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Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, going up

News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – Texans are now being hospitalized at an “unacceptable rate”, Governor Greg Abbott said Monday afternoon.

There are now 3,500 Texans in the hospital and that number has doubled in the last month, according to Abbott who said the spike came after Memorial Day and never left.

Cameron County Health Officials also confirming they are nearly at capacity with their COVID-19 units.

“It’s not a no big deal, you have no idea what it’s going to do to you,” said Dr. James Castillo II, M.D., the Health Authority of Cameron County.

Valley hospital COVID units are not just full with the elderly or people with medical conditions.

“There are people of all ages and there’s a lot of talk of asymptomatic people and that’s one of the really sneaky parts of this virus,” said Castillo, “It doesn’t have to make you sick in order for you to be contagious, there’s no way to tell who it’s going to put in the hospital, there’s 20 year olds in the hospital, 30 years olds in the hospital, very sick.”

The same is happening around the state.

“We do have the rise in hospitalizations, hospitalizations for COVID-19 averaged just over 1,600 a day in May and in the last 4-5 days, hospitalizations have averaged more than 3,200 a day,” said Governor Greg Abbott.

Abbott said cases are spiking throughout the state.

“The positivity rate has gone from about 4.5% in late May to almost 9% today,” said Abbott.

Doctors said that here in the Rio Grande Valley many people are high risk.

“If you’re overweight, if you have diabetes, if you have heart problems the worse it is and here in the Valley, we have a lot of people who have diabetes and we’re finding out just how bad this virus is for them,” said Dr. Castillo.

But COVID-19 or not, Governor Abbott said Monday, Texas stays open.

“Closing down Texas again will always be the last option,” Abbott said.

There are exceptions.

Abbott said if things get worse then there may be more restrictions but did not say when that will happen.

For now, he is strongly encouraging everyone to wear a mask.

“I know that some people feel like wearing a mask is inconvenient or it’s in an infringement of freedom, but I also know that wearing a mask will help us keep to Texas open. Because not taking action to slow the spread will cause COVID to spread even worse, risking peoples lives and ultimately lead the closure of more businesses,” said Abbott.

Every county in the Rio Grande Valley mandated masks be worn when visiting a business.

“We need this to be followed, it’s become something carried away with politics or whatever or beliefs, but the science has become more and more clear. This is a tool we can use to help preserve our economy. This is a tool we can use to help avoid further lock downs or shelter in places,” said Dr. Castillo.

Today, Abbott also said Texas medical facilities has 62 million masks with 96 million more on the way.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 SAFETY TIPS

COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands

COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing

COVID Tip: Disinfecting

COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth

COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact

COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas

COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often

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