More young patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Hidalgo County

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County reported one new COVID-19 death and 119 additional cases Monday, continuing the trend of relatively low case activity, although local officials began raising concerns about an uptick in hospitalized individuals with the virus.

As of Monday, 134 individuals remained in area hospitals with the virus, 42 of them in intensive care units.

Eddie Olivarez, Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Administrator, addressed those numbers in a video address Monday, saying the county was still seeing a lower hospitalization rate than the 400-person average it was reporting in January, but that the 134 people in the hospital was a concerning increase from the 100 hospitalized patients its been averaging in recent weeks.

Many of those patients, Olivarez said, are relatively young.

“I’m asking everyone to get vaccinated,” he said. “We’re noticing that most of the new patients in the hospital are people between the ages of 18 and 35, so we ask that population — please get vaccinated. It’s important for the health and safety of our community.”

Olivarez also urged residents to continue avoiding crowds, wearing masks and, especially, to get vaccinated.

Monday’s sole reported fatality in the county, a woman from an undisclosed location in her 70s, brings the county’s death toll to 2,825.

Of the new cases, 46 are reported as confirmed, 48 as probable and 25 as suspect, bringing the county to a total of 88,723 cases, 58,398 of which are confirmed, 28,708 probable and 1,617 suspect.

Elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley, Cameron County reported an additional 128 cases and three more fatalities.

Those numbers raise the death toll there to 1,632 and the total number of cases to 40,489.