Two Mission women became the latest people to die after testing positive for COVID-19.
The unidentified women, aged in their 40s and 70s, make it 17 total COVID-19 deaths in the county.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez first announced the deaths in a Wednesday virtual press conference where he said the county is seeing its biggest increase in new tests results.
“Today is going to be a very sad day for me,” Judge Cortez said. “We’re going to report that 143 people have tested positive — and two more deaths. That means that 17 of our citizens have passed away because of this disease. I extend my sincere condolences to the family members who lost their loved ones on this tragic day.”
The daily count brings the total number of known positive cases in Hidalgo County to 1,255. The previous single-day record for positive cases was set on June 11, when 70 residents tested positive.
The new cases are from the cities of Pharr, McAllen, San Juan, Mercedes, Edinburg, Alton, Alamo, Weslaco, Hidalgo, Mission, Donna and two came from undisclosed locations. their ages ranged from their 0s to 70s+.
“The good news is 121 of those 143 were an accumulation of three days of testing,” Judge Cortez said. “With all of this testing going on in the county, it is no surprise to us that we’re finding more and more people.”
Cortez reiterated what he and other county judges said at a joint press conference last week: continue practicing measures that the county enforced this past spring such as staying home unless absolutely necessary, practicing social distancing and using face coverings.
“Each one of you is a soldier in this war and have been equipped with the necessary tools and infrastructure to protect yourselves from this virus,” Cortez said. “Continue to practice good hygiene, physical distancing and using face coverings. I have to beg you to please, don’t make it necessary for someone to tell you what to do. It’s something you can do on your own and police yourself”
67 people have been hospitalized with complications from the virus with eight of those cases treated in intensive care units, according to a county news release. 53 people were released from isolation on Tuesday meaning that they have been symptom-free for 10 days, including three days without a fever. There are currently 657 net active cases and 954 test results are pending.
“We’re going to survive this thing.,” Cortez said. “We’re good people. We will survive this terrible disease but it will take the efforts of all of us to do that together.”