Two Port Isabel residents test positive for COVID-19

By Gaige Davila

Two Port Isabel residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus COVID-19, according to Cameron County Public Health Department and the City of Port Isabel.

The residents are two men, ages 62 and 64, according to a press release from the City of Port Isabel.

One of the residents is self-isolating at his residence in Port Isabel, while the other is self-isolating in Brownsville. The latter’s permanent residence is a Port Isabel address, but Cameron County Public Health and the City of Port Isabel have not determined their entire movement from Port Isabel to Brownsville, according to Jared Hockema, Port Isabel’s city manager.

Both persons have county-issued orders to stay home.

Hockema says Cameron County is communicating with the city more than previously.

A person who tested positive for COVID-19 was self isolating in a Port Isabel condo, two sources with close knowledge of the situation told the PRESS on March 25. Cameron County Public Health did not respond to multiple requests to confirm the person’s location in Port Isabel, and they didn’t initially notify City of Port of Isabel officials either.

A few days after the person’s location was learned by the City of Port Isabel, Cameron County lifted their self-isolation order, notifying the city via a letter and email. The person has since left the condo.

Hockema said several of the city’s suggestions, including adding tables to their press releases announcing new COVID-19 cases in the county, were followed by Cameron County, including more frequent communication by text and phone call.

The City of Port Isabel will be assisting the Cameron County Public Health in locating Port Isabel residents who test positive for COVID-19, along with monitoring them, ensuring they’re following their county-ordered self-isolation.

Cameron County Public Health will notify persons or places that may have had significant exposure to the two cases. Hockema says Port Isabel residents should not be concerned with exposure as much as they should be with maintaining social distancing and preventing the virus’ spread.

“We need to all act as if we have it,” Hockema said. “We have a moral obligation to prevent the spread of this illness.”

Hockema is not aware of any other persons in Port Isabel who are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. said during an April 6 press conference that of the 87 persons testing positive for COVID-19, 62 people are self-isolating, 12 people have been hospitalized and 13 people have recovered.

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