MCALLEN, Texas _ Reporter Mireya Villarreal, a native of the Rio Grande Valley who now works for CBS News, came home this week to secure exclusive access to a COVID-19 strikes ICU ward in McAllen/

Villarreal, who worked for KRGV-TV between 2005 and 2008, was granted exclusive access to the ICU unit at McAllen Medical Center. There she interviewed a coronavirus patient who lost her daughter to the virus. The woman’s husband was also in the hospital with COVID-19.

Mireya Villarreal

Reporting for CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, Villarreal learned McAllen Medical is currently treating a record high 140 COVID patients and is fast running out of hospital beds. Villarreal said that for many of the patients, the chances of recovering are slim.

Villarreal also interviewed Dr. Usman Khan, MD. Asked if he was worried, Khan said: “I fell that this is just the beginning for us. It seems like it will be getting a lot worse.”

Villarreal graduated from UT-Pan American in 2001. Previously, she reported for KTVT-TV, the CBS owned and operated station in Dallas. Earlier, she worked at WOAI-TV in San Antonio from 2008 to 2012 and KRGV-TV in Rio Grande Valley, Texas from 2005 to 2008. She began her journalism career at KGNS-TV in Laredo, Texas, as a weekend sports anchor and reporter.

She won Emmy awards for uncovering excessive spending by DFW International Airport executives, reporting on a system that allowed Texas school district employees to resign after wrongdoing, and exposing a real estate scam that targeted San Antonio homebuyers, which eventually sparked legal investigations into two local companies. She is also the recipient of two Texas Associated Press awards for stories on immigration and child safety.

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