Starr County releases details on coronavirus cases

Following confirmation of their sixth positive case, Starr County officials on Saturday released details about the individuals who tested positive. One of the individuals was recently hospitalized while the other five remain at home, in isolation. Five of the cases consist of individuals who live in Rio Grande City, including two females — 37 and 16 years old — and three males who are 46, 34, and 35 years old. Read the full story at

Donna approves hazard pay for police, firefighters

Across the country, as first responders working the front lines of pandemic response face heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 themselves, officials in one Rio Grande Valley city have taken that risk into account and have approved giving those first responders hazard pay. The Donna City Council unanimously approved temporary hazard pay for police officers and firefighters during an emergency meeting Friday. The council also amended an emergency executive order, extending it for an additional 30 days and tightening restrictions on residents. Donna will offer the hazard pay to 29 patrol officers and three firefighters for a period of six weeks, with an option to renew the special pay for another six weeks. Each of them will receive an additional $700 per month, the council decided. Read the full story at

UTRGV outlines process for virus analysis

It’s one test you really hope you’ll pass. As confirmed coronavirus cases continue trending upward here in the Rio Grande Valley, two new drive-thru testing sites have been established on the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses of UTRGV. The tests are free to UTRGV students, staff and the general public for individuals with a fever over 100.4 degrees and COVID-19 respiratory symptoms. All prospective patients must first undergo a telephone interview to confirm they have the right symptoms of the virus. Read the full story at

New case of COVID-19 reported in Starr County

Starr County officials reported one new case of COVID-19 Saturday. The new case brings the county's total to six. Read the full story at

DSHS: Majority of RGV cases are young people

Just one day after local officials announced that community spread of COVID-19 has begun in earnest in the Rio Grande Valley, state health officials...

Hidalgo County sees 7 more cases, officials look at amending emergency order

As COVID-19 cases in Hidalgo County and the Rio Grande Valley continue to climb on a daily basis, officials here are looking at extending — and beefing up — the emergency order that's shuttered businesses and required residents to stay at home in an effort to stop the virus' spread in the community. And Friday was no different as officials here reported seven new cases, bringing the total tally to 86. Cameron County reported seven news cases Friday as well, bringing its total to 62, while on Friday both Starr and Willacy counties each had five cases apiece, bringing the total number of positive cases in the Rio Grande Valley to 158. Read the full story at

Federal courthouse closed to the public until further notice

The federal courthouse in McAllen will be closed to the public, according to an order signed Friday by U.S. District Judges Ricardo H. Hinojosa, Randy Crane and Micaela Alvarez. Beginning April 6, “The United States Courthouse in McAllen, Texas (Bentsen Tower) will be closed to the public,” the order states. “ In an effort to protect the health and safety of the public, staff, and judicial officers from exposure to or spread” of the COVID-19 virus, the order states the courthouse will be closed to the public until further notice. Read the full story at

Local distillery, restaurant team up to distribute hand sanitizer

With the ever increasing demand for hand sanitizer amid the COVID-19 outbreak, local business owners have teamed up to help provide the much needed product to the community. To that end, McAllen restaurant Salomé on Main will be hosting Rio Grande Distillery and Magic Valley Moonshine out of Los Fresnos on Saturday afternoon. The Lower Valley distillery has recently begun using its resources to help brew up batches of hand sanitizer, which will be available in the parking lot of the restaurant. “We’re just allowing this gentleman that’s — he distills whiskey, and he’s changing skills to make hand sanitizer,” explained Chef Larry Delgado, who owns Salomé on Main, SALT, and house. wine. & bistro. “He’s going to be in our parking lot offering up the sanitizer.” Read the full story at

Seating areas removed at McAllen parks

The city of McAllen made big changes at Bill Schupp Park this week as local officials continue to try to reduce social gatherings and...

Rio Grande City issues 15 citations for emergency order violations

The Rio Grande City Police Department issued 15 citations for violations of emergency orders issued by Starr County and the city. Rio Grande City Municipal Judge Basilio "Bacho" Villarreal wrote in a post on social media that 14 of the citations were issued for violations of the city's curfew, which is in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. One citation was issued for non-compliance to a business that had remained open despite not falling into the category of an essential business exempted from the order. Read the full story at the