Governor: McAllen Convention Center will be used to treat coronavirus patients
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that the McAllen Convention Center would be transformed into a temporary medical facility to treat coronavirus patients.
Abbott visited the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday to survey damage caused by Hurricane Hanna and meet with local leaders — who are contending with both hurricane damage and the coronavirus pandemic.
"And if there's one thing that I want to emphasize to everyone in the Rio Grande Valley it is this: This hurricane has not eliminated COVID-19," Abbott said.
Abbott announced several major steps designed to assist the Valley, including:
* The McAllen Convention Center will be transformed into a temporary medical facility to treat coronavirus patients.
The convention center's maximum capacity will be 250 patients, Abbott said.
* The U.S. Department of Defense will deploy additional medical teams to the Valley.
A U.S. Army Reserve unit arrived in Cameron County on Tuesday to assist local hospitals.
Another U.S. Army Reserve unit will arrive in Hidalgo County on Wednesday to assist DHR Health.
"This is on top of the more than 2,000 medical personnel that we have already allocated to this region," Abbott said.
Abbott was joined by local leaders and state lawmakers from across the Valley, including state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville; state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen; state Rep. Oscar Longoria, D-Mission; state Rep. Eddie Lucio III D-Brownsville; Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr., Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner David Fuentes, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell and Weslaco Mayor David Suarez, among others.
Vera, the Starr County judge, said hospital capacity remains a major problem.
Adding capacity in Hidalgo County and Cameron County will help Starr County, Vera said.
"We work together as region," Vera said.
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