HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas — Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez held a virtual press conference, detailing the extension of the county’s shelter-at-home order on Friday.
Judge Cortez began by giving updated numbers of COVID-19 cases within the county.
There have been a total of 112,482 COVID-19 tests administered, 93,060 negative results, 18,699 positive results, 12,965 COVID-19 patients released from the hospital and a total of 743 COVID-19 related deaths in the county.
“Our percent is 16.73%, for Texas is 11.76% and the United States is at9%. Unfortunately, we have been doing worse than the United States and Texas as a whole.” said Judge Cortez.
As far as infections by city, Judge Cortez says Edinburg is number one followed by Mission, McAllen, Pharr and Weslaco.
He added that the majority of people who are hospitalized are older individuals, and the majority of those infected are younger people, and those dying are also of an older age group.
Currently there are 443 occupied hospital beds, 234 patients on ventilators, 289 patients in ICU and 732 patients hospitalized, according to Cortez.
“There are currently 112 available hospital beds, 137 available ventilators, and 67 ICU beds available.” he said.
The McAllen Convention Center, an alternative care site, has room for 48 beds, and there are currently four patients in the center. “Let’s hope we won’t have to increase the capacity, but if needed can hold up to 150 beds.” said Cortez
In addition to the McAllen convention center being used as an alternative care site, Cortez said the state of Texas converted La Quinta hotel in Pharr as a convalescent facility
This facility opened two weeks ago, and can house 40 patients. Currently, the hotel is housing eight patients.
Cortez also added that there will be free public testing sites within the county. Residents can go to the Richard Flores stadium in the city of Edinburg from Aug. 6 to Aug. 8.
Finally, Cortez ordered residents to shelter-at-home in their home, the extended order will take place on Aug. 6. “Clusters are occurring, he said. Families are getting sick, and many are dying”
The order specifies that all persons living within Hidalgo County are ordered to shelter-at-home in their residence.
Residents over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.
The curfew for persons 18 and over from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. remains in effect.
Face masks are still in effect across the state of Texas. Repeat violators of the face covering order mandated in Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-29 are subject of a fine up to $250.
WATCH THE COMPLETE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE: