Riverbank eroding at site of private border wall

Just months after a private developer constructed a 3-mile long stretch of steel bollard fencing along the Rio Grande south of Mission, opponents of...

Local hospitals request COVID-19 funds from county

The five major hospital systems in Hidalgo County are asking county commissioners for financial support in order to respond to the surge in COVID-19 patients. The Monitor obtained a copy of the letter that five medical institutions — Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, South Texas Health System, Mission Regional Medical Center, Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Knapp Medical Center — sent to Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez and the four county commissioners on Thursday.  “From the outset of the pandemic, our health systems have acted early and undertaken a wide variety of measures to prepare for and respond to the public health emergency, including but not limited to, retrofitting facilities, revamping standard operating procedures, innovating new ways to deliver safe and efficient healthcare, and expending significant resources in adding capacity to be able to provide care for COVID-19 patients,” the letter stated.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Feds to test for coronavirus at Bert Ogden Arena, H-E-B Park

Federal aid in Hidalgo County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is expected to arrive here sometime next week and conduct a significant amount of testing at Bert Ogden Arena and H-E-B Park. Testing will be performed by personnel with the U.S. Public Health Service, whose Commissioned Corps is a branch of the nation’s uniformed services devoted to health. The testing venue was confirmed by Shalimar Madrigal, spokesperson for Bert Ogden Arena. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Migrant children at family facilities must be released, court rules

A federal judge ruled Friday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security must release the children currently held in family detention centers for failure to meet the standards for children’s care in the facilities. Amid outbreaks of COVID-19 in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities — two in Texas, the Karnes County Family Residential Center and the South Texas Dilley Family Residential Center, and the Berk’s facility in Pennsylvania — U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered DHS officials to release all children at these facilities by mid-July as the virus has caused thousands of infections. Karla Vargas, a senior attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, which was active during the 2018 family separations at the U.S-Mexico border, said the order is like others Gee has handed down before.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Starr Co. adopts curfew; prohibits large gatherings

In step with other Rio Grande Valley counties, Starr County issued a supplemental emergency order on Monday establishing a curfew recommendation, prohibiting large gatherings, and strongly recommending the use of facial masks in public in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. The county issued two curfews, the first of which will be from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for people 17 years old and under unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The second will be from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. for everyone 18 years old and older, unless an individual is out for an emergency or providing covered services. The emergency order goes into effect Tuesday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Businesses under social media microscope amid outcry for virus transparency

As cases in the Rio Grande Valley continue to soar with record highs reported in almost consecutive days, concerns are also mounting with regard to local businesses who don’t disclose to the public whether their employees contracted the coronavirus. In addition to discourse about how much information businesses can disclose about whether employees test positive for the coronavirus, concerns remain prevalent on social media where employees and consumers have criticized local restaurants for not closing or encouraging curbside services instead of dine-in. Such criticism stems from fears of positive cases existing at certain establishments. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Area mayors maneuver for more pandemic authority

The mayors of Hidalgo County’s largest four cities came together here at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance on Friday in a bid to pave the way for a more active municipal role in Texas’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mayors Jim Darling of McAllen, Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez of Pharr, Richard Molina of Edinburg and Armando O’Caña of Mission all signed a letter outlining their desire for more pandemic autonomy and addressed it to the governor. Read the full story at themonitor.com

SCOTUS rules certain asylum seekers cannot get review in ‘fast’ deportations

In a clear 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled certain asylum seekers cannot seek a federal review of expedited deportations. On Thursday, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Samuel Alito delivered the Supreme Court’s opinion in a case of a Tamil man, Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, who fled Sri Lanka to avoid torture and likely death; stating that certain asylum seekers cannot make court petitions after already exhausting their credible fear screening. Read the full story at themonitor.com

In wake of COVID-19 surge, Hidalgo County limits mass gatherings to 10 or less

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signed an order Thursday limiting mass gatherings in the county to 10 people or less and implementing a curfew in response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. The order goes into effect immediately and will remain effective until modified, a news release from the county said. The new curfew is set from 10 p.m.  to  6 a.m. for minors and from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for residents who are 18 and older. Read the full story at themonitor.com