-19.

On Monday, health officials reported no new county cases.

But earlier this month, outbreaks at City Hall and the county sheriff’s department led to about 18 positive cases including those of Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales and Municipal Judge Felicita Gutierrez.

At City Hall, two or three employees also tested positive, Gonzales said, leading health officials to order the building closed until Nov. 2.

Meanwhile, 11 employees working at the sheriff’s department also tested positive, leading county officials to close its front offices, while a tax office clerk also tested positive.

At the Raymondville school district, Deputy Superintendent Ben Clinton, a high school staff member associated with the athletics department and a student also tested positive about two weeks ago. Clinton, who said he was not on campus while infected, said the virus was not transmitted within the district.

Uptick

Now, Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator, is warning of an uptick in cases as COVID-19 surges in El Paso and across much of the United States.

For weeks, COVID-19 cases had been dropping across the Rio Grande Valley and much of Texas after a dramatic late spring and summer surge.

But late last week, Texas was added to a list of 39 states in which new COVID-19 cases are climbing, Torres said.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com