30 more Valley residents die from COVID-19 

An additional 30 Rio Grande Valley residents died Friday due to complications related to COVID-19, and more than 700 people tested positive for the disease.

In Hidalgo County, 23 residents died due to COVID-19 and 480 people were confirmed positive on Friday.

That brings the total number of deaths to 1,071 and the total number of confirmed cases to 23,993, according to a news release issued by the county. Currently, 4,418 cases remain active.

“These numbers, particularly of those who died, should bring pain to us all as a community,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said. “These are our family, friends and neighbors who are falling victim to this terrible disease.

“I send them all my prayers and I send those who knew them my condolences,” Cortez added. “To everyone else, I send my plea to protect yourselves by staying home unless absolutely necessary, to continue using face coverings and keeping your distance from others when you do venture out. These common-sense measures can save your life and stop the pain of our community.”

On Friday, the county also reported 414 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus which was a slight decrease from 445 people in hospitals on Thursday.

From those requiring hospitalization, 164 are receiving treatment in an intensive care unit.

Cameron County public health officials reported six people died there due to the virus, which brought their total death toll to 495. Additionally, 227 people were confirmed positive, bringing their total number of reported cases to 19,001. Of those, 6,420 remain active.

Several county employees are among the newly confirmed cases reported Friday afternoon.

The employees included two from the public health department, three from the sheriff’s office, one employee from the county clerk’s office and one from the district clerk’s office.

Citing privacy laws, the county said they will not be releasing specific employee information.

They also encouraged the public to continue conducting business online through the county’s website. They also assured, though, that their public health department was working with elected officials and department heads in implementing appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.

“Although we are reporting a few employees with COVID-19 this week, we need to continue to do our part and remain and keep others safe,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño said in the release.

He thanked those who have adhered to the county’s orders and safety measures that were enacted to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Please continue to utilize a facial covering, shelter-in-place, social distance, and practice good hygiene etiquette,” Treviño said. “Further, to all county employees, please continue to protect yourselves and utilize health and sanitation protocols when out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 both at work and at home.”

Starr County reported another 31 individuals tested positive and another person died, bringing their total deaths to an even 100.

Of their 2,517 total cases, 1,733 are currently active in Starr County.

In Willacy County, three women positive for COVID-19, bringing their total number of cases there to 802, according to a news release from the office of Willacy County Judge Aurelio “Keter” Guerra.

All were women — a teenager, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 70s.