Another 17 RGV residents lost to COVID-19

An additional 17 Rio Grande Valley residents died due to complications from COVID-19, county officials reported Friday.

Thirteen of those individuals were from Hidalgo County where another 639 people tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

The 13 deceased include four individuals who were in their 60s and nine who were older than 70 years old.

Their deaths raise the total number of fatalities in the county to 2,549 since the start of the pandemic.

The 639 new cases include 376 confirmed cases, 259 probable cases, and four suspected cases. The county now has a total of 47,998 total confirmed cases, 21,989 total probable cases, and a total of 1,005 suspected cases.

Currently, 2,191 cases are considered active.

The county also reported 333 COVID-19 cases in hospitals. Of those patients, 147 are receiving treatment in an intensive care unit.

Cameron County health officials reported four residents died to COVID-19 raising their total number of deaths to 1,411.

The four individuals who died include two Harlingen men — one in his 60s and one in his 80s — a Rio Hondo man in his 80s, and a San Benito woman in her 70s.

The county also reported 191 new cases for a total of 36,514. Of those, 5,977 are active.

Additionally, an employee from their juvenile probation department also tested positive. Citing privacy laws, the county declined to disclose specific employee information.

COVID-19 deaths and cases throughout Public Health Region 11 — a 19-county area in South Texas that includes the Rio Grande Valley — have remained steady compared to last week, according to Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas, an incident commander with the Department of State Health Services.

“For this week, we’re seeing approximately, for the seven day increase, just shy of 6,000 case,” Cuevas said during a weekly news conference call held Friday. “Last week, we had an increase of 6,300 and so the increase (cables????) are still continuing but the acceleration is somewhat stabilizing.”

“That is good news in the sense that we’re not seeing rapid growth,” Cuevas added. “The rate of change, is still staying about steady.”

For the past week, there was a 3.4% increase in positive cases across the entire region confirmed through PCR tests while there was a 2.6% increase in probable cases which are counted through antigen test results, Cuevas said.

As far as deaths, there were 189 across the region for a 3.5% increase from last week.

“This rate of death is similar to what we saw last week,” she said. “The last week’s seven day average was 194 so that is still similar.”

Cuevas added that they continue to track outbreaks throughout the region of which there are currently 22. Officials identified them in schools, childcare facilities, home health agencies, nursing home facilities, police departments and jails.