Ten COVID-19 related deaths, at least 800 new cases, reported in RGV

Ten more Rio Grande Valley residents died due to COVID-19 related complications and more than 800 new cases were confirmed Friday, according to county officials

Eight of those individuals were Hidalgo County residents, according to county officials who also reported another 719 confirmed cases in the county on Friday.

The total number of deaths in the county is now at 2,030, and there are now 40,085 confirmed cases. Currently, 2,333 of those cases are active.

Hidalgo County also reported 167 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 63 of those patients receiving treatment in an intensive care unit.

Cameron County health officials confirmed two additional COVID-19 related deaths and 111 new cases. Their death toll is now at 1,110 while their total confirmed cases is at 25,507. Of those, 2,562 are active.

Starr County reported that as of Thursday, there were 341 active cases including 14 that officials confirmed that day. So far, they have reported 187 total deaths due to the coronavirus disease.

In Willacy County, there were five new confirmed cases for a total of 1,291.

The counties in the Rio Grande Valley are part of Public Health Region 11 as defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Region 11 consists of 19 counties in South Texas, from north of Corpus Christi to Laredo and down to Brownsville.

Throughout the entire region, there was an increase of 8,813 COVID-19 cases during the seven-day period DSHS officials were monitoring from Nov. 9 through Nov. 17.

That’s significantly up from four weeks prior when there was a seven-day increase of 1,582 cases.

Some of those confirmed cases could be from test results that were previously unreported due to a backlog in the testing and reporting process but how many is unclear.

“We are not yet seeing case acceleration that we were seeing back in June and July but we’re monitoring these trends on a daily basis because the cases are increasing significantly,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas with DSHS Region 11 who added they were also seeing a steady increase in hospitalizations.

“We are currently working with our hospital partners in monitoring trends in cases and hospitalizations so that we can better identify any anticipated needs in advance,” she said.

DSHS is also monitoring deaths, Cuevas said, though that data is usually delayed because of the reporting process.

“So we expect to see death increases a couple of weeks after we see case increases and hospitalization increases,” she said. “While we don’t want anymore deaths, we certainly are expecting to see moderate increases in the coming weeks with the increased case count.”