21 more Valley residents die from COVID-19

At least 21 more Rio Grande Valley residents died due to complications related to COVID-19, officials reported Friday.

Hidalgo County reported 11 residents died due to COVID-19, and 175 more people tested positive.

The total number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now reached 1,156, while the total number of confirmed cases reached 27,252. Of those 2,587 are active.

β€œI extend my sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the 11 latest victims to pass from COVID-19,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez stated in a news release. β€œIt is especially important for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.”

He added the best way to protect oneself and help reduce the spread of the virus is to limit interactions with others as much as possible and take the necessary precautions to prevent being infected when they do interact with others.

Cortez acknowledged the rise in the number of positive cases but said that could be attributed to the Department of Health and Human Services clearing up a backlog in testing results.

The county also reported 350 people were currently hospitalized, down from the 384 that they county reported on Thursday. Currently, 134 of those individuals were receiving treatment in an intensive care unit.

In Cameron County, 10 more people died from the coronavirus, raising the total there to 566 deaths.

Their health department also reported an additional 114 positive cases there for a total of 20,853. Of those, 6,455 cases are active.

Starr County reported their latest numbers as of Thursday, which included 24 new infections.

Of their total cases, 1,741 of them are considered active, while 1, 225 have recovered. The county also reported a total of 124 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19, three more than reported the previous day.

Additionally, there were two more deaths among inmates of the Segovia Unit, a minimum security prison in Edinburg, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths there to four.

Francis Devassy Puther, a 73-year-old inmate, died Aug. 18 at a hospital in Galveston from COVID-19 after he was transferred there from Segovia on July 21, TDCJ said in a news release.

John Henry Jackson, 64, died Aug. 16 after being transferred from Segovia to a local hospital, according to a custodial death report TDCJ filed with the Texas AG on Aug. 26.

Earlier this month, a chaplain and another inmate from the facility aso died due to complications related to COVID-19, but as of early Friday afternoon, Segovia had only one active case of the disease, TDCJ stated on its website. However, there are 26 active cases among employees there.

So far, 328 inmates and 47 employees at the unit have recovered.

Currently, 62 inmates are in medical restriction and one in medical isolation, according to TDCJ.

Over at the Lopez Unit jail in Edinburg, TDCJ stated there were no active inmate cases but there are 20 active cases among employees.

In total, 559 inmates and 48 employees have recovered from the coronavirus.

As of early Friday afternoon, TDCJ stated there were no inmates on medical restriction or isolation.