Brownsville man with COVID-19 dies; 27 new cases in RGV

The second community-spread, COVID-19 related death in Cameron County has been confirmed as cases across the Rio Grande Valley increased by 27 Thursday evening. 

This makes 879 total positive cases of the disease across Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy and Starr counties, with 286 active. 

The resident who died Thursday was an 82-year-old Brownsville man who died at Solara Hospital, which is located in the city. The number of deaths in the county is now at 20, according to a county news release.

“This is our second community-transmitted COVID-19 death, which means the source of the exposure was not travel-related nor could be traced to another individual,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. said in the release. “I want to express my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Officials also confirmed 14 additional cases of COVID-19 in the county, raising the total of positive cases there to 483. Of those, 247 have recovered, leaving 136 active cases. 

The new cases, whose ages range from 27 to 94, include six males and eight females — all but one 59-year-old Brownsville male were linked to previous cases.

Cameron County Public Health is continuing to monitor cases at the Veranda Nursing Home in Harlingen, where 32 employees and 59 residents have tested positive, and Windsor Atrium, where 32 employees and 54 residents have tested positive. There have been 10 deaths at Veranda, and eight at Windsor. 

Also, a resident of the Spanish Meadows nursing and assisted living center in Brownsville tested positive for COVID-19, according to a notice the facility posted Thursday informing the public of the positive test. 

The notice reads: “Spanish Meadows has had 1 Positive COVID-19 Case from a resident recently admitted from the hospital. The patient was admitted back to the hospital immediately.”

Spanish Meadows administrator Ricardo Rodriguez’s name is listed on the notice.

Over in Starr County, four more cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday — all of whom are members of a family.

Dr. Jose Vazquez, the Starr County health authority, said the new cases are relatives of a 20-year-old Roma man whose results came back positive on Monday.

The four family members include the man’s mother, his grandmother, and two sisters.

The family members have been quarantined but Vazquez added that the 20-year-old man has had issues with breaches of quarantine, though Vazquez said he could not elaborate on what those issues were.

There are now 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Starr County. However, the first seven patients have already recovered.

The Roma man was the county’s first case of community spread.

There are also nine new cases of COVID-19 in Hidalgo County, according to a release Thursday, bringing the total of positive cases there to 368. 

The new cases include five males and four females, who reside in Pharr, Alamo, Donna, Edinburg, Weslaco and Alton. Their ages range from 20s to 70s. 

Of that number, 143 are active, with 14 hospitalized. Two people have been released from isolation.

There have been a total of 5,770 tests administered. There were no reported deaths in the county, leaving the number fatalities there at seven.

One new COVID-19 case in Hidalgo county includes an employee of the Hidalgo County Fire Marshal’s office, according to an agency news release Thursday. 

The Pharr office is being sanitized and will remain open to the public. County health officials are working to determine where the affected person contracted the disease, and trace the interactions they had in public.

“This unfortunate development serves as a reminder that the disease remains active in Hidalgo County and anyone is susceptible to infection,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said.

The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to require facial coverings at all county facilities, including parking lots.

There were no new cases reported in Willacy County, which still stands with 14 positive COVID-19 cases.