EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — As the COVID-19 hospitalization rate continues to rise in the Rio Grande Valley, so are the deaths.
“Right now we have a crisis, 35 people have passed away just today, maybe more by now, that is not acceptable to me,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez.
The death rate is climbing and Hidalgo County has requested funeral directors from other areas come to the RGV to help.
“Yesterday we had a meeting with a funeral home director and he usually has capacity for seven bodies, but right now he has 18 in his funeral home and that is a problem we are trying to solve,” said Cortez.
The county got two more 55-foot refrigerated trailers that will fit 50 bodies each.
This brings the new total to four trailers that will house bodies because there isn’t anywhere else to put them.
“We plan to one of them in Weslaco and another in Mission,” said Cortez.
But funeral homes are not the only ones full.
“Our hospitals, right now they’re maxed out, many of our ambulances are having to stay close to the hospital with a patient already and can’t move because the hospital can not accept that patient yet because of capacity restraints, so the patient is waiting outside,” said Cortez.
The county was hoping, Samaritans Purse, a non-profit Christian organization was going to help fund pop up field hospitals in McAllen the way they did in New York City.
“Unfortunately, we learned today that they turned us down and they’re going to go somewhere else,” said Cortez.
Leaving Hidalgo County back to counting on the state for help.
Governor Greg Abbott today announced he is doing everything to send help.
80 more medical personnel from the state are heading to Hidalgo County.
“As the State of Texas mitigates the spread of COVID-19, we are continuing to work closely with our local and federal partners to identify outbreaks and provide our communities with the resources they need to keep Texans safe,” said Governor Abbott. “I am grateful to our federal partners at the Department of Defense for sending these teams to the Valley and working within the community to protect public health and combat this virus. These teams, coupled with our newly established partnership with local hotels, will aid in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure adequate hospital capacity in the Valley.”
Cortez says he will take all the help he can.
“We can not allow and continue to have a 50% infection rate, right now our projections for Bert Ogden testing, we’re projecting a little over 19,000 tests with a 15% of those tests to come out positive,” said Cortez.
Even though he has heard of rumors of a state wide shut down and even though nothing has been announced he is ready.
“Drastic times call for drastic measures, so I would be for a shut down for a few weeks to get over this virus,” said Cortez.
The Hidalgo County cities with the most COVID-10 cases is Mission with 1,345.
They are followed 1, 336 in Edinburg and then McAllen with 1,195.
The majority of people with the virus, according to Judge Cortez are people in their 20s and 30s.