Hidalgo County exceeds 20,000 cases of COVID-19

Condolence program to help with funeral expenses as 22 more die

HIdalgo County has passed the 20,000 mark for COVID-19 cases after confirming an additional 407 new cases on Monday.

The total number of cases in the county is now 20,148.

There were also an additional 22 COVID-19 related deaths, raising the county’s virus death toll to 829.

“My heart goes out to all the families and friends of those who have lost a loved one due to this virus,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said in a news release, who acknowledged the region’s hardships in addressing a new program designed to provide aid for those with low incomes who’ve lost family members to the coronavirus.

Dubbed the COVID Condolence Program, the judge said eligible individuals can receive up to $2,000 for funeral expenses.

“We understand the heartbreak and hardships our residents are facing as they deal with the untimely death of their loved one,” Cortez wrote in the release. “This program will help alleviate some of the financial burden they are facing.”

The program, which is being administered by the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department, provides this assistance based on certain qualifications.

Funding for the program comes from more than $2 million in federal coronavirus relief money. The program will remain in effect until the funds are completely disbursed.

To qualify for the program, individuals must be a resident of Hidalgo County, their loved one’s death must be COVID-19 related, they must be affected by COVID-19 due to loss of income, their income must be below 300% of federal poverty levels, and they must have a signed quote or contract from the funeral home, among other requirements.

Residents can apply at www.hidalgocares.org/covidcondolenceprogram or at one of the county’s Health and Human Services offices.

There are also currently 627 people in Hidalgo County hospitals with the coronavirus, of which 226 are in intensive care units.

There are 4,494 net active cases in the county. Six more people were released from isolation on Monday, meaning that they have been symptom-free for 10 days, including three days without a fever. There have been a total of 14,825 people released from isolation.

Hidalgo County has administered 117,419 tests for COVID-19, and 96,897 have returned negative results.

Cameron County announced 11 additional COVID-19 related deaths, raising the total there to 378.

The deaths include a 62-year-old woman and two men ages 66 and 78 from Brownsville, four men ages 45, 66, 72 and 93 from Harlingen, a 57-year-old man from Port Isabel, a 72-year-old man from Rio Hondo, and an 86-year-old woman and a 62-year-old man from San Benito.

The county also confirmed an additional 316 COVID-19 cases, raising that total to 16,906.

Also on Monday, Willacy County announced six additional COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of cases there to 699.

The new cases include a male infant, a boy less than 10 years old, a girl and boy in their teens and a man and woman in their 60s and 20s, respectively.