HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — This week included Cameron County releasing a health advisory due to the emergence of the Omicron variant in the area, as well as a double-homicide and a hit and run that left one dead.
Cameron County officials issued an advisory to warn residents to be precautious and vaccinate amidst a shortage of monoclonal antibody treatments.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) released a statement that several infusion centers across Texas have exhausted their supplies of Sotromivab, the only monoclonal antibody treatment effective against the Omicron variant.
Dr. James Castillo, Health Authority for Cameron County, warned that Omicron’s high level of contagiousness could cause a rapid increase in new cases.
“Once Omicron, the new variant, gets there, it spreads very fast,” said Dr. Castillo. “It’s much more contagious. It spreads much quicker than even Delta did. It can double every two or three days the number of cases. We really expect the number of cases, unfortunately, to be very much higher right around New Year’s.”
According to Castillo, the chances of being exposed to Omicron while attending a large gathering are high.
“If you’re going to attend a crowded indoor party, in the setting we’re in right now, you can pretty much count on being exposed to Omicron,” said Dr. Castillo.
DHSH announced that the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 now accounts for more than 90% of the new cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Edinburg police investigated a hit and run crash that left one dead and two hospitalized.
Police responded to a crash at 2:30 a.m. on E. Trenton Road. Through investigation, it was determined that a pick-up truck traveling westbound crossed onto the eastbound traffic, causing a head-on collision with a Nissan Sentra.
The driver of the truck fled the scene, eventually abandoning the truck down the road. Investigators were able to identify the suspect, a 29-year-old man who was taken into custody.
The driver of the Sentra was pronounced dead at Edinburg Regional Hospital, and the two other occupants suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Alcohol is believed to have contributed to the crash, police said.
The driver was later identified as Otis Charles Barron.
A Brownsville man was arrested in an HEB parking lot after refusing to performance a standardized field sobriety test (SFST).
At 2 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 27, a Brownsville police officer noticed a red SUV swerving on the 2000 block of Central Blvd. and conducted a traffic stop.
The driver of the vehicle, Carlos Sanchez, pulled into the parking lot of HEB and told the officer he was looking for the grocery store.
The officer could smell alcohol, and Sanchez showed signs of intoxication, the release said.
He was taken into custody after having trouble maintaining his balance and refusing to perform an SFST.
On Wednesday, Dec 29, the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Old Port Isabel Road in Cameron County in reference to two men found dead.
Investigators discovered two men with multiple gunshot wounds.
Both of the men’s hands were bound with electrical cords and had their heads covered with a t-shirt, according to the Cameron County Justice of the Peace, Mary Sorola.
Investigators identified the victims as Ines Cruz, 43, and Manuel Cruz, 24. The men were father and son and both resided in Brownsville.
The weather is expected to remain above normal, with several cities in the Valley moving into the 90s until Saturday.
On January 2, a cold front is expected to arrive. It will bring isolated showers overnight, lowering the temperature to the mid-50s on Sunday morning.
On Monday morning, a majority of the RGV will drop into the mid to low 40s, with Starr county dropping into the mid to upper 30s.
Temperatures will slowly creep back up on Tuesday.