Hidalgo County reports 21 more COVID-19 deaths, 205 new cases

On the same day state Gov. Greg Abbott announced bars could reopen for the first time in months, officials with the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department reported 21 more deaths related to COVID-19 and 205 new known positive cases of the virus.

In a Wednesday news release, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said the total of recorded deaths related to the outbreak of this disease has risen to 1,805 with 33,018 known total positive cases. 2,403 of those cases remain active.

192 people remain in area hospitals to be treated for COVID-19 related complications with 62 of those patients being placed in intensive care units.

In his announcement, Abbott said business can increase their occupancy levels to 75% and bars can reopen as early as Monday with a 50% occupancy. However, county judges at the local level are to decide whether to reopen bars. Judge Cortez said he intends to consult with local health officials before deciding.

“Just yesterday we were notified by the state that we are no longer considered a high hospitalization area,” Cortez said in a statement. “I intend to talk to local health experts, including our health authority, director of our health department and mayors before deciding on the next steps for Hidalgo County. My desire is to have a decision regarding local bars before October 14, the day the governor is allowing bars to reopen.”

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