Hidalgo County has reached a new record in the amount of COVID-19 cases reported with 1,274, four times the previous one-day total of new cases reported.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced the number at a Thursday virtual press conference that occured the day after the county began mass testing the public in Edinburg and administered 5,000 COVID-19 tests that day.
With the new cases, the total amount of known COVID-19 cases in Hidalgo County has risen to 7,334.
An additional 20 COVID-19 related fatalities were also announced Thursday, bringing the county death count to 123 according to the county.
“Several months ago, I warned the community that unless we take the necessary precautions, a tsunami would overtake the community,” Cortez said at the press conference. “The community overall has not taken this virus seriously. In short. The tsunami is here.”
741 people are in area hospitals with COVID-19 related complications and 194 of those patients are being treated in intensive care units, according to the county website.
Despite the amount of new cases, Cortez said the situation was not as dire as it appeared.
“For months now, we have been telling you how to protect yourself from this deadly disease: stay home and avoid other people. For months now, the community has not followed these warnings,” Cortez said as he urged people to continue to maintain social distancing and wear face masks.
“Neighbors are dying. Hospitals are full. The rate in infections continue to rise. Yet the streets are full of activity,” Cortez said.
39 people were released from isolation Thursday, bringing the new total of patients released from isolation to 2,836. 4,375 COVID-19 cases are marked as active as the county waits for the results of 1,128 pending COVID-19 tests.
Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres reminded residents that outdoor gathering in excess of 10 people is prohibited under an emergency order signed by state gov. Greg Abbott last week. She also urged citizens to wear facial coverings and practice physical distancing.
Those not following the orders or who step out in public after testing positive for COVID-19 could face criminal consequences Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez added.
“Please do your part, someone can die if we don’t adhere to these orders,” Rodriguez said.