BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Cameron County health authority Dr. James Castillo said the people of the Rio Grande Valley are going to have to get used to living with the coronavirus for at least a year, even if a vaccine for COVID-19 is found.

Castillo spoke at a recent news conference hosted by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. At the event he said 80 percent of the COVID-19 infections are being traced back to gatherings where people were not wearing a facial covering.

“It is driving a majority of the infections,” Castillo said of such gatherings. “That is why these measures are so important and all the advice that everybody is going about staying at home, especially if you are vulnerable and not being in crowds is so critical to trying to slow the spread of this illness.”

Castillo went on to predict how long COVID-19 will be with us. 

“We are going to have to live with this illness for at least the next year, no matter a vaccine. This is going to go on for at least another year. So, this is going to be the new normal. People are going to hav e to learn to adapt and live with it,” Castillo said.

“That is why all the recommendations about the hand washing, about the physical distancing, preventing the spread of large events or gatherings, birthday parties or family gatherings in the back yard, is critical to slowing this thing down.”

Here is a podcast of the news conference:

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