County health officials urge people to avoid mass gatherings ahead of Labor Day weekend

Local News

MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, Rio Grande Valley Health officials plead with residents to avoid large public gatherings.

“Anytime you bring people closer together things are going to happen,” said Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority.

Dr. Melendez said they are seeing high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and is urging people to be cautious.

“There’s continuous talk about perhaps limiting mass gatherings. We want to make sure that concerts, football games those types of events, we know that they can serve as super spreader events,” said Dr. Melendez.

When it comes to those events Dr. Melendez said Hidalgo County is taking into consideration the number of people that are vaccinated but adds there are concerns for those who are unvaccinated.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said there are no plans to cancel any events, but that could change if COVID-19 case numbers increase. 

“I’ll do what I’ve done in the past I’ll get together with the medical community, the hospitals, and try to get the best advice that I can get from a clinical point of view,” said Judge Cortez.

Cortez explained that Gov. Abbott put a lot of restrictions on local officials on what they can and cannot do in certain situations, but health officials said they do have authority to put limits on gatherings, even though there are things to consider. 

“Obviously, we are taking into consideration the horrible impact financial, social that we’ve had the past 18 months, but are we already there based on our hospital capacity and the number of beds holding COVID patients, absolutely,” said Dr. Melendez.

While there are no plans to put restrictions on mass gatherings, Dr. Melendez and Judge Cortez agreed it is a personal responsibility for residents to safely gather.

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