Latest on the Coronavirus

10 virus deaths, 655 new cases in Hidalgo Co.

Hidalgo County confirmed 10 additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 655 new cases of the virus. The death toll there is now...

Los Fresnos Rodeo cancelled due to virus concerns

Organizers say they have voted to cancel the 2021 Los Fresnos Rodeo. The Los Fresnos Rodeo committee says the decision was hard to make and...

New cases remain high at 729 in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County reported four additional COVID-19 related deaths and 729 new cases Monday morning. The deaths include a man in his 50s from Mercedes, a...

Catholic Church cancels Guadalupe pilgrimage over pandemic

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church announced the cancellation Monday of what’s considered the world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage, for the Virgin of...

State says healthcare workers will be first to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Healthcare workers who are likely to provide direct care to COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable residents will be the first group in the state...
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Citing fatigue, revelers flocking to downtown McAllen amid COVID surge

McALLEN — A haze of synthesized smoke crept out from swinging doors of downtown McAllen bars-turned-restaurants Friday night. Crowds of young women in high-heeled...

BEARING WITNESS: Graciela Gonzalez’s grace leaves indelible mark on community

BY FRANCISCO GUAJARDO Graciela Gonzalez died July 18, 2020, due to COVID-19 complications. Born on April 15, 1954, in Weslaco, she lived a life of...

Red Cross urges public follow Thanksgiving safety tips

HARLINGEN — As families continue preparing for a Thanksgiving like never experienced before because of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re advised to keep safe cooking...

Despite COVID-19, volunteers come out for beach cleanup

By DENISE CATHEY | Staff Photographer BROWNSVILLE — For almost an hour, Sabrina Perez has been sifting through the vegetation dotting the sand dunes on...

Local hospitals preparing for arrival of COVID-19 vaccine

With one drug maker already seeking authorization for the emergency-use of it's COVID-19 vaccine, and another manufacturer expected to soon follow, hospitals in the...

Salvation Army implements drive-thru Red Kettle efforts

McALLEN — Bells will be ringing. The Salvation Army of McAllen kicked off its Red Kettle and Angel Tree campaigns on Friday morning. Despite the...

Advice on preparing for a safe Thanksgiving

It’s not Halloween or Christmas that makes the Garza household come alive. It’s Thanksgiving. The three brothers in their 20s and their mom, Linda, look...

Texas hospitals ask for public’s help during COVID-19 pandemic

The Texas Hospital Association issued a statement Friday morning asking for the public’s help as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to surge statewide. The statement reads, “Out...

Ten COVID-19 related deaths, at least 800 new cases, reported in RGV

Ten more Rio Grande Valley residents died due to COVID-19 related complications and more than 800 new cases were confirmed Friday, according to county...

Texas unemployment rate falls to 6.9% in October

By Mitchell Ferman, Texas Tribune The Texas unemployment rate dropped to 6.9% in October, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday, an improvement from the state’s...

Daily COVID-19 deaths in US reach highest level since May

By DAVID CRARY and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press The surging coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine...

Eight more deaths, 719 new cases reported in Hidalgo County

Eight more people in Hidalgo County died due to COVID-19 related complications, according to county officials who also reported another 719 confirmed cases of...

More than 200 families receive Thanksgiving meal from Mission officials

At least 250 families received a Thanksgiving meal through the Mission Crime Stoppers’ annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway this year. On Thursday morning, the Mission Crime...

Hidalgo Co. officials respond to recent surge of COVID-19 cases

Various Hidalgo County officials came together Thursday morning to update the community on the recent, notable spike of COVID-19 activity, how the county is...

CDC begs Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving

By MIKE STOBBE and HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH | Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health...

COVID-19 daily case count in Hidalgo Co. reaches summer levels

Across the Rio Grande Valley, 764 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Wednesday, along with a dozen deaths due to the virus. Hidalgo County reported...

Hidalgo County COVID-19 cases nearly quadruple with 426 new positives

Hidalgo County reported two more coronavirus deaths Tuesday and 426 new cases of the virus. Both fatalities were men older than 70. Out of the county’s...

Texas inmates work in morgue as COVID-19 overwhelms El Paso

By Alana Rocha, Texas Tribune The morgue in El Paso is so overwhelmed by the number of people dying from COVID-19 that inmates from the...

Hidalgo County COVID-19 toll met with urgency, frustration

Hidalgo County surpassing the 2,000 mark for the number of COVID-19 related fatalities on Monday was met with frustration and continued urgency to heed...

Texas surpasses 20,000 virus deaths, second highest in US

By ACACIA CORONADO Report for America/ Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas surpassed 20,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths Monday, as COVID-19 continues to surge in...

Hidalgo County exceeds 2,000 COVID-19 death toll

Hidalgo County announced six additional COVID-19 related deaths and 167 new cases on Monday morning. For the first time since releasing virus activity, going back...

Many turn to plants to find peace during pandemic

BY DENISE CATHEY | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Brownsville in March, everyone had to adjust as suddenly we were all living our...

New COVID-19 therapies being tested in Valley

BROWNSVILLE — Want to help find new treatments for COVID-19? Sign up for one of the new clinical trials being conducted by a research facility...

Contact tracing — it’s still happening, but don’t expect to hear from someone

In late March, Dionny Lopez, 26, began feeling sick after her family’s trip to Monterrey for a funeral. Doctors couldn’t diagnose her cough and...

Valley education officials push to end STAAR testing

Two Rio Grande Valley politicians have joined officials and educators across the state in calling for a cancellation of STAAR assessments for the 2020-21...

With production down, Thanksgiving feast may cost more

HARLINGEN — The coronavirus pandemic is being held responsible for impacting the availability and price of Thanksgiving turkeys. Wholesale turkey prices are up and production...

Hidalgo Co. rent and mortgage assistance still available

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County has helped over 2,200 families affected by COVID-19 pay their rent or mortgage under three different assistance programs, and one...

Third of McAllen students expected to return to classrooms

Thousands of McAllen ISD students and staff returned to campus this week and another wave is expected to return next week. At a board meeting...

Hidalgo planning drive-thru Festival of Lights

The 29th annual Hidalgo Festival of Lights, with the theme, “Season of Hope,” is the latest Upper Valley event to go the drive-thru route,...

Valley to receive COVID-19 antibody therapy doses

A drug aimed at helping people who contracted COVID-19 avoid hospitalization will be distributed across the Valley and throughout Texas as early as next...

Cameron County lifts curfew with a warning

BROWNSVILLE — Although Cameron County no longer has a curfew, County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. on Friday said if he sees the county’s COVID-19...

Valley reports 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Four more Hidalgo County residents died from complications related to COVID-19 and 199 more tested positive for the disease, county officials reported Friday. A Mercedes...

Starr County sees 100% jump in COVID-19 cases 

Starr County reported 85 new cases of COVID-19 this week, representing a 100% increase in cases from weeks prior. Dr. Antonio Falcon, the Starr County...

Unable to gather, Feast of Sharing adapts amid COVID to feed thousands in RGV

The feast must go on. Although H-E-B’s Feast of Sharing has had to make changes to its annual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it...

RGV reports 290 new positive cases

Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department officials reported five more COVID-19 related deaths and 183 new cases Thursday, county Judge Richard F. Cortez...

Texas infant with injection marks tests positive for heroin

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — A 2-month-old girl tested positive for heroin and was placed on life support after being found unresponsive with injection...

PSJA ISD alumna and ER nurse featured in documentary

BY JULISA NEVAREZ San Juan native Karina Elizondo’s pursuit to become a nurse has taken her across the country. The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School alumnus attended...

McAllen reimagines holiday festivities without in-person parade

McALLEN — City leaders here refused to cancel holiday festivities and instead imagined a more creative and safe way to celebrate the season. Starting Dec....

COVID-19 at forefront on first day of legislative filings

With Texas' 87th Legislative session a little more than two months away, the coronavirus is on the agendas of two legislators from the Rio...

RGV officials urge diligence as Texas surpasses 1M virus cases

Texas exceeded 1 million cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, making it the first state in the nation to surpass the grim milestone. The state has...

Starr County relaunches small business grant program

After hitting pause on the program in September, the Starr County Commissioners Court approved the relaunch of a grant program to assist small businesses...

Texas becomes 1st state to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has become the first U.S. state with more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as the nation continues to...

COVID, witness further delay start of Weslaco bribery trial

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stunt progress in the trial of three men accused of conspiring to defraud the city of Weslaco of...

Daughter of Mission officer who died from COVID gets school escort

At first, 12-year-old Madeleine Cabrera didn’t notice the nine uniformed police officers lined up outside Morris Middle School in McAllen on Monday morning. It was...

Local officials test positive as Hidalgo Co. records 147 new COVID-19 cases, 8 more deaths

Hidalgo County reported 147 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths related to the virus Tuesday. The new data brings the county to a...

Hidalgo County sheriff announces he has coronavirus

Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra said on social media Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. "Despite taking all the precautionary and recommended...

198 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County announced Monday morning that, as of Friday, there were 198 additional cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the county and three COVID-19 related...

Brownsville native chosen for Biden task force

Dr. Robert M. “Lucky” Rodriguez, Brownsville native and professor of emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, was named...

BEARING WITNESS: Freddy Alaniz remembered as beloved family man

BY EVA TRISTÁN TORRES Alfredo “Freddy” Alaniz, a husband, father, brother, friend and beloved security guard at Edinburg North High School, died on July 19,...

Virtual Veterans Day events slated in RGV this week

Veterans Day events will not be in short supply this year, COVID-19 or not. The city of Mission already held a well-attended curbside barbecue event...

Pharr plans Veterans Day fireworks displays 

COVID-19 has ravaged the country for the better part of 2020, but will not keep the city of Pharr from honoring those who have...
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Mission honors veterans with curbside barbecue

ICYMI: On Saturday, Oct. 7, the city of Mission held a Veterans Appreciation BBQ, an event aimed to honor and celebrate veterans. Read the full...

Starr County funeral sparked rash of COVID-19 cases

A funeral held for a beloved community member in La Grulla sparked a rash of new cases in Starr County this week. County officials...

Drive-thru, food truck, boat rides mark Fiesta de Palmas’ return

The 2020 Fiesta de Palmas kicked off Saturday with a drive-thru-style food truck park and trajinera dinner boat rides, marking the 15th year of...

Crippling day care centers another casualty of COVID-19

Aurora Gutierrez misses tying all her students’ little shoes. She misses holding their little hands and little backpacks, and teaching them about how to...

Mission honors veterans through curbside barbecue

MISSION — Underneath a blue tent providing shade from the sunny weather outside the Mission Event Center, Mayor Armando O’Caña stood waving at vehicles...

Longtime Cameron County district clerk dies from COVID-19 complications

BROWNSVILLE — Longtime Cameron County District Clerk Aurora de la Garza has passed away from COVID-19 complications, her family announced on Facebook. De la Garza...

9 more die due to COVID-19; 193 new cases in Hidalgo Co.

Another nine people died due to complications from COVID-19 and 193 more tested positive, Hidalgo County reported Friday morning. There are now 1,978 confirmed COVID-19...

Valley reports four more COVID-19 deaths, 314 new cases

The Rio Grande Valley reported four additional coronavirus-related fatalities and 314 cases of the virus Thursday. Hidalgo County continued to report lower COVID-19 fatality numbers,...

201 new virus cases, 7 more deaths in Valley

Hidalgo County confirmed six more deaths due to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, along with 130 new cases. The youngest among those who died is...

COVID-19 cases up by 247 in RGV; 9 more die

Rio Grande Valley officials reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and nine new deaths caused by the virus. In Hidalgo County, officials reported six...

Starr County physicians offering COVID-19 prescriptions at no cost

In the absence of Starr County's drive-thru COVID-19 testing site, which was shut down on Oct. 23, local doctors have stepped up to offer...

263 new cases in RGV as Texas now has highest number of positive tests in US

Hidalgo County reported three additional COVID-19 related deaths and 160 new cases of the virus on Monday. Those numbers were confirmed by the county as...

Roma implements humidity-measuring tech to combat COVID-19 spread

As local officials continue to be wary of another surge in COVID-19 cases, the city of Roma will be the first in the country...

Election Day brings Valley voters opportunity to have final say

Hidalgo County residents who are not among the 187,893 who voted early are now one day away from casting their ballots in an election...

BEARING WITNESS: Taken by COVID-19, Daría Vera’s impassioned civil rights advocacy lives on

BY FRANCISCO GUAJARDO Daría Vera, a lifelong resident of Rio Grande City, died Aug. 6 at 5:05 p.m. at the Baptist Medical Center in San...

Edinburg seeks veterans to recognize during virtual parade

EDINBURG — The city will be honoring its veterans virtually this year, and is asking the community for help to do so. On Nov. 11,...

Vigil offers up prayers for COVID-19 dead; students and faculty

SAN JUAN — Local organizers read off 32 names on the steps of the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle on...

UTRGV intern program offers help to local businesses

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Center for Innovation and Commercialization (CIC) is offering paid internships to students in the UTRGV Robert C....

Alton police turn Night Out into Halloween drive-thru

ALTON — There was no shortage of demand at the Alton Police Department’s National Night Out on Friday evening. By 8 p.m., police Chief Jonathan...

Hidalgo polling site shut down after poll worker tests positive for COVID-19

A Hidalgo County polling location has been shut down after a poll worker tested positive, the county elections administrator, Yvonne Ramon, announced Friday.  The polling...

Hidalgo County reports 5 more virus deaths

Hidalgo County reported 123 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and five more deaths related to the virus. The county reported 179 individuals remained hospitalized with...

STHS eases hospital visitation guidelines

South Texas Health Systems made changes to their visiting hours for its acute care facilities, effective Thursday. The visitation changes are an easing of restrictions...

Nine COVID-19 deaths reported in Valley

Hidalgo County confirmed the deaths of another seven residents due to COVID-19 via a news release Thursday. County Judge Richard F. Cortez continues to reference...

COVID-19 haunts seasonal business in McAllen

McALLEN — JJ’s Party House felt eerie Wednesday, and not eerie in the way owner Lala Karam likes it to feel three days before...

204 virus cases added in Hidalgo Co. as 6 more die

Hidalgo County reported 204 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and six more deaths related to the virus, as county Judge Richard F. Cortez...

Hidalgo Co. records 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Ten COVID-19 related deaths were recorded on Tuesday along with 181 cases in Hidalgo County. The death toll is now 1,934 with a total of...

5 more virus deaths recorded in Hidalgo County, 1 in Cameron

Hidalgo County reported five COVID-19 related deaths and 130 new cases of the virus on Monday. The county’s top elected official also acknowledged the current...

Coronavirus deaths are rising again in the US, as feared

By LISA MARIE PANE and MIKE STOBBE Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Deaths per day from the coronavirus in the U.S. are on the...

RGV hospitalizations steady, but officials on guard as virus cases trend younger

Cases of COVID-19 in hospitals are trending upward again throughout the country and the state, but in the Rio Grande Valley data suggests hospitalizations...

Work-search requirements for jobless return Nov. 1

HARLINGEN —Work-search requirements for Texas workers receiving jobless benefits will be reinstated Nov. 1. The job search requirement was suspended in March as thousands of...

Hallow-streaming: With restrictions instated specific to holiday, alternative activities planned

Streets won’t be filled with young superheroes and princesses scavenging for candy this year, but the community’s Halloween spirit and the traditions of Día...

284 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths, 172 hospitalizations in Hidalgo Co.

Hidalgo County reported eight more coronavirus-related deaths and 284 new cases of the virus as hospitalization rates for the county remain fairly static. So far the county has recorded 34,799 positive cases, 1,914 of which have resulted in a person’s death. County hospitals continued to treat 172 COVID-19 patients Thursday, 68 of them in intensive care units. Hospitalizations were at 176 the previous day. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

H-E-B partners get $500 bonuses

H-E-B partners have a little more money in their pockets, as the grocery store chain handed out $500 bonuses to its employees today, officials...

Hidalgo County virus hospitalizations up slightly as 7 more die

Hidalgo County reported seven new coronavirus-related deaths and 172 new cases Wednesday as the local death toll continues to slowly creep toward 2,000. Thus far, 1,906 people in the county have died of COVID-19 and 34,515 have tested positive for the virus. The county reported a slight change in hospitalization rates Wednesday, with the number of individuals with COVID-19 increasing by one to 176 patients and the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units going up from 66 to 74. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Ballot board member infected with COVID-19, prompting tests

A member on the Hidalgo County Signature Verification Committee who tested positive for COVID-19 prompted the testing of the entire committee, according to county spokesman Carlos Sanchez. Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued the following statement Wednesday morning regarding the 2020 election. “The county recently learned that a member of the Hidalgo County balloting committee has tested positive for COVID-19,” Cortez said in the statement. “The balloting committee is a group made up of Democratic and Republican appointees who observe the electoral process for compliance with state election law. While they do have certain functions ahead of Election Day, the bulk of their work occurs beginning on Election Day and beyond.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Travel restriction extended, Cuellar encouraged by DHS support

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working with border community officials to identify criteria in an effort to ease restrictions on current travel...

Hidalgo, Cameron counties report six more COVID-19 deaths

Hidalgo County announced four additional COVID-19 related deaths and 164 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday morning. The county’s COVID-19 related death toll climbed to 1,899...

Texas is on the cusp of another COVID-19 surge; Is state better prepared?

By Shawn Mulcahy, Texas Tribune Cases of COVID-19 in parts of Texas surged to near catastrophic levels this summer as some hospitals were forced to...

Edinburg football teams eager to return after long offseason

EDINBURG — Coaches, players and teams from across the Rio Grande Valley are excited and appreciative of the opportunity to return to the gridiron...

Hidalgo County reports 164 new COVID-19 cases; four more deaths

Hidalgo County announced four additional COVID-19 related deaths and 164 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday morning. The county’s COVID-19 related death toll climbed to 1,899,...

McAllen unveils precautions for city’s first social event since COVID-19

McALLEN — Mayor Jim Darling danced his way to the podium on a stage at the McAllen Convention Center Monday morning, kicking up his...

Two COVID-19 deaths reported in Cameron Co.; Starr Co. postpones bar reopenings

Two COVID-19 deaths were confirmed in Cameron County on Monday, along with 109 new cases. The individuals who died include a man from Brownsville in...

Facing challenges, many winter visitors remain RGV-bound

Lise Ferland-St-Pierre planned on being in the Rio Grande Valley by November. She and her husband have traveled from their Eastern Townships home in Quebec...

UTRGV hosts distance-learning innovator

Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the university professor, author and lecturer credited with inventing the term e-learning says distance learning’s worldwide embrace is...

University professor charts behavior during pandemic

Elena Quercioli’s life’s work lies at the intersection of economics and epidemiology in a field known, as a matter of fact, as “economic epidemiology.” As...

From farmwork to family life, Eustolia Villarreal a paragon of virtue

BY FRANCISCO GUAJARDO When Eustolia Villarreal died on July 14, 2020, her son Joe, who bore close witness to his mother’s life, reflected on the...

National/World News

Abbott orders bars shut amid surge in confirmed virus cases

AUSTIN — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars in Texas again on Friday and scaled back restaurant dining, the most dramatic reversals yet...

More than 1,000 new virus cases, 39 more deaths in Texas

AUSTIN — Texas health officials on Sunday reported more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus and 39 additional deaths due to COVID-19, the disease...

Texas hair salons to reopen Friday, gyms to open May 18

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott will allow hair salons in Texas to reopen Friday — and gyms will be allowed to open...

Census says restart to field operations will be in phases

By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau's return to field operations for the 2020 national head count will take...

Oil price goes negative as demand collapses; stocks dip

NEW YORK — Oil prices plunged below zero on Monday as demand for energy collapses amid the coronavirus pandemic and traders don’t want to...

College seniors face job worries, family stress amid virus

Sent home from college because of the coronavirus outbreak, Carter Oselett is back in his childhood bedroom, paying rent on an empty apartment near...

Reports suggest many have had coronavirus with no symptoms

A flood of new research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out...

As mail voting pushed, some fear loss of in-person option

ATLANTA — Scrambling to address voting concerns during a pandemic, election officials across the country are eliminating polling places or scaling back opportunities for...

Lockdowns ease worldwide, but political heat rises in US

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Tattoo parlors and hair salons in Denmark. Beaches in Australia. Bookstores in Germany. Countries around the world that have seen...

Texas governor begins easing restrictions to reopen economy

AUSTIN — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday began a slow reopening of Texas with orders that allow retail shops to sell items curbside,...

`LIBERATE!’: Trump goads states to lift virus restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after laying out a roadmap for gradually reviving economic activity, President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “LIBERATE” three...

Record 22 million have sought US jobless aid since virus

WASHINGTON — The wave of layoffs that has engulfed the U.S. economy since the coronavirus struck forced 5.2 million more people to seek unemployment benefits last...

US relief checks begin arriving as economic damage piles up

WASHINGTON — Government relief checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts as the economic damage to the U.S. from the coronavirus piled up Wednesday...

As lockdowns ease, virus fears persist for shoppers, workers

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The first tentative steps in winding back economically crippling coronavirus restrictions in Europe are running into resistance. Shoppers are staying away...

In nod to governors, Trump walks back total authority claim

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he’s open to some states “reopening” before federal social distancing guidelines expire at the end of month, as he...

Hopeful birdsong, foreboding sirens: A pandemic in sound

NEW YORK — Hopeful birdsong and foreboding sirens. Chiming church bells and bleating ferry horns. The coronavirus crisis has drastically transformed the world in sound....

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Johnson’s...

Faint glimmers of hope as virus deaths slow in places

NEW YORK — The steep rise in coronavirus deaths in New York appears to be leveling off in a possible sign that social distancing...

Economic fallout mounts, along with competition for masks

NEW YORK — The economic damage from the coronavirus crisis piled up as an unprecedented 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, and the...

The beat goes on: Locked-down Berlin clubs take party online

BERLIN — Locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the nightclubs in the German capital have decided to keep the beat going — at...

Spain’s hospitals at breaking point, US cities brace

MADRID — Bells tolled in Madrid's deserted central square and flags were lowered in a day of mourning Monday as Spain raced to build...

Trump signs $2.2T stimulus after swift congressional votes

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package into law Friday, after swift and near-unanimous action by Congress this...

3.3 million seek US jobless aid, nearly 5 times earlier high

WASHINGTON — Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — nearly five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid...

Washington agrees on unrivaled $2 trillion virus rescue bill

WASHINGTON — The White House and Senate leaders announced agreement Wednesday on an unparalleled, $2 trillion emergency bill to rush aid to businesses, workers...

LA County reports first possible death of a coronavirus patient under 18 as COVID-19 cases top 660

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County confirmed four more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus Tuesday, including what appears to be the first fatality...

Trump says he hopes US will be reopened by Easter amid virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — With lives and the economy hanging in the balance, President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is hoping the country will be...

Congress closing in on nearly $2 trillion virus aid package

WASHINGTON — Top congressional and White House officials say they expect to reach a deal Tuesday on a nearly $2 trillion measure aimed at...

Over 1.5 billion globally told to stay home to avoid virus

NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or...

Hunt for medical gear to fight virus becomes all-consuming

PARIS — The hunt for masks, ventilators and other medical supplies consumed the U.S. and Europe on Monday, as new coronavirus infections soared and...

Trump moves on invoking powers to spur virus supplies

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to get needed medical supplies on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak,...

US and Mexico to curb border travel to control coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — Mexico and the U.S. announced plans Friday to sharply limit travel over their busy shared border as part of efforts to...

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton tests positive for coronavirus

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton learned Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, he told ESPN. Payton is...

Texas governor orders schools closed and bans dine-in eating

AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered schools closed statewide Thursday until at least until April 3 and a ban on dine-in eating and...

Trump works to steady nation over coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump worked to steady a fearful nation, reporting Thursday on therapeutic drugs that might hold potential to treat those...

‘Quarantine shaming’: US navigates radical new social norms

The chairman of Arizona's Asian Chamber of Commerce didn't see much downside to attending a small dinner at a local restaurant to bolster the...

Italian virus death toll nears China’s as outbreak spreads

ROME — The Chinese city where the coronavirus first took hold reported no new homegrown cases Thursday, while the death toll in Italy was...

US Census Bureau suspends field operations on virus concerns

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A week after starting its 2020 count, the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday suspended field operations for two weeks out...

Trump invokes act to marshal private sector against virus

WASHINGTON — Managing dual health and economic crises, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will invoke emergency powers that allow the government to...

Trump: US, Canada to close border to nonessential travel

TORONTO — The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday, and the...

Sources: White House seeks $850 billion economic stimulus

WASHINGTON — The White House is proposing a roughly $850 billion emergency stimulus to address the economic cost of the new coronavirus. The request...

Universal moves new releases to on-demand, AMC limits crowds

NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic has cracked Hollywood's traditional theatrical window. With theaters increasingly shuttering nationwide, Universal Pictures on Monday said it will...

US tells older people to stay home, all ages to avoid crowds

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday urged all older Americans to stay home and everyone to avoid crowds and eating out at restaurants...

MLB pushes back opening day to mid-May at earliest

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest on Monday because of the new coronavirus after the...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will close his country’s border to non-citizens amid pandemic

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will close the border to anyone not a citizen or a permanent resident amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trudeau...

US officials: Foreign disinformation stoking virus fears

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic,...

Gov. Abbott waives STAAR testing requirement

AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday shelved the state's requirement for high-stakes standardized testing, with hundreds of school districts having already canceled...

CDC recommends canceling gatherings of 50 or more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more in US be canceled or postponed over the next eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. The dramatic recommendation Sunday night came Americans struggled to come to terms with how to change their daily habits. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Important Lists

Testing locations in Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr counties

Free testing for COVID-19 is available at several locations in the Rio Grande Valley. Symptoms for the coronavirus include fever and chills, cough, fatigue, body...

Current Reopening Guidelines

As the state, counties and cities begin to attempt to reopen, we'll post their provided guidelines here. If a document for your city is not...

Valley schools roll out meals to-go programs

Following campus closures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, most Rio Grande Valley school districts have instituted meal pick-up programs to ensure that local students receive a meal despite campus closures. Many districts have established pick-up locations at multiple campuses and are serving thousands of meals daily. On Tuesday, Sharyland ISD reported serving over 4,000 meals and McAllen ISD reported serving over 8,000. “The programs are important because we want to make sure that as we are in this virtual environment where our students are learning from home that they still have an opportunity for a nutritious meal so they can work at their full potential and get their work done,” McAllen Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez said. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Several Upper Valley cities make disaster declarations

Local municipalities are taking proactive measures to help ensure that resources are available to local constituents in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following emergency...

List of local businesses that have changed hours, closures

The following businesses are changing their hours, closing or making other adjustments because of the coronavirus. This list will be updated as needed. Chick-fil-A Temporary Closure...

Area schools announce closures through April

School districts throughout the Rio Grande Valley are extending their spring break closures to April as calls to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people intensify. Each district will continue to remain in communication with parents, students and staff to plan how they will continue past April. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Rundown of local businesses offering curbside pick-up

The following local businesses have implemented a curbside pick-up option as a precautionary measure to mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus. >> Bonhomia, 920 N. Main St., Suite 160 in McAllen. Open Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call or DM them on Instagram to place an order. (956) 627-0594 >> Grind Coffee Co., 315 W. University Dr., Edinburg. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the next few weeks. Text or call to place a curbside order and set a pick-up time: (956) 888-7810 Read the full story at themonitor.com.