Valley COVID hospitalizations drop 30% in first week of November

Hospitalizations throughout the Rio Grande Valley continued to decline though they still fluctuated during the first week of November.

On Monday, there were 94 total COVID-19 hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area V which encompasses the Valley. The figure reflects a 33% decrease from the 140 total hospitalizations reported Nov. 1.

The drop from 140 to 94, however, was not a straight line. Hospitalizations had dropped even lower on Friday, Nov. 5, to 86. It increased the following day to 89 then to 92 on Sunday.

Of the total 94 patients reported hospitalized on Monday, 90 were adults, with 40 of them in intensive care units, and four were pediatric patients, according to data collected by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

In Hidalgo County alone, there were 53 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, the county reported Tuesday. That was an increase from the 47 COVID-19 patients the county reported Monday, but still represented an overall decrease from those hospitalized in the county at the beginning of the month.

The 53 total patients in the county included 42 adults and 11 pediatric patients. Of the total hospitalized, there were 23 patients being treated in intensive care units including 21 adults and two pediatric patients.

Despite the decline, there are still people dying from COVID-19 related complications. On Tuesday, a total of five people were reported to have died. Four were unvaccinated.

Four of those individuals were Hidalgo County residents, county officials reported, including one man in his 50s, one man in his 60s, and two men more than 70 years old. Three of the four men were unvaccinated.

The four deceased individuals bring the county’s COVID death toll to 3,475.

There were also another 57 cases reported Tuesday, which brings the total number of cases in Hidalgo County to 118,289 since the start of the pandemic.

The 57 new cases reported Tuesday include six confirmed cases, 48 probable cases, and three suspected cases. Of the total 118,289, 68,649 were confirmed cases, 46,743 were probable and 2,897 were suspected cases.

Within schools, there were another 33 students and two staff members who tested positive for COVID-19. There are now a total of 3,574 students and 699 staff members who have tested positive since the county began tracking cases in schools in August.

Cameron County health officials reported one COVID-related death Tuesday: a Harlingen man in his 20s. He was not vaccinated.

His death raised the county’s total number of COVID deaths to 1,987.

Additionally, there were 20 more cases of COVID in Cameron County for a new total of 53,631 cases since the start of the pandemic. Another 166 people there have recovered from COVID for a total of 49,884 recovered individuals.

Starr County reported five new confirmed cases and one new probable case of COVID Tuesday, and Willacy County reported seven, according to DSHS data.