COVID-19 related hospitalization drop in Hidalgo County

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Hidalgo County's latest COVID-19 numbers show 2,595 people in the county have died as a result of the coronavirus since the first case was reported in the Valley almost a year ago.

After a spike in hospitalizations due to the holidays, case counts in the county are beginning to decrease.

"Fortunately, our numbers are now in the low 200's," Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said. "Our numbers have continuously declined in the last two weeks."

Melendez said about half of the people in the county currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are in intensive care units.

"Those people that are coming in are a lot sicker than they were before," Melendez said. "We do have about 10 people die every day of COVID. Our deaths are still worrisome. They have not really decreased significantly in all these months."

Hidalgo County's Health and Human Services Department released three COVID-19 reports with 37 deaths reported over the last 6 days. Melendez said there could be a backlog of cases due to last week's winter storm, which also affected vaccine distribution. 

Melendez said anything that interrupts the availability of the vaccine is "absolutely going to be impactful."

So far he estimates between 10% to 15% of Hidalgo County residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine and about 20% to 30% have already had the coronavirus. Melendez said those two factors are helping slow down positive cases.


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