Willacy County confirms fifth virus case

RAYMONDVILLE — A woman in her 30s has become Willacy County’s fifth confirmed case of the coronavirus in eight days.

The state health department would not disclose further information about the case, Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator, said Friday.

Eight days ago, state health officials confirmed a 4-year-old had become this sparsely populated farming county’s first case of the COVID-19 virus, Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said.

The child is a Pittman Elementary School student, which the district had closed along with other schools across the county on March 13, Ben Clinton, deputy superintendent of the Raymondville school district, said at the time.

Last Sunday, officials confirmed the county’s second case, which Clinton only described as being an adult.

Then on Thursday, health officials confirmed two more cases of the new virus.

No other information was readily available regarding the patients’ identities or factors that may have led to their infections.

Meanwhile, officials are investigating the individuals the infected residents contacted.

Torres said such investigations take two to four days to complete.

“I believe they go back 14 days checking for people patients had contact with,” he said. “That’s why these patients are put on quarantine the minute they’re tested. You’re put under self quarantine until the test results come back.”

Torres is urging residents to comply with federal guidelines and state and local shelter-in-place orders mandating residents stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We can’t stop it all but if we control it a little bit, that’s what matters,” Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said, referring to the orders aimed at preventing the virus’ spread.