Willacy County confirms eighth COVID-19 case

RAYMONDVILLE — A woman in her 20s has become Willacy County’s eighth confirmed case of the coronavirus — and its third reported in four days.

The woman has been isolated, Dr. Emilie Prot, Region 11’s regional medical director, stated Friday.

Now, officials are trying to determine whether her case is linked to a previous case.

“ They don’t know if it’s related to another case,” Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator, said. “They are doing the contact investigation on that.”

Meanwhile, three residents have recovered from the virus, County Judge Aurelio Guerra stated.

“ We have three cases of patients released from quarantine by the department of health,” Torres said.

“ That leaves us with a total of four active cases,” he said, noting a Willacy County man in his 60s became the Rio Grande Valley’s first confirmed death stemming from the COVID-19 virus.

Officials urge residents comply with orders

Torres urged residents to continue complying with social distancing guidelines and shelter-in-place orders.

Last week, Guerra extended the county’s shelter-in-place order through April 30, mandating residents use facial coverings to help prevent the virus’ spread.

As part of his extended order, Guerra also limited motorists’ cars to one adult passenger, Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said.

Third case in four days

Gonzales noted the new case marks the third confirmed in four days in this sparsely populated farming area with about 22,000 residents.

“ If it keeps going up, then we’re going to be concerned,” he said.

But Gonzales said Guerra’s extension of the county’s shelter-in-place order will help curb the virus’ spread.

“ I think we’re doing the right things,” he said. “I’m confident we’re going to minimize it.”

Background

Late last week, the county’s seven clinics had tested 198 residents, finding 163 negative, with about 30 test results pending, Dr. Mario Sanchez, the county’s health director, said at the time.

Test results can take one to 14 days, depending on whether state or private labs conduct the tests, Torres said.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com