CDC classifies Valley’s COVID level as low, but people are still dying

Edinburg fire personnel ring a bell during a prayer service in remembrance of those who died of COVID-19 on Monday, March 21, 2022, at the Edinburg Conference Center. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

The entire Rio Grande Valley is once again at a low COVID-risk level though county officials reported two dozen COVID-related deaths over the last week.

As many as 24 residents were reported to have died due to COVID-related complications, Hidalgo and Cameron County officials reported this past week despite the Valley being assigned a low community level by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Hidalgo County, another 20 residents died due to COVID-related complications, the county reported this week. Five were unvaccinated and 15 were not up to date on their vaccinations.

All but one of the residents were over 70 years old, one was in their 60s.

The county now has reported approximately 4,100 COVID-related deaths.

Reports of the deaths come as the four Valley counties — Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy — are now at a low COVID-19 community level.

The CDC assigns either a low, medium or high community level to counties throughout the U.S. based on the hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the number of new COVID-19 cases in the area over the previous seven days.

This week, Hidalgo County reported a total of 643 COVID cases including 229 confirmed and 414 probable cases.

COVID hospitalizations in Hidalgo County saw very little change this week.

At the beginning of the week, the county reported a total of 58 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19. Those patients included 54 adults and four children.

Of the 58 patients, there were 15 patients in intensive care units including 14 adults and one child.

As of Thursday, there were still a total of 58 patients with COVID in hospitals throughout the county. All of those patients were adults and 10 of them were in the ICU.

Cameron County reported four COVID-related deaths among their residents, two of whom were fully vaccinated.

The deceased residents included two people in their 50s, one in their 70s and one in their 80s.

The county has had a total of 2,340 COVID-related deaths.

There were also 366 new COVID cases in Cameron County this week including 89 confirmed and 277 probable cases.