WESLACO, Texas – With the 4th of July holiday weekend coming up, Cameron County Commissioner David A. Garza has urged Rio Grande Valley residents to wear masks, especially if traveling.

Garza spoke about a recent increase rise in Covid-19 cases in the Rio Grande Valley while attending a Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council meeting on Wednesday.

Garza said:

“You know Covid-19 is on the rise in the three county area. I think we all need to be made aware of the fact that we have seen numbers go up exponentially in the last couple of weeks. We have a big weekend coming up this weekend. I know the Island has been extremely crowded. We see what is happening. It appears that the omicron variant that is going around is a little more contagious. Luckily it seems to not be as virulent. So, it is not hitting people as badly and hospitalizing them unless they have complex problems with their medical issues. But, we need to still encourage people  to get boosted with vaccines. Our vaccination rate for booster shots in the Valley, the three county area, is not as high as we would like it to be. So, encourage your folks to do that. Why is it occurring?  Look around this room and you know why. At this table I am the only wearing a mask. We are getting very lax with wearing masks. It is important we continue practicing mask-wearing, especially if you are traveling.”

Garza was the only member of the LRGVDC board of directors to wear a mask during the meeting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 cases are high in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties. Coronavirus cases in Starr County are medium.

Dr. James Castillo, health authority for Cameron County, told the Valley Morning Star that while health officials are seeing an uptick in cases, hospitalizations are not overwhelming hospitals as in past surges.

It “looks like we are just going through another spike, it’s probably one of the omicron sub-variants as omicron involved so it’s more contagious,” Castillo said.

The CDC recommends people wear facial coverings while indoors and when using public transportation regardless of vaccination status.

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