Hidalgo Co. cases near 30 as Weslaco man tests positive

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

WESLACO — A Weslaco man is the 29th person to test positive for COVID-19 in Hidalgo County, according to a county news release issued Sunday.

The city of Weslaco addressed the case, which appears to be travel-related, in a statement later Sunday evening.

“We have been notified by the Hidalgo County Health Department of a second confirmed travel related Weslaco COVID-19 case,” the statement read. “This individual is a 47-year-old male; investigators with the Hidalgo County Health Department are working to determine who he may have been in contact with.”

The city also continued to advise residents to avoid traveling.

“If you traveled out of Hidalgo County and returned, then you need to self-quarantine yourself as per Weslaco Shelter-at-Home Order,” the city’s statement further read. “Currently, the majority of cases in Hidalgo County are travel related, do not risk bringing the virus back to your family and friends.”

Social distancing measures, meanwhile, remain in effect throughout the county and city.

“The City of Weslaco reminds its citizens to follow the Shelter-at-Home Order to minimize or avoid exposure to COVID 19,” the statement said.

Those regulations will be enforced by law enforcement. According to the city, Weslaco police will be “actively enforcing” the shelter at home order, which if violated is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and as much as a $1,000 fine.

According to Gov. Greg Abbott, 25,483 Texans have been tested for the coronavirus. Of them, 2,552 tested positive as of press time Sunday.

Texas now has cases in 118 of 254 counties, Abbott said. Although those numbers may not include new Rio Grande Valley cases which have recently been confirmed. In the Valley, cases have risen to 52.

There have also been 34 deaths “that have a connection to COVID-19” in Texas.

Abbott said that the number of hospital beds available in Texas for COVID-19-positive patients has more than doubled in the past week, from more than 8,100 as of March 18 to 16,000 as of Thursday.