Hidalgo County confirmed an additional eight deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday as cases continue to inch toward the 50,000 mark since the onset of the virus’ arrival to the region.
In a news release, the county recorded an additional 380 cases of COVID-19 in the area with 159 being confirmed, 219 probable and two suspected.
This raises the total number of cases reported in the county to 49,728, with 34,827 being confirmed, 14,148 probable and 753 suspected.
Two women in their 70s from McAllen and Pharr are among the recently confirmed deaths, as are six men in their 40s, 60s and 70s who hailed from Weslaco, Alamo, McAllen and Mission.
The virus death toll in Hidalgo County is now at 2,176.
There are 280 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized with 110 in ICU, and 294 have been released from isolation.
Of the 297,670 virus tests administered in the county, 247,194 have been negative.
On the virus-fighting front, South Texas Health System opened its second COVID-19 vaccination clinic Wednesday at STHS Edinburg. The first site opened was at STHS McAllen.
According to a news release STHS issued Thursday morning, the sites are used to inoculate the hospital system’s front-line workers with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the STHS McAllen as the STHS Edinburg campus will inoculate with the Moderna vaccine, of which more than 22,000 doses were expected in the Rio Grande Valley this week.
The hospital system’s first shipment of Moderna vaccines, about 1,400 doses, already arrived at STHS Edinburg on Wednesday.
A second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine also arrived at STHS McAllen on Tuesday, specifically in the amount of 975 doses.
“Additional vaccine shipments are expected at South Texas Health System McAllen and South Texas Health System Edinburg next week, with more shipments anticipated in the coming weeks,” the STHS news release read. “While the initial supply of the new vaccines will be limited, it is undeniably encouraging news that these new vaccines will help in society’s fight against the pandemic.”
ELSEWHERE IN THE VALLEY
Three more cases of COVID-19 were also confirmed in Willacy County on Thursday, a news release from the county’s office of emergency management announced.
Cases there are confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which has the county’s tally at 1,546 virus cases recorded.