Latest on the Coronavirus

Texas reports 8 more coronavirus deaths, 623 new cases

DALLAS (AP) — Texas health officials reported 623 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and said there have been another eight deaths linked to the...

Real estate proves resilient

HARLINGEN — Virtual tour houses are not uncommon, but it has now become the norm for real estate agents. As the real estate industry was...

Holy Communion returns

Bishop Daniel E. Flores and other priests in the Diocese of Brownsville on Monday performed Mass for the first time since March 19 after...

Protesters rally for lifting COVID restrictions on Texas

AUSTIN — As more sectors of the Texas economy reopened from the freeze of the coronavirus pandemic, a few dozen anti-government demonstrators rallied Saturday...

Texas reports 839 new virus cases as reopening continues

AUSTIN (AP) — As Texas continues to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, health officials said Sunday that there were 839 new cases of the...

Hidalgo Co. reports 15 positive cases over weekend

After not releasing an update on cases Saturday, Hidalgo County reported 19 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, county judge Richard F. Cortez announced in a news release Sunday, bringing the total here to 440. “The positive numbers have remained steady,” Cortez said.  “Continue doing what we all know works — practice good hygiene and use face coverings as protection.” The ages of the new cases range from people younger than 20 to people in their 70s — Hidalgo County does not divulge the specific ages of people who test positive for COVID-19 — and come from Edinburg, McAllen, Mercedes, Mission, Pharr, San Juan and Weslaco.  Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

Abbott weighs in on fight for relief funds

Gov. Greg Abbott stepped into the fight between the state’s 12 largest counties and their respective municipalities on Friday, ordering the counties to share...

Cameron Co. confirms another COVID-19 related death

An 86-year-old woman died after testing positive for COVID-19, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. announced Saturday in a news release. The woman was a resident of Veranda Nursing Home, according to the release. This brings the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 to 33 in Cameron County. Additionally, 12 people — from Brownsville, Harlingen and San Benito — also tested positive for COVID-19; their ages range from a 16-year-old boy to a 61-year-old man.  Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

Unemployed by pandemic now they’re slipping through Texas’ health care safety net

By Shannon Najmabadi and Edgar Walters, Texas Tribune Laci Crosson’s son doesn’t have pills to manage his attention deficit disorder. Betty Canales is worried about how...

Another nursing home resident dies from virus

An 86-year-old resident of a Harlingen nursing home has died from COVID-19 related conditions, Cameron County authorities reported on Saturday. The woman was a resident...

Cameron Co. reports 15 new COVID-19 cases

Fifteen people in Cameron County have tested positive for COVID-19, County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. announced in a news release Friday, bringing the total there to 686.  The majority of the cases come from Brownsville, with the exception of two cases who come from Los Fresnos and San Benito. The people range in age from 22 to 91 years old. Nearly all of the cases are linked to a previous case; only two cases are travel related and one was transmitted through community spread. Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

Back in the stores

RAYMONDVILLE — It’s safe to say this year, the fifth for the Water-Efficient Products sales tax holiday, is going to be different than its...

Nursing home testing to begin locally as treatment drug arrives in hospitals

Testing for COVID-19 at Rio Grande Valley nursing homes will begin this Sunday in accordance with a mandate by Gov. Greg Abbott to test residents and employees of nursing homes statewide. The testing here will begin in Harlingen and in Starr County, according to Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas, the Region 11 Health Emergency Preparedness and Response manager for the Department of State Health Services. “We have a schedule to test the remaining nursing homes in our region in the next week and a half,” Cuevas said and noted that DSHS is working with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Department to administer those tests. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Starr County reports 24th case of COVID-19

A 39-year-old man from Starr County is the latest to test positive for COVID-19 there, bringing the county's total confirmed cases to 24. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Bishop says Catholic churches in the Valley will reopen Monday

Bishop Daniel E. Flores, of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, announced Friday that Catholic churches across the Rio Grande Valley will reopen on Monday,...

Texas nursing homes receive nearly $400 million to battle COVID-19

The Texas Tribune The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has begun distributing nearly $400 million to Texas nursing facilities impacted most by the...

Pharr pandemic recovery center now open to businesses, residents

The Pharr COVID-19 Recovery Center is up and running as of Wednesday. The center, which is based out of the Pharr Events Center, 3000 N. Cage Blvd., is intended to provide a variety of assistance to local businesses, from financial advice and workforce help, to tips on navigating state guidelines on business reopenings. Among the services the center will provide are: financial assistance for businesses, details on state and federal funding opportunities, work safe plans, workforce opportunities, reopen Texas guidelines, services to help connect with customers, answers to business operations in Pharr, and access to no-cost business consulting for Pharr residents and businesses. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Texas admits 6% of its reported tests were for antibodies, not active infections

By Patrick Svitek, Carla Astudillo and Edgar Walters, Texas Tribune Texas health officials made a key change Thursday to how they report data about the...

Texas unemployment rate hits worst on record at 12.8%

By Mitchell Ferman, Texas Tribune The state’s April jobless rate was 12.8% — Texas’ worst monthly tally on record. That number, included in the Labor Department’s...

Willacy confirms 15th COVID-19 case

RAYMONDVILLE — As the number of COVID-19 cases began dropping here, a man in his 50s has become Willacy County’s 15th confirmed case of...

Viral aid: HEDC picks nine small businesses for hardship loans

HARLINGEN — The Harlingen Economic Development Corp. has issued its first loans to nine businesses hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown. The Harlingen Economic Loan Program...
video

McAllen musicians serenade local firefighters

The Cruz brothers serenaded McAllen firefighters Wednesday with a concert. Read the full story here: https://www.themonitor.com/2020/05/21/mcallen-musicians-serenade-local-firefighters/  

McAllen musicians serenade local firefighters

A few of the fire academy cadets exercising at the McAllen Central Fire Station paused between pushups and cocked their heads for a moment. Looking through the open doors of the station, they saw the Cruz brothers as the boys pulled bows across the strings of their cellos for the first time Wednesday afternoon. The cadets had been told to refrain from the yells they usually make to keep count of their exercises. Now they heard why. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo Co. reports 5 positive cases; 7 in Cameron Co. 

Five people in Hidalgo County have tested positive for COVID-19, County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced in a news release Thursday, bringing the total here to 472. “Don’t let this serve as an indication to let your guard down,” Cortez said. “We continue to encourage physical distancing, face coverings and good hygiene — especially as we approach Memorial Day weekend.” The new cases are women who range from their 20s to their 60s who come from Alton, Edinburg, McAllen and Pharr.  Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

Mobile COVID-19 testing available today in Alamo

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, announced a new COVID-19 mobile testing site available in Hidalgo County today. In a news release, Gonzalez announced that testing will begin Friday at the Alamo Community Resource Center, 1429 S. Tower Road in Alamo. In the same release, Gonzalez also announced a mobile testing site for Bexar County. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Interest in cycling shifts upward as RGV stays home

When coronavirus restrictions were at their most stringent, roads emptied — along with restaurants, gyms and most other places people congregate. What stayed open, though, were sidewalks, where walkers, joggers and cyclists hit the trail in numbers some Rio Grande Valley municipalities describe as unprecedented. Representatives from the city of Mission say they lack a way to measure the increase, but they have seen a dramatic uptick in the number of residents using parks like the Mission Hike and Bike Trail. “It used to be (just) the bike clubs, competitive cyclists out there,” Recreation Director Brad Bentsen said of the five-mile route. “Now it has gone back to the old family ways. You can just go out there and observe how many people are using our bike trails — it’s all day, every day.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Nursing homes await Texas National Guard

HARLINGEN — Like Jason Hess, the area’s nursing home administrators are waiting for the Texas National Guard’s help in their fight against the spread...

Court temporarily blocks voting-by-mail expansion in Texas

By Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune A federal appeals court has temporarily put on hold a lower court’s sweeping ruling that would have allowed all Texas...

Texas pushes for kids to return to normal during pandemic

By JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — After months of home schooling and lost sports seasons, millions of Texas children may get a...

Abbott: State agencies to trim budgets by 5% to prepare for ‘economic shock’

By Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune Texas’ top Republican leaders asked certain state agencies and higher education institutions Wednesday to “submit a plan identifying savings” to...

DHS: Restricted travel extended 30 days again

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday the continuation of the temporary travel restrictions for Canada and Mexico, according to the order. The announcement comes on the day the restriction was set to expire at midnight — 60 days after it was put in place following President Trump’s announcement on March 20 that the U.S.–Mexico southern border would be closed off to “non-essential” travelers. “(The DHS acting secretary) has continued to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 18, there are over 4.6 million confirmed cases globally, with over 310,000 confirmed deaths. There are over 1.4 million confirmed and probable cases within the United States, over 76,000 confirmed cases in Canada, and over 47,000 confirmed cases in Mexico,” the DHS notification states. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Nursing homes await Texas National Guard

HARLINGEN — Like Jason Hess, the area’s nursing home administrators are waiting for the Texas National Guard’s help in their fight against the spread...

Two more Cameron Co. nursing home residents die of COVID-19

Cameron County officials reported two more coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday, raising the total number of deaths there to 32, according to a news release. Both individuals — a 75-year old woman and an 86-year-old man — were residents of the Windsor Atrium rehabilitation center in Harlingen, where 16 others have died due to COVID-19.  County officials also confirmed 15 new cases of COVID-19 whose ages range from a 2-year-old Brownsville boy to a 79-year-old Brownsville man.  Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

County preps for nursing home tests; Costs to be covered by state

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. said at a Wednesday COVID-19 press conference that plans are being finalized with the county fire marshal, the...

Harlingen to hold food distribution on Thursday

The City of Harlingen is reminding residents it will hold three more food distribution events will take place here as part of a partnership...

Evictions expected to rise because of COVID-19 pandemic

At the end of April, the Texas Supreme Court ordered a statewide moratorium on eviction hearings until May 18. That order ended on Monday...

Commissioners mull agreement with lab to test for COVID-19

HARLINGEN — Soon, the city’s tests for the coronavirus might target elderly residents. Wednesday night, city commissioners will consider entering into an agreement with Clinical...

Hidalgo Co. cities seek ‘fair share’ of relief funds

Mayors of four of the largest cities in Hidalgo County asked commissioners court Tuesday to share $151 million in coronavirus relief funds with other municipalities, and while commissioners granted their request, not all of the cities will be funded equally.  Hidalgo County commissioners agreed Tuesday to set aside $63 million in federal funding to reimburse the county’s 22 municipalities for COVID-19 related expenses — but the rate at which they will be reimbursed will differ depending on the size of their populations. McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr, Mission, San Juan and Weslaco will be reimbursed at a rate of $110 per capita, or per person, because their populations surpass the 30,000-mark county officials used to distinguish between large and small cities in Hidalgo County.  The other 16 jurisdictions will be reimbursed at a rate of $80 per capita.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen seniors reunite with parade to celebrate end of journey

Over 100 cars lined up at Lamar Academy Tuesday evening for McAllen ISD’s Seniors 2020 Spirit Drive. Graduating seniors with their friends and families left the school a little after 6, honking and cheering their way through the neighborhood. Students decorated their cars with balloons and banners and blaring words that spelled out their class year or where they were going to college. Students waved at teachers and members of the administration in the parking lot and shouted back and forth to each other. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Local filmmakers navigating through pandemic effects

Charlie Vela jumps into a Skype call with a collaborator out from Palo Alto at 9 p.m. He won’t finish the call until 4 a.m. Vela, although a music producer, is also involved with film production and continues finding ways to connect music with those cinematic elements. He is one of several artists, all connected through the filmmaking community, who are adapting and continuing to work through the pandemic. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Precinct 4 elderly residents get COVID-19 relief food bags

LA FERIA — The line of cars waiting to get free drive-thru groceries stretched down the road from the Commissioner Precinct 4 Warehouse since...

Precinct 4 elderly residents get COVID-19 relief food bags

LA FERIA — The line of cars waiting to get free drive-thru groceries stretched down the road from the Commissioner Precinct 4 Warehouse since...

Temperature Check: Commissioner advocates for, helps homeless during pandemic

A few weeks ago, with the help of local nurses, Brownsville City Commissioner Ben Neece started helping out the homeless population in the downtown...

Cameron Co. death toll now at 30; cases rise to 457 in Hidalgo Co.

A 76-year-old Cameron County man with COVID-19 died Tuesday, raising the total number of deaths there to 30, according to a county new release.  The man was a resident of the Windsor Atrium rehabilitation facility in Harlingen, where 38 employees and 60 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, of which, 14 have died.  County officials also confirmed 14 new cases of the disease — 10 from Brownsville, three from Harlingen, one from Los Fresnos. The ages of the new cases range from 22 to 93.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Abbott kicks property tax rate decisions back to local governments

Gov. Greg Abbott has responded to members of a Democratic congressional delegation’s pleas to alleviate tax burdens on Texans during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Reps....

Second phase: Restaurants prepare to reopen at 50% customer capacity

HARLINGEN — Like Paulo Ochoa’s restaurant, some businesses are making preparations to reopen at 50-percent customer capacity after Gov. Greg Abbott set Friday as...

Second phase: Restaurants prepare to reopen at 50% customer capacity

HARLINGEN — Like Paulo Ochoa’s restaurant, some businesses are making preparations to reopen at 50-percent customer capacity after Gov. Greg Abbott set Friday as...

Valley’s COVID-19 cases up by 29 as 2 die in Cameron Co.

There were two more deaths reported due to the coronavirus in Cameron County on Monday — an 84-year-old woman, and 69-year-old man. This raises the total number of deaths there to 29. The woman died at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Brownsville, and the man died at Harlingen Medical Center in Harlingen, according to a Cameron County news release. County officials also confirmed 16 new cases of COVID-19, making the total number of cases there at 635. The ages of the new cases range from an 8-year-old boy from Brownsville, to a 96-year-old woman from Harlingen.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Houston church closes doors again after five leaders test positive

Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston closed its doors after five leaders tested positive for the new coronavirus over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle...

TSC offers COVID-19 disinfection training to local businesses

In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, Texas Southmost College, in collaboration with the Alliance Safety Council and Workforce Solutions Cameron, has developed a...

Texas salon owner travels to Michigan to back defiant barber

OWOSSO, Mich. (AP) — A Texas salon owner who was sent to jail for opening her business during the coronavirus outbreak called Michigan's governor...

Court bars emergency release filings for imprisoned ex-judge

After a former state district judge made several requests for emergency compassionate release from federal prison, the court overseeing the filings has ordered him to stop, records show. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett ordered both the defendant, Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, and the government from making additional filings concerning Delgado’s emergency request to be released from federal prison amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Citing underlying medical issues, counsel for Delgado made requests since late April, when the first request for compassionate release was filed by Delgado’s attorney, Michael McCrum. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Texas continues swift reopening, including return of sports

JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott gave permission Monday to reopen practically every facet of daily life in Texas,...

Workout Times: Gyms and fitness centers reopen to members

Texas’ gyms and fitness centers opened Monday as the latest step in Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to re-open Texas and kick start a reeling...

Starr Co. reports two new COVID-19 cases

Starr County confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, both related to previously confirmed cases. One of the new cases was linked to a relative, while the other was linked to a relative who lives out of state, according to Dr. Jose Vazquez, the Starr County Health Authority. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

700+ new cases of coronavirus reported at meatpacking plants in Amarillo

By Juan Pablo Garnham, Texas Tribune More than 700 new coronavirus cases were reported in the Amarillo region Saturday, as results from targeted testing at...

Trump says he has taken unproven malaria drug

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that he is taking a malaria drug to lessen symptoms should he get the new coronavirus, even...

New mobile testing site for COVID-19 to open in Edinburg

Another mobile testing site for COVID-19 will soon open in Edinburg, according to U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. Gonzalez, D-McAllen, made the announcement Monday in a news release, confirming that the site will be set up at Carmen Avila Elementary School, located at 9205 Carmen Avila Road. “I encourage those in Hidalgo County who have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to make an appointment at this testing site in Hidalgo County as soon as possible,” Gonzalez said in the release. “Please continue to practice proper social distancing guidelines and call your doctor if you are feeling unwell or have questions about COVID-19.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

El Paso officials ask governor to exclude them from next phase of reopening

By Julián Aguilar, Texas Tribune EL PASO — County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said his community isn’t ready for the second phase of Texas’ reopening —...

Hooters reopening restaurants nationwide

Hooters announced they have reopened more than 150 restaurants nationwide. The restaurant chain says customers will be able to dine-in as long as they...

EDITORIAL: Burdened: Property taxpayers need help with new valuations

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and the functioning of government, and left many people dealing with lost jobs or reduced hours. Given...

Valley’s COVID-19 rate of increase notably lower than state’s

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly in Texas; as much is clear. But in the Rio Grande Valley, the rate of new cases reported daily is notably lower among its four counties than across the state, and according to the Department of State Health Services, the region’s pandemic response has a lot to do with it. From April 10 to May 15 the total number of cases in the Valley increased by 237% compared to a statewide increase of 287% during that same time period. Looking at a smaller time period, from April 13, the day after Easter, until Mother’s Day on May 10, the total number of cases in the Valley increased by 133%. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Amid pandemic, Valley officials also urge hurricane prep

With hurricane season set to begin June 1, emergency managers around the Rio Grande Valley are urging residents to prepare for the possibility of dealing with a weather disaster on top of the ongoing COVID-19 medical disaster. Officials from Hidalgo and Cameron counties say that though the pandemic has presented new challenges in disaster response, it hasn’t prevented them from getting ready for the upcoming season, nor should residents let it prevent them from making preparations of their own. “It’s impacted us a little, but we — at the onset of all this COVID-19 situation — … had a conference call with all of our precincts,” Hidalgo County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo Saldaña said via phone Friday. Read the full story at themonitor.com

18 cases reported in Cameron Co., one in Starr Co.

Cameron County officials reported 18 positive cases on Saturday, in addition to the single case in Starr County reported earlier in the day. In Hidalgo County, officials are not planning on releasing their daily COVID-19 case update until Sunday. Attempts to reach Hidalgo County spokesperson Carlos Sanchez for clarity and comment were unsuccessful as of press time. An email provided by the county states only, “There will not be a report today. We (will) send a report tomorrow.”  Meanwhile, the 18 people in Cameron County who tested positive for COVID-19 come from Brownsville, Harlingen and Santa Rosa; their ages range from their 20s to their 70s.  Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

Abbott urged to freeze property valuations as protest deadline looms 

Three Rio Grande Valley congressmen are joining a growing chorus of elected officials calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to freeze 2020 property tax valuations as Texans continue to endure economic hardships on account of the coronavirus pandemic.  Ten members of the Texas Democratic Congressional delegation — including U.S. Reps. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, and Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo — sent a letter to Abbott on Wednesday requesting he suspend any raises, interest and penalties on property taxes for the current taxable year. “Texans are facing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus,” Gonzalez said in a news release Thursday. “We implore Governor Abbott to offer hardworking Texans a financial reprieve during this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

11-year-old Starr County resident tests positive for COVID-19

An 11-year-old boy is the latest to be confirmed positive with COVID-19 in Starr County, bringing the county's total cases to 17. He tested positive at a private clinic in Starr County after exhibiting only mild symptoms, according to Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county's health authority. The patient appeared at the clinic for a routine follow-up appointment when he was tested, Vazquez added. Read the full story at themonitor.com

STHS employs technologies to clean air, surfaces as elective procedures resume

South Texas Health Systems recently acquired technology designed to filter its air and disinfect surfaces in its hospitals — action taken to ease any public health anxieties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The new tech includes a rapid UVC disinfector, 18 Amaircare filters and four dry hydrogen peroxide generators.  Since late April, after Gov. Greg Abbott lifted restrictions on elective medical procedures across the state, STHS COO Matt Malinak said patient volume has slowly gone back to normal — but the low flow of patients is still alarming.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Cameron Co. reports one death, 19 new cases

An 98-year-old woman has died after testing positive for COVID-19, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. announced in a news release Friday. According to the release, the woman was a resident of the Windsor Atrium in Harlingen. This brings the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 to 27 in Cameron County. “We are at a loss of words as this virus continues to take the lives of our most vulnerable loved ones” Treviño said. “We express our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.” Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

TSC students move forward with education

With two family members of the Davila family furloughed from their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frank Davila worried his studies in the...

BPUB to reopen drive-thru lanes on Monday

The Brownsville Public Utilities Board will reopen the drive-thru lanes at the BPUB administration building beginning Monday, May 18. The lanes will be available...

Mobile COVID-19 testing to open in Mercedes, Edinburg

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, announced more COVID-19 mobile testing sites in Hidalgo County. According to a news release, testing is scheduled to begin on...

Texas is spending $45 million on new COVID-19 tests for inmates

By Jolie McCullough, The Texas Tribune Texas is spending $45 million on 300,000 new coronavirus tests to largely be used in the infected state prison system,...

Gold’s Gym announces new rules as it prepares to reopen

Gold’s Gym location in Brownsville will resume operations on Monday, with new sanitation, capacity, safety and physical distancing protocols in place to continue doing...

26th COVID-19 death recorded in Cameron; RGV cases exceed 1,000

A 90-year-old man with COVID-19 from Cameron County officials has died, raising the total number of deaths there to 26, county officials confirmed in a news release Thursday evening. The man was a resident of the Windsor Atrium rehabilitation center in Harlingen, where 33 employees and 57 residents have tested positive for the disease. This is the 12th death that can be traced to the center.  “It is with a heavy heart that we report the loss of another individual to this deadly virus,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. said in the release. “Not only do we continue to mourn as a community, but we also keep his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.” Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

Senior Help: Food drive held to assist older citizens impacted by COVID-19

Food distributions continue across the Rio Grande Valley as communities navigate venturing outside under lifted state-wide emergency orders that mean local officials could no...

Gold’s Gym in Brownsville to reopen Monday

Gold’s Gym in Brownsville will reopen to members with a new set of strict guidelines. The gym, located at 800 Sunrise Blvd, will resume operations...

Commissioner hands out food to senior citizens

County officials organized a food drive targeting Brownsville’s senior citizens Thursday morning in a collaborative response to concern over pandemic-related food insecurity. County Commissioner Pct....

Starr Co. reports its 16th case — a 13-year-old boy

Starr County confirmed a new case of COVID-19 on Thursday, the 16th there. A 13-year-old boy from Rio Grande City tested positive for the coronavirus disease, confirmed Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county health authority. Vazquez added the boy’s family had a history of travel. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Port Isabel detainee tests positive for coronavirus

ICE confirmed that a detainee in the Port Isabel Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19. The detainee is a 20-year-old male from Mexico, according to the agency. ICE referred inquiries to the COVID-19 guidance listed on its website. According to that guidance, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in March “convened a working group between medical professionals, disease control specialists, detention experts, and field operators to identify additional enhanced steps to minimize the spread of the virus.” Read the full story on our website.

KOA campground on the Island open with restrictions

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — In response to the statewide lifting of coronavirus regulations, more businesses are continuing to reopen services. Tuesday, Texas Kampgrounds of America,...

TSTC student tests positive for COVID-19

HARLINGEN — A phlebotomy student at TSTC had tested positive for COVID-19, school officials announced Wednesday afternoon after getting results back from the local...

25 new virus cases in Cameron Co.; Upper Valley reports 2 more deaths

An Edinburg man in his 50s and a Palmview woman in her 70s died after testing positive for COVID-19, Hidalgo County reported Wednesday. The two individuals both had underlying medical conditions and their deaths bring the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the county to 10. Additionally, the county reported that six more people tested positive for the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 409, while two more were released from isolation. So far, 235 people have been released from isolation. Read the full story at brownsvilleherald.com

County cases ticking up; Reopening proceeds despite virus spread

At a Wednesday press conference, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. said he’s worried about a recent bump in the rate of new COVID-19...

Sixth member of Roma family confirmed to have coronavirus

Starr County has confirmed a new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, that of a Roma resident who recently returned from a trip to the Midland and Odessa area. He’s also the sixth case from a single family of individuals with the coronavirus. According to Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county public health authority, this person’s test results came back Monday as the 15th case in Starr. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

South Padre Island will host fireworks Memorial Day weekend

South Padre Island will celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with a fireworks display on Sunday, May 24. An Island fireworks show has been the traditional kick...

COVID-19 Testing sites and dates

State and local officials are launching Cameron County’s biggest COVID-19 testing program offering 18 sites throughout the month. County leaders are working with state health...

East Texas teen shields farmworkers from COVID-19

Salvadro Guadarrama and his mom learned how to use a sewing machine by watching Youtbue videos a couple of months ago — all in an effort to fulfill the 16-year-old’s goal of delivering 500 masks to farmworkers in Texas and California.  “They’re the ones that deliver the food to our tables,” the 16-year-old said Tuesday in San Juan. “(They’re) the ones that provide fresh resources for us to eat.”  Salvador and his mother, Nancy Ortiz, live in Richards, Texas, an unincorporated community northwest of Houston, but their desire to help farmworkers brought them to the Rio Grande Valley.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Harmony Public Schools receives national award

As part of efforts to celebrate National Charter Schools Week, Harmony Public Schools joined a select group of schools being recognized by the National...

Five Brownsville nursing home residents virus infected

BROWNSVILLE — Five nursing home residents in Brownsville have contracted the COVID-19 virus after a hospital transferred a patient who showed no virus symptoms...

2 more die from COVID-19 in Cameron Co.; Hidalgo Co. surpasses 400 cases

Hidalgo County announced on Tuesday that nine more people had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the county past the 400 mark. There were no reported deaths in the county. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Funding disparity: Distribution formula differs according to population

Cameron County and the city of Brownsville are receiving millions of dollars through the Coronavirus Relief Funds provision of the $2 trillion CARES Act...

COVID-19 testing efforts to ‘greatly expand’ in Hidalgo County

State officials are planning to substantially increase testing for COVID-19 in Hidalgo County beginning Tuesday, according to a county news release issued Tuesday. There have been 394 cases of COVID-19 reported in Hidalgo County, with more than 6,000 individuals who have been tested thus far. It’s unclear what the rate of testing will be, however. Tuesday’s announcement follows Gov. Greg Abbott’s mandate that 100% of residents and staff from nursing homes in Texas will get tested for the virus across the state. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

San Benito Rotary Club donates masks to nonprofits

SAN BENITO — After a few weeks of organizing, San Benito Rotary Club members delivered face  masks to local nonprofits Monday morning. Dr. Olivia Rivas, incoming president...

Bealls parent company files bankruptcy

HARLINGEN — The parent company of the popular Bealls stores in the Valley has filed for bankruptcy protection. Houston-based Stage Stores Inc., which also owns...

State health department to test for COVID-19; Program offers 18 sites in Cameron County

HARLINGEN — State and local officials are launching Cameron County’s biggest COVID-19 testing program offering 18 sites throughout the month. County leaders are working with...

EDITORIAL: Challenges: Schools must be prepared for wide range of abilities

Gov. Greg Abbott probably made the right call when he ordered Texas’ public schools to remain closed for the rest of the spring semester....

20 more cases, another nursing home resident death reported

Cameron County reported Monday that a 78-year-old resident of Windsor Atrium in Harlingen with COVID-19 had died, bringing the total of coronavirus-related deaths there...

Abbott: All nursing home patients and staff to get tested for COVID-19

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday directed state health officials to test all nursing home residents and staff in Texas for COVID-19. Abbott’s announcement followed a...

Give a shift: Program links food workers with nonprofits

A program that started in north Texas to connect laid-off or furloughed restaurant and hospitality workers with paid shifts at nonprofits feeding the hungry...

Counsel for imprisoned ex-judge ‘shocked’ by gov’t response to release request

Last Friday, as another inmate died of COVID-19 at a bureau of prisons facility, counsel for a former state judge convicted on bribery charges, expressed “shock,” at the government’s response to his client’s request for compassionate release from prison, records show.  In a 27-page filing May 9, counsel for ex-state District Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado replied to the government’s response, filed May 6, expressing “shock” that the government’s prosecutors would infer that his client had “subversive intent” in requesting compassionate release due to serious medical issues. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Rep. Gonzalez backs colleagues on $71M healthcare ask

Citing opportunities to continue the fight against the coronavirus locally, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, is among nearly three dozen members of Congress urging for $71 million in funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the next COVID-19 relief package. A letter urging for the funds was signed by Gonzalez and 30 other of his colleagues in Congress, addressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Chair Rosa DeLauro and Ranking Member Tom Cole. According to a news release Gonzalez’s office issued Monday morning, the funding will give AHRQ the capacity to evaluate the U.S. healthcare system’s response to the pandemic, identify shortcomings and improve national preparedness for future crises. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Leaders balance optimism with threat of second virus wave

By FRANK JORDANS and NOMAAN MERCHANT Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Trump administration officials spoke optimistically about a relatively quick rebound from the coronavirus Sunday...

National/World News

Texas is spending $45 million on virus tests prisoners administer themselves

By Jolie McCullough, Texas Tribune Texas is spending $45 million on 300,000 new coronavirus tests to largely be used in the infected state prison system,...

How a Dallas salon owner changed Texas’ reopening debate

By Emma Platoff, Texas Tribune By April 27, when Gov. Greg Abbott announced that hair salons and barbershops would have to remain shuttered, Shelley Luther’s...

Court: Eviction proceedings, debt collections can resume this month

By Emma Platoff and Juan Pablo Garnham, Texas Tribune Evictions and debt collection proceedings can resume in Texas next week, the Texas Supreme Court has...

Patrick pens op-ed saying sports should return with fans in the stadiums

The Texas Tribune AUSTIN - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick thinks sports fans should be able to attend games as long as some guidelines are in...

Tensions rise as Texas governor readies to lift more rules

By PAUL J. WEBER and JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two weeks into the reopening of Texas, coronavirus cases are climbing. New...

More virus testing in Texas prisons, Houston furloughs 3,000

By JUAN A. LOZANO and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Texas will begin widespread coronavirus testing in state prisons where at least...

Analysis: Reopening just a little bit isn’t really a big boon for the economy

By Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune Really opening Texas would require the governor and like-minded officials to actually put businesses in a situation where they could...

Houston officials use poop to track the spread of COVID-19

By JASPER SCHERER Houston Chronicle HOUSTON (AP) — City health officials and Rice University scientists have begun testing Houston wastewater samples for COVID-19, a process...

More than 1,000 new virus cases, 39 more deaths in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — At least 1,000 more people in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19 as the number of cases continues to climb...

Lawsuit: Texas rules for mail-in voting won’t work during pandemic

By Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune A coalition of voters and civil rights groups opened a new front Monday in the legal wars over mail-in voting...

Mental health hotline is helping Texans navigate the pandemic

By Elvia Limón, Texas Tribune Within the first month of its launch, the state’s new mental health support line received nearly 2,000 calls from Texans...

More than 1,000 new virus cases, 39 more deaths in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas health officials on Sunday reported more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus and 39 additional deaths due to COVID-19,...

Language barriers, no bank loans leave Latino small-business owners struggling

By Juan Pablo Garnham, Texas Tribune FORT WORTH — As Texas restaurants and retail stores began welcoming customers back through their doors last week, a...

Experts: Business has reopened in Texas, but economy won’t be back soon

By Mitchell Ferman and Anna Novak, Texas Tribune HOUSTON — The Texas economy has been protected unlike elsewhere in the country during some of the...

Trump praises Abbott as states roll back limits

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, JILL COLVIN and PAUL WEBER Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump praised another Republican governor for rolling back state coronavirus...

Green flag: IndyCar to open its delayed season in Texas

By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — IndyCar has gotten the green flag to finally start its season in Texas next...

With DACA down to the wire, immigrant health care workers worry about deportation

By Jeff Gammage, The Philadelphia Inquirer PHILADELPHIA _ When hospital CT technologist Louise Rogenski scans patients known or suspected to have COVID-19, she's close enough to...

Why are some planes crowded even with air travel down?

By DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer Every once in a while, social media lights up with photos or video from flights that are nearly full,...

Justices wary of ‘Obamacare’ birth control coverage changes

By JESSICA GRESKO and MARK SHERMAN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed concerned Wednesday about the sweep of Trump administration rules that...

Big 12 schools intend to open in fall, giving football hope

By CLIFF BRUNT and STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writers All 10 schools in the Big 12 Conference expect their campuses to be open in the...

Texas outlines guidelines to allow socially distant graduations to resume

By Aliyya Swaby, Texas Tribune A jam-packed auditorium or gymnasium. Hugs from fellow graduates. Rows of family members and friends whooping and standing to watch their...

70% of Texas prisoners tested have the coronavirus

By Jolie McCullough, Texas Tribune Within the walls of Texas prisons overrun with the new coronavirus, information on its spread is still scarce, and the...

Texas hair salons to reopen Friday, gyms to open May 18

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott will allow hair salons in Texas to reopen Friday — and gyms will be allowed to open...

Texas tops 2 million unemployment claims during outbreak

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has passed the 2 million mark in unemployment claims filed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said...

NASA begs spectators for astronaut launch: Please stay home!

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA and SpaceX on Friday urged spectators to stay home for the first home...

As daily virus deaths spike, Texas reopens door for business

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas charged toward reopening Friday despite the grim milestone of the state's deadliest single day...

Texas A&M, Texas Tech to reopen campuses, resume football in the fall

By Carrington Tatum, Texas Tribune Students, and football, are expected to return to College Station and Lubbock this fall. Texas A&M intends to reopen its 11...

COVID-19 diagnoses, fatalities continue to climb in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of reported illnesses diagnosed as caused by the new coronavirus continued to climb Wednesday, as did the death...

Lawsuit: US citizens with immigrant spouses should get help

By ASTRID GALVAN The Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund has sued the federal government over its denial...

AP Exclusive: Texas AG helped donor fight virus lockout

By PAUL J. WEBER and JAKE BLEIBERG Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — When a small county in the Colorado mountains banished everyone but locals...

COVID-19 risk against a paycheck

By Clare Proctor, Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott’s Monday announcement that retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls will be allowed to reopen Friday means...

Census says restart to field operations will be in phases

By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau's return to field operations for the 2020 national head count will take...

Texas to allow some into restaurants and retail on May 1

By JIM VERTUNO and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlined Monday a slow reopening of one of...

COVID-19 deaths in Texas increase by 25, now stands at 648

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of deaths in Texas due to COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus, has risen by 25, the...

What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has signed a $484 billion bill that aids employers and hospitals under stress from the coronavirus pandemic. The...

Texas accuses US’ largest egg producer of price gouging

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas' attorney general has accused the nation's largest egg producer of price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic. A lawsuit filed Thursday by...

Governor defends testing levels as Texas begins reopening

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday renewed his defense of coronavirus monitoring in Texas, which...

Governor defends testing levels as Texas begins reopening

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday renewed his defense of coronavirus monitoring in Texas, which...

Doctors: Execution drugs could help COVID-19 patients

By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Secrecy surrounding executions could hinder efforts by a group of medical professionals who are asking the...

Oil price goes negative as demand collapses; stocks dip

NEW YORK — Oil prices plunged below zero on Monday as demand for energy collapses amid the coronavirus pandemic and traders don’t want to...

Reports suggest many have had coronavirus with no symptoms

A flood of new research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out...

As mail voting pushed, some fear loss of in-person option

ATLANTA — Scrambling to address voting concerns during a pandemic, election officials across the country are eliminating polling places or scaling back opportunities for...

Lockdowns ease worldwide, but political heat rises in US

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Tattoo parlors and hair salons in Denmark. Beaches in Australia. Bookstores in Germany. Countries around the world that have seen...

Texas governor begins easing restrictions to reopen economy

AUSTIN — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday began a slow reopening of Texas with orders that allow retail shops to sell items curbside,...

Texas governor begins easing restrictions to reopen economy

By PAUL J. WEBER and JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday began a slow reopening of Texas with...

Abbott issues order closing classrooms for the rest of the school year

Governor Greg Abbott announced today that he is ordering school classrooms to be closed for the remaining of the 2019-2020 school year. It applies to...

`LIBERATE!’: Trump goads states to lift virus restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after laying out a roadmap for gradually reviving economic activity, President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “LIBERATE” three...

Texas universities are getting millions in federal money to offset coronavirus losses

By Raga Justin, Texas Tribune Texas universities and colleges are steeling themselves against the financial impact from a list of losses related to the new...

Facebook to warn users who ‘liked’ coronavirus hoaxes

NEW YORK (AP) — Have you liked or commented on a Facebook post about the COVID-19 pandemic? Facebook is about to begin letting you know...

US relief checks begin arriving as economic damage piles up

WASHINGTON — Government relief checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts as the economic damage to the U.S. from the coronavirus piled up Wednesday...

Texas coronavirus deaths pass 300

DALLAS (AP) — The coronavirus death toll passed 300 in Texas Tuesday, as the state's juvenile prisons announced they will temporarily stop accepting young...

Texas governor says economy won’t reopen all at once

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas businesses won't all reopen at the same time, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday, even as President Donald Trump itches...

Court lifts part of order blocking Texas abortion ban

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday partially rescinded a lower-court order that had largely blocked the enforcement of an abortion...

Astros’ Alex Bregman launches $1M campaign to feed Houstonians

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman has launched FEEDHOU, a $1M fundraising campaign to help feed Houston-area residents impacted by COVID-19. Proceeds from the...

Important Lists

Current Reopening Guidelines

As the state, counties and cities begin to attempt to reopen, we’ll post their provided guidelines here. If a document for your city is not...