Man in 30s becomes Willacy County’s 14th case of COVID-19

MGN Online

RAYMONDVILLE — A man in his 30s has become Willacy County’s 14th confirmed case of coronavirus — and its first in about 12 days.

Now, state health officials are investigating how the man contracted the virus, Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator, said Thursday.

“They’re trying to figure out if it’s community related, related to another case or travel (related),” he said.

Officials are also tracking others the man may have infected.

“DSHA is supporting Willacy County in identifying any close contacts of the patients so they can be isolated and monitored for symptoms,” Dr. Emilie Prot, Region 11’s medical director, stated.

The man becomes the county’s first confirmed case since April 25, when a man in his 60s was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

So far, 11 patients have recovered while a Willacy County man in his 60s became the Rio Grande Valley’s first death linked to the infection.

Across the county, the number of new cases is flattening in this sparsely populated rural area of about 22,000 residents.

“We’re not seeing an increase,” Dr. Mario Sanchez, the county’s health director, said. “We’re pretty stable.”

Meanwhile, health officials are awaiting the results of 16 tests conducted here last week, Torres said.

Last week, officials tested 51 residents after screening them for symptoms.

Of those, 35 tested negative for the virus, Torres said.

Now, Torres is also awaiting results of 49 tests conducted Tuesday after those residents were also screened for symptoms.

Torres urged residents to continue practicing social distancing to prevent the virus’ spread.

“We’d like people to continue to be aware that we’re still in the middle of the fight and continue practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when you’re in public,” he said.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com