Hidalgo County addresses first case, pending tests, price gouging

EDINBURG — In an emergency meeting and less than 24 hours removed from the announcement of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 locally, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court announced the county is officially in level one of emergency preparedness, otherwise known as maximum readiness.

Hidalgo County Commissioner Eddie Cantu bows his head as a prayer is said during a special meeting in order to discuss a plan to combat the speed of the coronavirus in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

In addition to providing more information about the first positive case in the county, a McAllen woman in her 20s who began feeling ill after returning from a trip to Las Vegas, commissioners discussed the response of the community as bulk-buying continues.

Television journalist cover a Hidalgo County Commissioners court meeting outside the room to avoid have ten or more people in the room during a special meeting in order to discuss a plan to combat the speed of the coronavirus in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

 

Price gouging food and products considered necessities is a crime, officials declared. 

Officials are also urging for the community to not panic and stray from rumors on social media. Instead, they urge for the community to help each other, such as checking in on elders they know and if they could provide supplies for them. 

Hidalgo County Health Department Chief Administrative Officer Eduardo Olivarez looks at his cell phone after a special meeting in order to discuss a plan to combat the speed of the coronavirus in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

As of now, 74 people were tested with a single positive case, 30 have returned negative, and 43 remain pending. 

With limited people in attendance, Hidalgo County judge Richard Cortez speaks during a special meeting in order to discuss a plan to combat the speed of the coronavirus in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

This is a developing story