Hidalgo Co. eyes stricter emergency orders

As health officials on Monday reported the second death from COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley, confirmed positive cases in Hidalgo County climbed above the triple-digit mark. In a Monday night release, officials reported 14 new cases here bringing Hidalgo County's total to 113, including 14 who are hospitalized. Of those 14, four are in intensive care units. "We are seeing the number of cases double every four days or so," County Judge Richard F. Cortez said in a news release. "This is in line with what we have expected and I can't emphasize enough that the safest place for everyone is in their homes." Read the full story at themonitor.com.

UTRGV students, scientists face potential ‘avalanche’ of COVID-19 tests

If you’re tested for the coronavirus in the Rio Grande Valley in the foreseeable future, there’s a very strong chance your sample will make its way to a lab at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Edinburg campus, where 18-odd students and virologist Dr. John Thomas have processed hundreds of samples in the past week and plan to process thousands more very soon. Thomas is a veteran virologist who’s studied everything from dengue and Zika to weaponized bacteria and anthrax. He’s an affable man, who circles the lab making jokes and lightly ribbing the technicians while they process samples and sterilize equipment. Although fighting the coronavirus is his job and he’s intensely dedicated to it, he’s also got a personal vendetta against it: he’d really like his gym to open back up. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Bond ruling pending for man in destroyed surveillance case

A man accused of ordering members affiliated with a drug trafficking organization to destroy surveillance cameras remains in custody.  Jose Luis Garcia was remanded into the custody of U.S. Marshals last week after a court decided it would make a ruling at a later time on whether to grant him a bond. The case stems from allegations that he was involved in the destruction of surveillance cameras in Rio Grande City.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Starr County to begin rapid testing

Rapid testing for the coronavirus will be available in Starr County within the next few days. Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county's health authority and board president of Starr County Memorial Hospital, said the county is in the final stages of securing those tests for its drive-thru testing facility. "That will bump the numbers for sure," Vazquez said of those who appear at their facility to get tested. "A lot of people will want to have a quick result and we are going to be capable of doing that in the next couple of days." Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Federal judge dismisses most of McAllen police shooting lawsuit

A father's search for answers about a shooting between McAllen police and his daughters' stepfather that left one of the girls dead and one seriously injured will continue. But claims of civil rights violations, including excessive force and a violation of due process claims levied in a federal lawsuit against the city of McAllen have been dismissed. Hector Garcia sued the city and three police officers on Feb. 27, 2019, more than two years after the girls' stepfather, Cruz Pinion, shot his daughters, L.L.G., a minor who survived, and 16-year-old Ashley Garcia, who died. Pinon also shot and killed his wife, 42-year-old Santos Verenice Garcia, before he shot and killed himself. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

101 cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Cameron County

Cameron County health officials reported 14 new cases Monday night, including five connected to Windsor Atrium, a nursing home in Harlingen. Earlier in the day, officials here confirmed the first death from COVID-19, which was an 81-year-old person connected to Veranda Healthcare & Rehabilitation, another nursing home. Of the five cases related to Windsor Atrium, three are residents and two are employees. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County reports 14 new COVID-19 cases

As health officials on Monday reported the second death from COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley, confirmed positive cases in Hidalgo County climbed above the triple-digit mark. Cameron County officials on Monday reported the death of an 81-year-old resident of Veranda Healthcare & Rehabilitation, a Harlingen nursing home, while on Saturday, officials in Willacy County said a man in his 60s died. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Three CBP officers in the Valley test positive for COVID-19

Three U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers based in the Rio Grande Valley tested positive for COVID-19. CBP posted the number of confirmed cases on their website listing two officers in Rio Grande City and one officer in Brownsville. A total of 160 CBP officers around the country have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Virus has wide range of effects on fishing industry

Cap. Ismael “Smiley Yanez” loves to fish. He can walk out his back door and his boat is there on the Arroyo. That boat, however, hasn't moved too much — especially with other people in it. Yanez, a Weslaco native, has spent the past 15 years working as a full-time fishing guide, taking clients on the water in search of trout, reds and drum. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Cameron County reports first COVID-19 related death

Cameron County has received confirmation of its first COVID-19 related death of a Cameron County resident. The patient was a 81-year old resident from the Veranda Nursing Home in Harlingen and had been hospitalized at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.  “We are deeply saddened to learn of this COVID-19 related death” stated Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. “Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time. In recognizing the severity of this disease and how critical these next few weeks are going to be, Cameron County is determined to do everything in its power to avoid additional loss of lives to COVID-19. It is imperative that every resident does their part to reduce the spread and avoid putting others at risk.”