South Padre vacationers test positive for COVID-19

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Cameron County Public Health confirmed Wednesday that a couple who had vacationed at South Padre Island for a few months this year have tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus. 

According to a release from the county, during their time on the Island, the two individuals traveled to Idaho in late February and early March for a wedding, where they were in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The release says the couple left South Padre Island a few days after returning from Idaho on or about March 11 and were recently diagnosed in Michigan, where they permanently reside.

“We are in the process of gathering information to include contacts that may have possibly been exposed to ensure that we contain it,” Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo wrote in the statement. “Fortunately, based on the information we have received thus far, the two individuals took proactive measures and home-isolated themselves after their return trip from Idaho until they left South Padre Island.”

The release said Cameron County Public Health is working with officials from South Padre Island, the property owner and management to ensure preventative measures are taken and the property is disinfected; the property does not have an elevator, which decreases potential risk to others.

“This is why I have consistently been telling the public, school administrators, the medical community and the political leadership for the last two weeks, that we need to all unite and be proactive to undertake any and all necessary drastic measures and make these decisions that will help address this very serious situation,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. wrote in the statement. “I understand that these decisions are potentially devastating to trade and commerce, but unless they are made we won’t be able to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.”

The release says that the county will continue monitoring the situation and providing updates. A coronavirus hotline has been established for public inquiries about the virus: (956) 247-3650.