COVID cases, hospitalizations continue incline in Hidalgo Co.

Starr County experiencing ‘alarming’ surge

Hidalgo County reported four additional coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday along with 763 new cases, continuing a recent surge that’s been in line with local health officials’ warnings that the fall holiday season would bring a significant increase in activity.

The new infected individuals bring the total number of cases in the county to 42,232, of which 2,147 are active.

Out of those cases, 191 individuals are hospitalized and 76 are in intensive care units. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, though slight, is also an increase from the 170-180 range, where it’s rested for weeks.

In the meantime, Mercedes Mayor Oscar Montoya, who tested positive for the virus a little over two weeks ago, announced this week that he and his wife were on their way to a full recovery.

“We want to send a special thanks to our friends, new and old, that went out of their way to bring food, drinks, Teas and meals,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

The newly elected mayor also pointed to individuals who supported the couple.

“What a blessing that was for us, both physically and emotionally,” Montoya wrote.

Additionally, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra also took to Facebook earlier this week to report that he’s improving from a bout with COVID-19, which required his hospitalization at one point.

Cases in Starr County are also surging as the county’s health authority, Dr. Antonio Falcon, shared “alarming” news of 195 cases from Nov. 17 through Nov. 24.

“Recently and for several weeks prior, the Starr County average had been about 45 cases weekly,” Falcon wrote in a news release. “The number of positives has exploded by 400.”

Of the 195 cases, 111 were from Rio Grande City, 77 were from Roma, four from La Grulla, two from Garciasville, and one from Santa Elena.

Broken down by age, 55 cases were of individuals 18 years old or younger while 140 were among those 19 or older.

“This is alarming and extremely dangerous,” Falcon stated. “I urge constant awareness and compliance with all of the Texas Department (of State Health Services), Center(s) for Disease Control and Starr County judge’s recommendations.”