BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A top doctor in Cameron County’s public health department says if the current spike in COVID-19 cases continues there will not be enough hospital beds for infected patients.

Dr. James Castillo gave the warning at a news conference held Wednesday with Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr.

“Hospitalizations are going up. If that trend continues on that path, a lot of patients who get hospitalized, especially in the ICU, they could be there for a month. For weeks, not a few days. If this trend continues, hospital capacity will start approaching its limits.”

If Cameron County starts seeing that, he said, officials will have to start thinking about restricting the movement of residents again.

Dr. Castillo said the good news is that local hospitals now have a better idea on how to treat coronavirus cases.

On the day of the news conference, Cameron County has received confirmation of two additional COVID-19 related deaths. The individuals were 65 and 67-year-old males from Brownsville. This raised the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Cameron County to 42. The county also received confirmation of an additional 39 case reports of COVID-19. A few weeks ago, before the economy was re-opened, Cameron County was reporting only ten or so additional cases per day. 

On Thursday, more alarming figures were released by Cameron County. There were two more COVID-19 related deaths. The individuals were a 100-year old female and 59-year-old male from Brownsville. This raised the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Cameron County to 44. Cameron County also received confirmation of an additional 41 case reports of COVID-19.

In his remarks, Judge Treviño said: “As the state began to open up I reiterated the fact that even though it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask or a facial covering, we were requesting or recommending that people still do that. Some people have continued to still do that and I thank you. Those who are not following we reiterate it. You are putting yourself, your family and others at risk.”

The attached podcast, edited by Mario Muñoz, features highlights from the news conference, which was held at Cameron County Courthouse. 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Dr. James Castillo. Photo: Wendy Rigby/Texas Public Radio)


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