Starr County sees first case of community acquired COVID-19 spread; Hidalgo County sees 9 new cases

Starr County reported four new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the county total to 14.

The four new cases come from the same household after a 20-year-old Roma man tested positive for the disease Monday, making him the first case of community spread of the contagious virus in Starr County.

“Since Monday, everyone in the family has been in in quarantine together and now four relatives of that Monday patient have tested positive,” Starr County Health Authority Jose Vasquez said. “This will be our first community acquired case and the first case of a family spread of the disease.”

The four relatives include the 20-year-old man’s mother, grandmother and two sisters, all of whom are doing OK, Vasquez said.

According to Vasquez, the 20-year-old Roma man was diagnosed with COVID-19 after coming in contact with a relative visiting from outside of the county during Holy Week who later tested positive for the disease, Vasquez said.

“We have taken all the possible measures to keep the numbers low and will inform neighboring community of the cases there, everyone should wear their masks and practice social distancing.” Vasquez said.

Of the 14 cases of COVID-19 in Starr County, only seven remain active.

Meanwhile in Hidalgo County, 9 more people tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases to 368. The new cases in Hidalgo County include an employee with the Hidalgo County Fire Marshal’s Office who has been ordered to self-isolate, the county announced.

The Hidalgo County Fire Marshal’s Office in Pharr will be completely sanitized and remain open to the public as officials try to determine what kind of exposure the affected employee had to the virus, the county stated in a news release.

“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 Cortez said.

Two people were released from isolation Tuesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 143.

On Tuesday, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court voted to mandate that facial coverings will be required for members of the public entering any county facility, including county parking lots. Separately, Hidalgo County employees have also been mandated to continue to wear facial coverings while at work and in the vicinity of other people.

 

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