EDINBURG — Hidalgo County confirmed Wednesday afternoon that four more residents died from complications of COVID-19 and 373 more cases have been confirmed, bringing the total number of fatalities to 29 and cases to 2,503.
The new fatalities and confirmed cases represent record numbers for the county.
Wednesday’s fatalities include an Edinburg man in his 50s, an Alamo woman in her 50s, a Pharr man in his 70s and a McAllen man in his 70s, all of whom had underlying medical conditions.
“We’ve had some very high numbers of infections and new fatalities,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez wrote in a statement. “We can’t allow this to continue. We have to take every precaution necessary to protect the health and well-being of our citizens. The reports that we’re getting are that the reasons for these infections is all the activities in Hidalgo County and the lack of the willingness to take all necessary precautions.”
Cortez expressed condolences to the family and friends of those who died and promised new restrictions including a curfew.
An additional 47 individuals were released from isolation Wednesday, bringing the total of active cases to 1,666. Of those infected individuals, 185 are currently isolated, 19 in intensive care units.
Cortez announced in a Facebook Live video earlier in the day that he would be signing a new order limiting mass gatherings to 100 people, home gatherings to 10 and once again mandating a curfew. The judge said the curfew will apply to minors from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and to adults from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. He didn’t specify when the curfew would be put in place.
“This is very important to us because one of the reasons for this increase in infections is that we’re just having a lot of people continue to gather. They gather at night, they gather at parties, they gather at other functions and this has been the primary cause of all this infection spreading,” Cortez said.
In addition to gatherings, Cortez said people weren’t taking precautions seriously enough and reiterated concerns that young people are disproportionately responsible for spreading the virus.
“I ask you, I beg you — the power to stop this virus, the power is within us. We have to continue to follow all the protocols and all the precautions if we’re going to put an end to this. We cannot afford to go into hurricane season, and flu season, on top of this virus. This is action that we must take, and I hope that we will be receiving all the cooperation of all our citizens,” he said.