Youth lead COVID-19 cases in Hidalgo County as three more die due to virus

Cameron County receives $41 million in federal funds

Hidalgo County officials reported Thursday that 86 people tested positive for COVID-19 in addition to three deaths related to the virus.

The deaths reported Thursday were two Mission men and one McAllen woman, all 70 or older, and slightly increased the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,865. 

Of the 86 new cases reported by the Health and Human Services Department, 35 were confirmed, 32 probable and 19 suspected.

The majority of cases reported Thursday were led by people 19 and under, with a total of 30 cases. Adults in their 50s were the next-highest group reported Thursday with a total of 15 cases, with adults in their 40s trailing behind with 14 cases.

Hidalgo County COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday, May 20, 2021, by age group.

The total number of cases reported in Hidalgo County is 90,675. Of that total, 59,519 are confirmed, 29,257 are probable and 1,899 are suspected. 

According to a release from the county, a total of 914 cases are active.

Officials also reported 94 people are hospitalized in county hospitals, with 27 patients in intensive care units. Both numbers are down from last week’s in which a total of 109 people were hospitalized last Thursday, with 40 patients in ICUs then. 

Additionally, the county reported 118 individuals were released from isolation this Thursday, increasing that total to 86,896. 

As of Thursday, a total of 494,002 COVID-19 tests have been administered in Hidalgo County, with 402,518 results returning negative.

In Cameron County, officials reported a total of 38 positive COVID-19 cases Thursday and no deaths related to the virus, according to a county news release. 

Of the 38 positive cases reported, Cameron County officials noted that 30 cases were from facilities housing unaccompanied minors, such as shelters and detention centers. 

Of the 30 reported from the facilities, the majority of cases were from individuals in the age group 10-19, with 25 cases. The remaining five cases were two girls in the 0-19 age group and three men from the age groups 30-39, 40-49 and 50-59. 

The remaining eight positive cases in Cameron County were two Harlingen individuals in their 20s and 30s, with the rest of the cases coming from Brownsville individuals in the age groups 0-9, 10-19, 30s and 40s. 

Cameron County COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday, May 20, 2021, by age group.

As of Thursday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Cameron County is 41,004, with the death toll remaining at 1,647. 

Additionally, the county also reported 66 individuals recovered from the virus on Thursday, increasing that total to 38,440. 

As for their vaccination efforts, Cameron County officials said 51.79 percent of their 12 and older population are fully vaccinated, with 66.22 percent receiving at least one dose. 

The county also reported that 75.06 percent of their 65 or older population are fully vaccinated, with 85.73 percent receiving at least one dose. 

In addition to reporting their COVID-19 statistics, Cameron County also announced they’ve received $41 million dollars Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Treasury from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

On May 10, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to assist with emergency funding in response to the unprecedented strains and revenue shortfalls in light of COVID-19.

Two days later, on May 12, Cameron County submitted a request to the treasury department to be recipients of the determined federal funds, according to a news release from the county. 

The $41 million given to Cameron County is only half of the full amount: $82.1 million dollars. According to the release, local governments will receive the total funds in a twelve-month span; fifty percent allocation in May 2021, followed by the remaining balance within the next 12 months. 

“The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will provide a needed and necessary economic resource to address our County’s monthly economic losses and revenue shortfalls and therefore, lessen our budget constraints which many local governments such as Cameron County have encountered,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. said in the release. 

In the release, the county said the funds will provide substantial flexibility to meet the needs of the area in the following ways: 

>> Supporting public health expenditures

>> Address revenue shortfalls and negative economic impact

>> Aid communities that were hit hardest by the crisis

>> Provide premium pay for essential workers

>> Invest in water, sewer and drainage improvements

>> Provide broadband infrastructure and connectivity 

“Working through this unprecedented health crisis, this financial assistance will help boost our local economy and thus, provide the much-needed resources our families and communities deserve. We will work diligently to prioritize the awarded funds,” Treviño said in the release.