BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Monday, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in Cameron County.

Following the holidays, Judge Treviño said the average hospitalization rates have doubled.

“We’ve been averaging 3-5 COVID cases per hospital—it’s now doubled in the last week,” said Treviño.

However, Treviño explained that Cameron County health authority Dr. James Castillo reported hospitals are well-equipped at the moment, but they predict an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. 

Where Cameron County is falling short is in monoclonal antibody treatments, according to Treviño.

“First they’re telling us not to use the old one and now they’re telling us not to use the new one because it’s not in supply so it’s a catch-22,” said Treviño.

Treviño said state and federal level officials directed Cameron County to stop using the original antibody treatment because it does not work against the Omicron variant, and now are negotiating to get the new treatment.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez also reports similar rise in cases and said they are also speaking with the state for more testing supplies.

“The state of Texas has not been sending us the necessary testing supplies that we need, however as we speak we are negotiating with to send us a team of individuals and supplies so we can start testing our people here,” said Cortez.

Judge Cortez said the Hidalgo County Health Authority has reported the latest antiviral tablets to be working in preventing illness from COVID-19.

“The doctor tells me that those tablets are working that they’re keeping about 88% of the people who would go to the hospital away from the hospital,” said Cortez.

Both Judge Treviño and Cortez encourage avoiding large gatherings though no formal mandates have been issued at this time.