Starr County receives additional help from the state

3 years 5 months 5 days ago Saturday, July 04 2020 Jul 4, 2020 July 04, 2020 3:28 PM July 04, 2020 in News - Local

Overnight at around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, about fifteen nurses arrived to Starr County, just hours after the health authority said their situation was looking like New York.

Texas Department of State and Health Services sent about 15 nurses to the county. Twelve arrived in the morning and the rest are on the way. They will perform functions as respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants, lab therapists and nurse practitioner.

"I think it was the realization that we are getting a lot of deaths in the community and the fact that we have a significant infection going on in the nursing home and the numbers in the hospital was raising very fast," Dr. Jose Vazquez, Starr County Health Authority, said.

On Friday, Vazquez said the county has 18 deaths suspected to be related to COVID-19. However, officially they are only reporting three deaths so far.

The delays caused by paperwork and demographic factors have an effect on the state's ability to accurately assess the needs of the county.

The under reported deaths was holding up help, Vazquez said.

"We are one of the poorest communities in South Texas and in the state, in general. Help was much needed for us," Vazquez said.

The staff is expected to stay in the county for 21 days.

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