LAREDO, Texas – Five more deaths associated with COVID-19 were reported along the Texas-Mexico border region on Wednesday – two in El Paso, two in Laredo and one in McAllen. 

This brings the total number of deaths associated with the novel coronavirus along the border to the total to 22: three in Cameron County, one in Willacy County, two in Hidalgo County, six in El Paso County ten in Webb County.

In terms of positive cases cases, El Paso’s count is now 393. The county had an additional 47 on Wednesday. 

Webb County reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the county’s total to 239 positive.

Cameron County reported 15 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of positive cases in the county to 254.

Hidalgo County reported eight more people testing positive for the contagious disease. This brings the total number of people in Hidalgo County who have tested positive to 225.

There is some good news, many people are recovering from the virus: 65 in Webb County, 84 in Cameron County, 48 in El Paso County, and 39 in Hidalgo County.

El Paso County Public Health reports:

The City of El Paso Public Health Department reported two additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to six. Both patients are males with underlying health conditions, one in his 50s and the other in his 80s.

El Paso is now reporting 47 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 393. Positive cases in El Paso County include 203 females and 190 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are now 65 patients hospitalized, and 27 of those are currently in ICU.

“People need to realize that things will continue getting worse in El Paso if they don’t adhere to the Stay Home, Work Safe orders,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. 

“Our numbers continue to rise. If we don’t stay at home, practice social distancing, and wear the recommended face coverings when in public, it is only a matter of time before one of our loved ones is struck by COVID-19 and we do not want more devastated families. We can prevent this by being proactive in our approach, but it will take all of us.”

Webb County Public Health reports:

The City of Laredo and Webb County have confirmed the ninth and tenth deaths in Laredo related to COVID-19. The City and County want to express their most sincere condolences to the families and want them to know that our counselors, as well as our support, are available.

A 93-year-old woman with a chronic heart condition had tested positive for COVID-19 and was being treated at Laredo Medical Center when she died on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Similarly, a 63-year-old woman who was positive for COVID-19, and who had underlying health conditions, was being transported from her home to Doctors Hospital of Laredo on Wednesday, April 15, when she was officially pronounced dead upon arrival. The woman had also been receiving chemotherapy and had a history of diabetes, hypertension and Parkinson’s Disease.

“We are sad to confirm that two more patients have died from COVID-19. We appreciate the valiant work done by our caregiving team and we extend our deepest sympathies to the patients’ families and loved ones. It is vitally important for all members of our community to practice hand hygiene and social distancing which are the best ways at this moment to slow the spread of the virus,” said Laredo Medical Center.

As of 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, a total of  1,369 persons  have been tested, 678 of those tests have resulted negative, 239 have resulted positive, 452 are pending, 65 have recovered, 27 remain hospitalized, and 10 have passed.

Meanwhile, Webb County and the City of Laredo will open their first drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on Thursday, April 16. Patients with a prescription will enter the site at the Bartlett Soccer Complex at the West entrance on Gale/Thomas St. Operated by local health care and government agencies, the site will be available to local residents and surrounding counties so long as they have a doctors order or an order from the City of Laredo Health Department. The drive-thru testing site will be open Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Next week’s schedule will be announced in a future press release.

Tests will be administered to persons who have a doctor’s order, but all patients must call the Screening Hotline at (956) 795-4932 to get appointment. Patients must also bring their insurance information if they have health insurance. Those individuals who do not have access to a doctor and are showing symptoms can call the Screening Hotline where nurses will evaluate patients over the phone and approve them for testing at the drive-thru site. The Screening Hotline will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Patients will be tested through PCR swab testing. Results will be available within 3 days.

Cameron County Public Health reports:

Cameron County has received confirmation of an additional fifteen (15) reports of COVID-19. This includes the following:

Residence Gender Age(s) Transmission
Brownsville Female 46 Travel
Harlingen Female 25, 37, 50, 51, 82, 89, 89 Link to Previous Case
Harlingen Male 45, 55 Link to Previous Case
Harlingen Female 45 Community
Los Fresnos Female 53 Link to Previous Case
San Benito Female 39, 44 Link to Previous Case
San Benito Male 71 Link to Previous Case

This raises the total number of cases to 254 in Cameron County. 

Of the 254 cases, 84 individuals have recovered.

Cameron County Public Health continues to investigate the COVID-19 outbreak at two nursing home facilities. To date, the Cameron County cases arising from Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare has included 21 employees, five (5) individuals related to the employees and 50 residents who have tested positive, including two (2) who have passed away. There have also been 37 employees and 24 residents who have tested negative. The Windsor Atrium currently has 15 employees and 17 residents who have tested positive, including one who has passed away. There has also been one (1) employee and two (2) residents who have tested negative.Individuals at the two facilities who have tested positive continue to be in isolation and employees who have pending results are not working at the facility. 

Hidalgo County Public Health reports:

A 66-year-old McAllen man with underlying medical conditions became the second person in Hidalgo County to die after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said Wednesday.

“We should all feel a sense of sadness that another member of our community has died,” Judge Cortez said. “My sincere condolences go out to this man’s family.”

The unidentified man’s death comes on a day when eight more people in Hidalgo County have tested positive for the contagious disease. This brings the total number of people in Hidalgo County who have tested positive to 225, Judge Cortez said. This includes 32 people who are in area hospitals, six of them in intensive care units.

Another two people have been released from isolation meaning they have shown no symptoms for ten days, including no fever for the last three days. This brings the total number of people who have been released from isolation to 39.

Affected mayors have been notified of the new cases, as has the Hidalgo County Commissioners, Judge Cortez said. All of the new positive cases and their families living in the same home have been ordered into isolation.

Those learning of their positive tests on Wednesday include:

Gender City Age range
Male Weslaco 70s
Male Mission 20s
Male McAllen 30s
Female Edinburg 20s
Female Alamo 20s
Female Mercedes 50s
Male Edinburg 40s
Male Weslaco 60s