iluna@valleytowncrier.com

HIDALGO – In the county’s third week following the shelter-in-place ordinance and practicing social distancing along with other safety precautions made recently; the county is still seeing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases which is to be expected, but on the other hand, is seeing an improvement.

In a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, April 9, with Health and Human Services Chief Administrator Eddie Olivarez and Carlos Sanchez Hidalgo’s Public Affairs Director, broke down the county’s recent numbers. Those numbers are:

Total COVID-19 Cases in Hidalgo as of Friday, April 10: 146 New Positive COVID-19 Cases Announced Thursday, April 9: 7 COVID-19 Patients Hospitalized: 19 COVID-19 Patients in ICU: 5 COVID-19 Patients Released from Home Isolation: 9 COVID-19 Fatalities: 1 COVID-19 Tests Submitted: 1,285 Pending COVID-19 Tests: 97 Negative COVID-19 Tests: 1,042 The news of a patient being released from home isolation was announced Thursday, April 9 in a press release reading in part:

“In addition, one more person was cleared for release from home isolation making a total of nine people who once were symptomatic and tested positive, but have shown no symptoms of the disease for ten days, including three days with no fever.”

Human Services Chief Administrator Olivarez differentiates what the “release rate” is and how it is different from “recovered”.

“We all need to take this as a serious concern as a pandemic. We need to understand that this is a global issue…this is impacting every single person all around the world and we’re part of that global family that’s going through these changes. Many other facilities and locations will talk about the recovery rate to demonstrate that some people have met the requirement to get off the list and show that they have moved on as far as their illness and could get back to normal days. We’re using the word ‘released’ because according to CDC guidance, CDC does not use the word ‘recover’ they use the word ‘release’ in a form of released back to work.”

According to CDC’s guidance, “a person who has been symptomatic after seven days of no symptoms and no fever for three of those days without the assistance of medication or over-the-counter medications that help with fever, are ready to be released to go back to work,” shared Olivarez.

However, Hidalgo County’s health officials along with Dr. Ivan Melendez agree to increase those days by asking that the person to be symptom-free for 10 days and three days without fever medications; fever-free and that no immediate family members in their household show symptoms too.

As a reminder to stop the spread of COVID-19 and with Holy Week being celebrated, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez advises that the Easter Holiday weekend of “traditional Easter egg hunts, family get-togethers and other [celebrations] in large groups is simply not in the best interests of us.”

To watch Judge Cortez’s special message to Hidalgo County on Easter Holiday Weekend click the link: https://www.facebook.com/judgecortez/videos/631514887426681/UzpfSTEzMjIxMjk4MDE1Mjk2ODozODc4NTc0MjUyMTgzNDcw/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARCaobdiE_1ow139v6bRe2kwGxLXNlKY8d67AQbx3S9oTp6Xqj68Iy9y18Y6U2GpSPOtP5rRKnIlzyWa

To watch Thursday’s, April 9 Hidalgo County’s Briefing on Recent COVID-19 Numbers click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTst6GevPQE&t=209s