BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Cameron County officials held a press conference on COVID-19 ahead of Thanksgiving as a slight increase in cases is reported.
During the press conference, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño spoke on that increase being slow and that hospital capacity has not yet been affected.
“We’ve seen the numbers increase to our neighboring county in Hidalgo… so we are concerned,” said Treviño, adding that he would be reaching out to Hidalgo County health officials to discuss what may be leading to the increase.
He mentioned the reason for the press conference was to remind and ask residents to think twice before gathering for Thanksgiving.
“The CDC has been fairly clear with regard to what the recommendations are,” said Treviño. “I can tell you that it has been a year of sacrifice for each and every one of us. Some of us have lost loved ones…”
Treviño said officials are encouraging everyone to only celebrate this year with individuals living within the same household to avoid spreading the virus. It is recommended that a mask is worn and social distancing takes place.
He mentioned that even small gatherings have led to super spreader events. Adding that although vaccines are at the edge of a breakthrough, it is still important to keep following everyday guidelines as it is still not known when those vaccines will be available.
If gathering, Treviño recommends to keep at less than 10 individuals, bring food pre-made, use disposable plates and utensils, try to have the even outdoors and to keep a distance, by avoiding hugs and handshakes, from those that live in a different household.
“Have the conversation ahead of time to set your expectations. Oftentimes, when people get together especially family and, or friends because of the familiarity or the concern of offending someone, they don’t want to tell somebody ‘hey put your mask back on’ or ‘don’t take it off.’ They want to shake hands they want to hun, that is not the thing to do,” said Treviño.
Treviño also suggested a virtual Thanksgiving to avoid family members from outside the area to travel.
Although in Cameron County has not seen a drastic increase, Judge Treviño warned that gatherings for Thanksgiving could lead to a surge in cases, which could then affect hospital capacity.
Treviño added that if necessary a curfew would again be put in place and any other mandates that may be necessary, stressing that social distancing and masks are the best defense against preventing the spread, saying it has worked and that residents should continue to follow those guidelines.
When it came to businesses, Treviño asked that they care about their clients and employees by making sure they make their safety a priority.
“Those businesses that are packing the people in and exceeding the 75 percent occupancy, you know, shame on them,” said Treviño. “They need to know that it is not all about making a buck, trust me if there is people waiting to go inside, they’ll wait… don’t put your patrons at risk. It’s not about the almighty dollar. We have to cure, we have to contain and treat the virus, in order to help contain and promote our economy.”
Treviño added that they have been in constant contact with state health officials to keep monitoring and keep track of the situation in the Rio Grande Valley.