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.
The three deaths bring the total number of COVID-19 related fatalities in the county to 35.
“My deepest condolences to the families and friends of these three people. We want you to know that Hidalgo County mourns with you,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said in the release. “Today, I met with hospital administrators from across the county and their message was unified and clear: we as a community are in control. If we take the necessary precautions such as wearing facial coverings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining social distancing then we can help save lives.”
The 248 new cases bring Hidalgo’s County’s total number of known positives to 3,542. There are currently 2,412 net active cases and 3,879 test results pending.
There are 257 people hospitalized with complications from the virus, of which 18 are being treated in intensive care units. There were 23 people released from isolation on Monday, meaning that they have been symptom-free for 10 days, including three days without a fever.
In addition, Cameron County confirmed 113 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing its total to 2,296.
There have been an additional 76 individuals who recovered in Cameron, raising the number of recoveries to 1,466.
Starr County also announced on Monday a total of 18 new cases. Dr. Jose Vazquez, the Starr County health authority, said this brings the total to 616 confirmed in Starr.
Of the 18 new cases, 13 are from Rio Grande City, four are from Roma and one is from Garciasville.
The county also announced that 124 cases have recovered, and 489 are recovering under medical care.
In Willacy County, officials there also announced three new cases on Monday.
The county confirmed that a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s, and a woman in her 50s tested positive for the coronavirus.
The three new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases to 154 in Willacy.
“Our officials and staff continue to work very closely with our neighboring counties and state health services department,” Willacy County Judge Aurelio “Keter” Guerra said in a news release.
The new cases come on the same day that Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo Jr. announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently recovering at home.
According to a news release from Hidalgo County, 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.
“Mr. Guajardo’s decisive action protected not only his staff and colleagues but others in the community,” Chief Deputy County Clerk Annette Muniz said in the release. “Rather than come into the office, he telecommuted and has called in every day during his self-isolation, in spite of his illness.”
Guajardo has served as the Hidalgo County clerk since 2007. In the release, he warned the public about the severity of the virus.
“Please, for your own sake and the sake of your loved ones, continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask when out in public and only go out when you absolutely have to,” Guajardo wrote. “Even though I am healthy, active, and strong and took all precautions, I was not immune to it.”
In a separate news release, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department confirmed on Monday that four youths and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Two youths at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg tested positive, as well as two youth development coaches at the center.
Additionally, two youths at one of TJJD’s halfway houses tested positive for COVID-19, and two more youths await testing.
According to the release, these two cases are the first youths to test positive at a halfway house.
The youths in question continue to receive treatment at the campus.
As of Monday, TJJD has administered a total of 242 COVID-19 tests to youth.
Several locations throughout the Valley will be offering free testing for COVID-19 this week.
Individuals are encouraged to seek testing if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including fever and/or chills, sore throat, cough (dry or productive), headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, muscle or joint pain, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and/or smell.
Testing in Hidalgo County is available to anyone experiencing symptoms.
Identification is required and participants are encouraged to pre-register at txcovidtest.org or by calling (512) 883-2400.
Testing will be conducted the following days:
>> Tuesday at Robert M. Capello Sr. Gym at Edcouch-Elsa High School, located at Highway 107 and Mile 4 Road West in Edcouch.
>> Wednesday and Thursday at Church of Christ (North Mission) in Palmhurst, located at 1410 E. Mile 3 Road.
>> Wednesday through Friday at Isaac D. Rodriguez Park in Weslaco, located at 1200 E. Sixth St.
>> Saturday from half a day at the Alton Recreation Center in Alton, located at 349 Dawes Ave.
>> Sunday at the La Joya Fire Department, located at 625 E. Expressway 83.
Closing times at these locations may vary due to testing limits.
Testing in Cameron County will be conducted at the Los Fresnos Fire Department at 233 Alamo St. in Los Fresnos, located off of State Highway 100 behind the Los Fresnos City Administration Building, from Friday through Sunday.
It will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the testing limit of 125 is reached.
No appointment is necessary, but participants are instructed to bring identification and will be screened for symptoms of the coronavirus.
Public restrooms are not available.