RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas – Starr County’s new health authority, Dr. Tony Falcon says the pressure on the county hospital caused by the coronavirus is easing.

Falcon said the number of positive cases to date in Starr County is 2,603, while the number of fatalities is 117. Number of recoveries from COVID-19 is 1,383. And, the number of active cases is 1,069.

There have been zero deaths in emergency room over the past ten days and only three patients have been transferred out of the county.

Starr County Memorial Hospital now has 19 beds available for COVID patients, Falcon said.

“The numbers have all turned very positive. It is a very good sign,” the veteran physician said.

The most vulnerable part of the community remains those aged 55-plus, Falcon said. He said flu vaccines have come in.

“I am going to urge the community to get out and get vaccinated. It is more important than ever that we get vaccinated against the flu.”

Asked by a reporter why the COVID situation has improved, Falcon said:

“It is a combination of things. Our citizens, in general, have been very good. I like to get out and about to observe things. I am very proud of the people of Starr County. We see a lot of people with their masks on and being careful. The patients I talk to are careful.”

Keeping to social distance guidelines is particularly hard for the people of Starr County, Falcon explained.

“I know that a lot of our patients, especially the elderly, deeply miss the warmth and the closeness of family members but they have been really good about keeping their distance, about wearing a mask, about washing their hands. And I think that has made a difference,” he said.

Falcon praised the leadership of Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.

“We were probably thinking that this was over and things got out of hand, obviously. But with the stay at home directions from the judge’s office and his direction, I think we changed the course of that again to where the numbers are way, way down.”

Vera spoke at the news conference, as did Dr. Ray Mussett of Roma, Texas.

Here is the audio from Dr. Tony Falcon’s news conference:


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