Starr County rolling back COVID-related emergency orders

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Starr County Judge Eloy Vera officially ended all county stay-at-home and stay-safe orders effective immediately.

Vera made the announcement Wednesday during a virtual press conference where he said he's leaving social distance responsibilities up to county residents. 

“I am going to stop all the orders that I was giving. You all have proven to me that we don't need any orders, you know what you need to do," Judge Vera said. “We're not out of this thing. The virus is still out there, but you know what needs to happen. We need to keep our social distancing." 

WATCH ENTIRE PRESS CONFERENCE: Starr County officials give COVID-19 update 

Judge Vera said he's confident in his decision after the latest health reports show close to 82% of residents 65 years and older are fully vaccinated, and nearly 71% of residents 16 and older have gotten at least one shot.

"Our death rate has dropped to almost zero,” Starr County Health Authority Dr. Antonio Falcon said. “I think maybe in the month of April, we may have had one or two deaths." 

Dr. Falcon also announced his resignation as county health authority.

Falcon served as the official health advisor to Judge Vera since last August. As part of his duties, he made recommendations on when and how the county should operate to end the spread of COVID-19. 

With the county now in better shape, Dr. Falcon said it's time for someone new to take over. 

“I would like for the county to consider getting a new health authority by the first of June," Dr. Falcon said. “As all of you know out there, there's many, many more significant medical problems in our community that need attention and are going to need long term attention."

Judge Vera said said there’s currently no word yet on who will replace Dr. Falcon, adding that it's up to the county court commissioners to decide on how they'll pick the next health authority and if he or she will be compensated. 

Falcon's resignation and replacement will be officially reviewed and discussed during the next commissioners court meeting that's set for Monday, May 10.


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