COVID-19 cases rising in Willacy County

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It’s a county with just over 20,000 people, but despite it's size, COVID-19 cases are doubling on a weekly basis in Willacy County.

"We've been having the same issues that everybody else has,” Willacy County Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Torres said. 

Torres said that between September and November, Willacy County was only averaging six to 10 cases per week.

"Then we went to 15, then 30, then 60, then 100, and it's just been doubling every week since December,” Torres said.

RELATEDWillacy County reports 388 new cases of COVID-19

Willacy County relies on the state health department to provide them with weekly COVID-19 reports, because they don't have their own health department. 

According to Torres, 180 new infections were reported last week.

On Tuesday, that number jumped to 388. Torres said none of these cases are backlogged. 

"We just need the community to understand that our numbers are not any lower than any place around the country or in the Valley," Torres said. “And we need to follow the very simple CDC guidelines."

RELATED: Willacy County temporarily suspends jail visitations due to COVID-19

While Torres hasn't received confirmation from the state that the omicron variant has been detected in the county, he believes it's already there. 

As the Valley continues to see an increase in infections and hospitalizations, Torres has the following message for the community:

"Wear your masks, social distance as much as you can and avoid crowds," Torres said. "We'll be ok, we'll get through this. If you haven't been vaccinated or haven't gotten your booster, now's a great time to do it."


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