Staff Report

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Abbott issues statewide order requiring face coverings

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that requires all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public. The executive order pertains to counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.  Abbott also issued a proclamation that allows mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people. Read the full story at themonitor.com

FAA awards McAllen airport $2.8M for drainage

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the airport here more than $2.8 million to eliminate ponding on the airfield, U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez announced Wednesday.  The funds — $2,874,097 to be exact — will fund the installation of 2,800 feet of drainage improvements that will eliminate ponding at the McAllen International Airport, Gonzalez said in a news release. Read the full story at themonitor.com

UTRGV confirms 21 test positive for COVID-19

Twenty-one people at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley have been confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a university email...

McAllen ISD employee tests positive for COVID-19

A McAllen ISD employee who worked at a food preparation site last week has been confirmed Tuesday to have contracted the coronavirus, according to...

Elective surgeries suspended in Hidalgo, Cameron counties

Elective surgeries at hospitals in Cameron and Hidalgo counties have been suspended in order to make room for COVID-19 patients.  Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Tuesday suspending unnecessary medical procedures to help ensure hospital bed availability in four counties, including Webb and Nueces counties.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Judge reduces bond for man charged with brother’s murder

A Mercedes man charged with the murder of his brother who died during a December home invasion is closer to the possibility that he may bail out of jail while he awaits trial. State District Judge Luis Singleterry reduced 24-year-old Noel Alvarado's bond on a charge of murder from $100,000 to $50,000 while setting bond on two counts of aggravated robbery at $20,000 apiece, court records indicate. Noel had previously been held without bond on the robbery charges. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County health authority tests positive for COVID-19

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez is among the latest to test positive for COVID-19. Melendez said he became aware of his positive diagnosis on Monday morning. "I was angry more than anything else," Melendez said. "I have so much to do." Melendez said he’s now in self-quarantine, using telemedicine to see patients via Zoom calls. Read more at The Monitor.com.

382 new coronavirus cases in Rio Grande Valley

Hidalgo County announced three more deaths as a result of COVID-19, while confirming that 248 people tested positive on Monday. These new cases in addition those reported throughout the Rio Grande Valley on Monday brought the daily tally to 382 in the region. The deaths involved a man in his 30s from Weslaco and two McAllen residents — man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s. All three individuals had underlying medical conditions, according to a news release. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County clerk, Evins youths test positive for coronavirus

Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo Jr. has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently recovering at home, the county said in a news release Monday. According to the release, Guajardo, 51, came in contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19 while he was taking time off. The clerk self-isolated and began developing symptoms of the coronavirus before getting confirmation. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

SPI Fourth of July fireworks cancelled

Due to an increase in coronavirus cases, cities are starting to cancel upcoming holiday festivities. The city of South Padre Island announced the cancelation of its Fourth of July fireworks show in a press release issued on Friday. The fireworks show was scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 4, in the bay near the city’s Entertainment District. Read the full story at themonitor.com

State to provide aid for Hidalgo County hospital staff

The state of Texas, in response to an emergency request from Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez, will send nurses from other parts of the state to support the staffing of at least one hospital in the county.  “We have been monitoring our hospital capacity and have concluded that the medical workers who are working tirelessly in our community could use additional help,” county Judge Cortez said in a news release Sunday. “Therefore, late Friday I asked the Governor and the State’s Emergency Management Operation for help by providing additional medical personnel. This is welcome relief at a time when the number of people needing hospital care continues to rise.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

2 deaths, 113 new coronavirus cases in Cameron County

Cameron County reported two more COVID-19 related deaths Friday for a total number of 54 deaths there since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Two Brownsville men, a 75-year old and a 63-year-old The Rio at Fox Hollow nursing home resident, were the latest to die of coronavirus-related complications, according to county health officials. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo Co. reports 2 more deaths, 179 new cases of COVID-19

Two more Hidalgo County residents died after previously testing positive for COVID-19, the county reported Friday. Two McAllen men in their 70s with underlying medical conditions were the latest fatalities due to complications with the coronavirus disease, raising the county’s total number of deaths to 31, according to a news release. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County Tax Office to resume hours Monday

After being sanitized for public safety, the Hidalgo County Tax Office will resume normal business hours at its Edinburg location on Monday, according to a county news release.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Starr Co. reports 22 more COVID-19 cases, surpassing 500 mark

An additional 22 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Friday, bringing the total number of cases there to 505 — 378 of those being active. The new cases include 13 women and nine men who range in age from 3 to 74 years old. They are residents of Roma, Rio Grande City and La Grulla, though the residence of some patients were not disclosed. Read the full story at themonitor.com

210 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County announced Thursday that a total of 210 people have tested positive for coronavirus, continuing a trend of several hundred cases reported in recent days but 163 less than the previous day. The 210 new cases come on the same day that Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signed an order limiting mass gatherings in the county to 10 people or less and implementing a curfew in response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. Read the full story at themonitor.com

In wake of COVID-19 surge, Hidalgo County limits mass gatherings to 10 or less

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signed an order Thursday limiting mass gatherings in the county to 10 people or less and implementing a curfew in response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. The order goes into effect immediately and will remain effective until modified, a news release from the county said. The new curfew is set from 10 p.m.  to  6 a.m. for minors and from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for residents who are 18 and older. Read the full story at themonitor.com

In wake of COVID-19 surge, Hidalgo County limits mass gatherings to 10 or less

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signed an order Thursday limiting mass gatherings in the county to 10 people or less and implementing a curfew in response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. The order goes into effect immediately and will remain effective until modified, a news release from the county said. The new curfew is set from 10 p.m.  to  6 a.m. for minors and from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for residents who are 18 and older. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Coronavirus cases explode by 373 more in Hidalgo Co.

Hidalgo County confirmed Wednesday afternoon that four more residents died from complications of COVID-19 and 373 more cases have been confirmed, bringing the total number of fatalities to 29 and cases to 2,503. The new fatalities and confirmed cases represent record numbers for the county. Wednesday’s fatalities include an Edinburg man in his 50s, an Alamo woman in her 50s, a Pharr man in his 70s and a McAllen man in his 70s, all of whom had underlying medical conditions. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Hearing reset in animal cruelty case

A hearing where a judge could rule whether a traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of a 36-year-old McAllen woman on charges of animal cruelty was illegal has been rescheduled until late August. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Mission firefighter tests positive for COVID-19

The city of Mission has confirmed that at least one of its first responders has tested positive for COVID-19. In a news release, the city announced that a Mission firefighter has self-quarantined at his residence. The release also stated that the city is taking proper steps to notify others who may have been in contact with him. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Cortez: County to implement curfew, hospitals reaching capacity

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez reported Wednesday afternoon the county plans to issue a curfew to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Facebook Live address, the judge said the curfew will apply to minors from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and for adults from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. He didn’t specify when the curfew would be put in place. Cortez said measures taken early in the pandemic were effective in fighting the virus. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County’s new online dashboard breaks down local virus data

Hidalgo County launched a COVID-19 dashboard Wednesday detailing statistics on the pandemic’s spread through the area. The new information includes daily case counts, testing statistics, hospitalization numbers, and demographic information like where the infected live, gender and age. Read the full story and find the link at themonitor.com

McAllen police: Louisiana men charged with solicitation, sex assault of child

The McAllen Police Department says U.S. Border Patrol intercepted two men at the Falfurrias checkpoint who investigators here charged with internet solicitation and sexual assault of a child. Police say a woman reported her daughter as a runaway and investigators determined the girl left her home willingly. The investigation revealed the suspects were traveling north on IH 69. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Valley coronavirus cases up by 302 in single day

Hidalgo County reported 193 new cases of COVID-19 Monday night, the 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. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen club among bars to have liquor license suspended for violating COVID protocols

A dozen bars across the state were found to be in violation of safety protocols put in place  in order to fight the spread...

Starr County confirms second COVID-19 related death

Health officials confirmed another coronavirus-related death in Starr County on Monday. A man in his 90s 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.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Juvenile center in Edinburg confirms second coronavirus case

The Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg confirmed the second positive case of COVID-19 among its staff in a release from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department on Monday. According to the statement, the latest case involves a youth development coach and no youth have tested positive at Evins or any other secure TJJD facility so far. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Juvenile center in Edinburg confirms second coronavirus case

The Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg confirmed the second positive case of COVID-19 among its staff in a release from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department on Monday. According to the statement, the latest case involves a youth development coach and no youth have tested positive at Evins or any other secure TJJD facility so far. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Demand at UTRGV testing sites triples

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is reporting that demand for COVID-19 testing at its sites has tripled since last week amid a dramatic increase of coronavirus cases in the region. According to a news release from the university, the call center that schedules appointments is averaging more than 6,000 calls a day and about 1,000 online forms daily. The release says that the university has responded with more staff at the call center and more staff at the drive-thru test sites. Read the full story at themonitor.com