COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Cameron County

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevi–o holds a press conference COVID-19 update Friday morning. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

One day after Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. issued an emergency order that included mandatory facial coverings, implemented a curfew and closed several county beaches and parks, he held a press conference Tuesday to provide more information on his orders.

Trevino said the reason the county decided to take these measures is due to the increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county. “We have to modify our behavior. All we are asking is for everyone to modify their behavior.”

The order remains in effect until July 13, unless it is extended, modified or terminated by the county judge.

On June 23, 93 patients were hospitalized with COVID who did not require ICU care and there were 31 patients hospitalized with COVID that did require ICU care, said Dr. James Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority.

That number increased on June 29 to 272 patients hospitalized with COVID -19 not in the ICU and 33 in the ICU with COVID.

“With the number of cases surging, there are more and more people entering the hospital. The average time a person is expected to be in the hospital is a little bit more than one to two weeks. And so they either get better and can leave or they will die,” Castillo said.

Castillo said not wearing face mask and not social distancing is what is driving the majority of the infections.

“We are going to have to live with this illness for at least the next year. No matter a vaccine. This is going to go on for at least another year.”

“We can’t keep opening up and shutting down. We need to come up with a balance,” Castillo said.