Hidalgo County confirms first case of COVID-19

A McAllen resident has tested positive for COVID-19, making this the first case of it in the county, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced Saturday night.

Hidalgo County health officials were immediately alerted to the positive test and, in turn, alerted Cortez. The person’s name has not been released because of federal privacy laws, and local authorities in that area have also been alerted, according to a news release which revealed no other information about the individual.

Health officials have ordered the person into home isolation and have begun the process of retracing the person’s whereabouts over the past several weeks to determine who else has been in contact with the person.

“We knew this day was coming and we are prepared,” Cortez said.

Under emergency protocol, Cortez ordered the Hidalgo County Division of Emergency Management to go into a Level 1 Operational status, the county’s highest.

Anticipating that someone would contract the coronavirus in Hidalgo County, Judge Cortez declared a state of disaster this past Monday and ordered no mass gatherings in the county as of that date. Two days later, he ordered that all restaurants, bars and private clubs stop any in-dining service and that gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people.

An Emergency Operation Center has already been activated where county health, law enforcement and emergency management officials are working in concert from a single command center to mitigate the spread of the disease and provide essential services related to any collateral effects from the global pandemic.

“This is a highly contagious disease and residents should not be surprised — or alarmed — that others in Hidalgo County will likely contract the virus,” Cortez said. “The best thing you can do is stay home.”

4 Comments

  1. Ruby Ann F Martinez on March 21, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    This is serious family and friends. PLEASE stay home if you do not NEED to go anywhere.

  2. Ruby Ann F Martinez on March 21, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    This is serious family and friends. PLEASE stay home if you do not NEED to go anywhere, please stay home and practice the hygiene , social distance and safety. Think of your loved ones at home .

  3. Veronica on March 22, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Judge Cortez the Coronavirus is not a disease as you stated in this article. It’s a virus.

  4. Jennifer on March 22, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    I think we are just tapping into what is an epidemic here in the valley. It’s just a matter of getting people tested which we have a shortage of. Everyone who is flying in or who has flown in since March should be tested. It’s gonna blow up.

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