Willacy County reports 14 more COVID-19 cases

MGN Online

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found 14 more Willacy County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, driving the rural county’s total case count to 168.

On the eve of Fourth of July parties, many residents here are counting on County Judge Aurelio Guerra’s latest order to help curb the wave.

On Wednesday night, county officials reported 14 new cases including a 6-month-old girl.

Now, health officials are investigating to determine whether the patients infected others.

“ Our officials and staff continue to work very closely with our neighboring counties and state health services department,” Guerra stated in a press release.

“ The Texas Department of State Health Services will conduct case investigations on this and all positive COVID-19 cases that arise are that proper isolation and 14-day quarantine is strictly adhered to,” Guerra stated. “In addition, (health officials) will be sure family members stay isolated and quarantined as well and will be sure the family has supplies needed to be able to stay at home and follow protocol.”

On June 28, Guerra issued an order imposing a curfew on residents 17 and over from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. “unless that person is out for an emergency or obtaining or providing for essential services.”

As part of the mandate, Guerra ordered public and private gatherings limited to 10 residents.

Violators face fines of as much as $1,000.

“ The transmission of COVID-19 has not dissipated but remains a significant threat to the health and safety of the Willacy County community and rates of infection are increasing at an alarming exponential rate and the number of people ending up in the hospital, ICU or on ventilators is also dramatically rising despite efforts by local authorities to control the spread,” the order states.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the mandatory use of facial coverings to curb the virus’ spread.

Guerra urged residents to stay home, practice social distancing and good hygiene such as frequent hand washing and wear facial coverings.

Since late May, COVID-19 cases in this rural county with about 22,000 residents have surged from 14.

For more information, contact the state hotline at 956-421-5505.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com