Hospitalized with COVID-19, Hidalgo County sheriff said to be 'doing well'
Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra spent the past four days at the DHR Health hospital in Edinburg, where he received treatment for COVID-19.
After struggling with the coronavirus for nearly two weeks, Guerra went to DHR Health on Thursday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Guerra remained at DHR Health on Monday morning.
“He’s doing well and recovering,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez.
Guerra experienced trouble breathing in mid-November, but details about his current condition and treatment remain unclear.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment.
“The last I heard, he was going to be there a couple more days,” said Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Constable Atanacio “J.R.” Gaitan. “And he was doing better.”
Hidalgo County reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 21. During the next eight months, nearly 41,000 people tested positive.
Guerra and other law enforcement officers struggled to keep themselves safe while protecting the public.
The problem was compounded for Guerra. He spent 2020 on the campaign trail, meeting with voters and supporting other candidates.
After winning the Democratic Party primary, Guerra faced a Republican challenger in the fall. Voters re-elected him on Nov. 3.
Just days later, Guerra and Sheriff’s Office Division Chief Oscar Montoya — the new mayor of Mercedes — tested positive for COVID-19. They had both spent October and November campaigning.
Montoya said he tested positive on Nov. 6.
In a Facebook post, Guerra said he started experiencing symptoms, including a fever, during the weekend of Nov. 7 and Nov. 8.
“Despite taking all the precautionary and recommended health and safety measures, I started feeling feverish over the weekend and tested positive for COVID-19,” Guerra wrote in the Facebook post. “Thankfully, my symptoms are mild and I am already feeling better. I am isolating and working from home and I’m confident that I will get through this.”
On Nov. 13, the city of Mercedes held a virtual swearing-in ceremony for Montoya. Guerra administered the oath of office.
Both Guerra and Montoya participated in the swearing-in ceremony from home, where they remained in self-isolation.
“As you know, I’m suffering from this virus, so I’m a little winded,” Guerra said at the swearing-in ceremony. “And I’m having a little hard time speaking. But before I lose my breath, I’ll go ahead and administer the oath.”
Guerra was hospitalized six days later.
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