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Hidalgo County tops list of worst-performing counties in the U.S. based on weekly rate of deaths
Like the family members of those lost to the coronavirus, raw numbers do not lie about how fatal this pandemic is – particularly in South Texas.
Figures from USAFacts.org, the data-gathering tool used by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), indicates that Hidalgo County has had the most deaths per week in the United States for the last two weeks relative to its population size.
Despite county leaders witnessing and vocalising the increase to Governor Greg Abbott, Abbott has declined to speak on the enforceability of Shelter-At-Home orders, the lack of major testing centers available and the possibility of setting up field hospitals in Hidalgo County.
The graph pictured with this article is based on raw data, not projections, to show the rate of deaths over time for the counties performing the worst in the country and who have a population of at least 300,000.
When looking at figures by state, Texas does not look as bad because of how massive the spread is and how isolated some of the areas are. Numbers can be misleading when looking at the death rate from the state level – it is necessary to analyze the data to see just how dire circumstances in South Texas are.
Because of last week’s surge, Cameron County is now right behind Hidalgo County in terms of deaths per 100,000 people, and Nueces rounds out the top three, meaning South Texas had the three worst performing counties in the United States.
On Tues. July 28, a press release from the county stated that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) made an announcement regarding fatalities due to COVID-19. The state has shown more favorable numbers than the county in terms of reported deaths.
As of Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Hidalgo County has reported 531 COVID-19 deaths due to complications related to COVID-19. Currently, the number of deaths reported by the state, DSHS, shows Hidalgo County has had 254 deaths.
COVID deaths are reported to the state via records and death certificates. Delays in reporting death certificates means there may be a difference in what is being analyzed at the county, state and national levels.
Hidalgo County is on the worst trajectory in the U.S. right now based on current data. The CDC is showing Hidalgo County has been the worst in terms of the death rate in the last two weeks.
Positive cases in Hidalgo County continue to rise. When you combine increasing cases with the death rate, without drastic intervention, the trend is not expected to change. It’s not going to fix itself.