The first drive-thru community vaccination clinic in Hidalgo County is coming to Weslaco this week as the region’s death toll and case tally grew Tuesday by 12 and 678, respectively.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced that the drive-thru clinic would be held at Bobby Lackey Stadium in Weslaco on Thursday in partnership with the city and the Weslaco school district, according to a Tuesday afternoon news release.
Eligible residents are those 65 or older, healthcare workers, and those who are 18 and older with medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease or Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Like previous clinics, residents should also bring an ID and documented proof of medical condition, a clearance letter from a physician, and to prepare for a potential wait.
To reduce wait times, pre-registration for the drive-thru clinic is being held at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the stadium, located at 784 N. Westgate Drive in Weslaco. Residents must drive through the stadium’s southern entrance on Panther Drive.
A wristband will be provided on a first come, first serve basis during this process, allowing residents to return to the stadium at designated times for their inoculation Thursday.
“We are seeing a pent-up demand for the vaccine in Hidalgo County and that is a good thing,” Cortez said in the release. “But we must follow the state’s guidelines for vaccine distribution meaning that much of our population must remain patient before getting a vaccine.”
A registration form can be printed and prefilled at www.hidalgocounty.us.
The county is also planning its fourth COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the La Joya area Wednesday.
Shortly after making the announcement, however, the clinic had already reached its limit for the first come, first serve vaccinations.
In a news release Tuesday, Hidalgo County health officials announced the clinic was being held in conjunction with the La Joya Independent School District at Palmview High School in Mission, where 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were planned to be administered at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
But La Joya ISD confirmed that the clinic was already at capacity as of early afternoon Tuesday, another indication of the local demand for the vaccine as many often line up in their vehicles at vaccination sites overnight.
DHR Health is preparing to administer the second dose of Moderna vaccinations Friday and Saturday for those who received their first inoculation between Dec. 25 and 27 at the hospital in Edinburg.
Virus deaths in the county, meanwhile, remain in the double digits.
Those whose deaths due to the coronavirus were confirmed Tuesday include seven men in their 50s, 60s and 70s from Alamo, Edinburg, Mercedes, Mission, Pharr and McAllen. Five women in their 50s, 60s and 70s from Hidalgo, Mercedes, Mission and Pharr are also among those who died due to the disease.
These 12 deaths raise the county’s COVID-19 toll to 2,305.
Of the 678 new cases in the county, 434 are confirmed, 230 are probable and 14 are suspected. These cases raise the county’s total number of cases to 58,015, of which 40,282 are confirmed, 16,840 are probable, and 893 are suspected.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 418 people in county hospitals, of which 141 were in intensive care units. There were 599 released from isolation on Tuesday, raising that total to 53,507.
There are 2,203 net active cases in Hidalgo County.
The county has administered a total of 338,701 COVID-19 tests, and 279,796 were negative.
Hidalgo County tweeted that their COVID-19 Hotline is currently experiencing a high number of calls which is resulting in many callers getting a busy signal.
“Callers may be getting a busy signal when they call in, and if that is the case we ask that you call back at a later time. Thank you!”
The county’s COVID-19 Hotline is 956-292-7765.
ELSEWHERE IN THE VALLEY
Willacy County received confirmation of 32 new COVID-19 cases Monday, raising the total number of confirmed cases there to 1,793.
Starr County reported 55 new cases of the virus as of Monday. The county has 586 active cases of the virus, and 5,668 people have recovered.
There have been 213 COVID-19 related deaths there.