RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the Rio Grande Valley, local health officials project another spike in the coming days.

Hidalgo County is reporting an average of 350 COVID-19 cases daily, according to Hidalgo County’s health authority, Dr. Ivan Melendez.

“All counties are showing a notable increase in the numbers of COVID,” said Dr. Melendez.

Cameron County reported nearly one thousand cases this week.

“As of July 5th, we reported a total of 988 cases. 455 of those were confirmed cases, which are PCR tests,” said Cameron County Public Health’s public health preparedness director, Ashley Ruiz.

Dr. Melendez said with recent 4th of July celebrations and gatherings, a spike is probable.

“So, in about four or five days. So, we’re looking at about the 11th of July, I expect to see a notable increase,” he said,

Ruiz explained that aside from the celebrations, there are other factors in the spread of the virus.

“The relaxation of people wearing masks, social gatherings especially right now with summer activities going on, an increase in travel,” said Ruiz.

Dr. Sujan Gogu with South Texas Health Systems explained that the newest BA.5 omicron variant is being contracted easily.

“This variant, unfortunately, is probably you know, the most transmissible variant, but not only that, it really has a high immune escape ability as well,” said Dr. Gogu.

The possibility of people needing to be hospitalized because of COVID-19 is keeping doctors and hospital staff prepared for an increase in patients.

“It’s not only our hospital but we keep in contact with other hospital systems in the area and we communicate our numbers to each other. So, if any one facility gets more patients than the another, we are vigilant and we have those discussions weekly and we also include the city with that,” said Valley Regional Medical Center’s chief nursing officer, Frank Acevedo.

All health officials encourage the community to get vaccinated and boosted to reduce the infections and spread of COVID-19.