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Hidalgo County health experts push for COVID-19 variant testing

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Positive COVID-19 infections are on the rise among the younger population in Hidalgo County this week, according to new data from local health officials.

The current uptick in positive infections is causing concern for some residents who say they’re worried about the Delta variant.

Now that the Rio Grande Valley is no longer an isolated community, DHR Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Martinez says medical facilities need more COVID-19 tests that detect different variants.

“The testing is so important,” Martinez said, adding that some tests can predict what a patient will need to keep to keep them “stable and doing well.”

Since Tuesday, the county has seen a steady daily rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.

RELATED: Hidalgo County reports 4 coronavirus-related deaths, 113 positive cases  

On Thursday, 113 people tested positive for the virus; 92 people are under the age of 30, and 48 are younger than 20.

“I think those are the folks that tend to congregate a little bit more,” Martinez said. “Or may not wear a mask.”

While health officials investigate how many positive infections are in unvaccinated people, Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez says typically, the people who get tested for the virus have not received the vaccine.

However, Melendez said Hidalgo County is doing alright with vaccinations overall.

“We have about 79% of people that got at least one vaccine,” Melendez said. “We are approaching 60% of people that have been completely vaccinated.”

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