“We didn’t even have our first wave yet” Cameron County warns residents as COVID-19 cases increase

By Gaige Davila

Texas Governor Greg Abbott points to a chart detaining rising COVID-19 cases in the state during a press conference on June 22. COVID-19 cases in the state hace increased exponentially since Abbott issued orders to “reopen” the state on May 1. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

Texas continues to see its COVID-19 cases rise, with 13 consecutive days of record-high hospitalizations since June 12. Cameron County’s cases are rising right along with the rest of the state.

Over the weekend, Cameron County Public Health confirmed 175 cases of COVID-19, with the county’s daily case rate rising. Then, on Monday night, June 22, Cameron County confirmed 101 cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, Cameron County confirmed 111 COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, another 123 cases were confirmed. 


In total, Cameron County has 1,972 COVID-19 cases, with 1,218 people recovering from the disease. Fifty-two Cameron County residents have died from COVID-19, as of this article’s writing, the youngest death being a 21-year-old from Indian Lake. Also from Indian Lake, the youngest person to contract COVID-19 in Cameron County is a newborn, testing positive at 6 days old. 

The Rio Grande Valley has 398 people of the 4,739 hospitalized for COVID-19 in Texas, according to data from Texas Department of State Health Services as of June 25. 

This past Saturday, the state confirmed 4,430 COVID-19 cases, then the highest yet, as reported by the Texas Tribune. But by Tuesday, June 23, the state confirmed 5,489 cases of COVID-19, once again breaking its single-day record. By Wednesday, Texas once again broke the single-day record by confirming 5,551 cases. There are 131,917 cases of COVID-19 in the state, as of . 

During a press conference on June 22, Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo gave a sobering remark on the rising cases.

In Port Isabel, Quik Stop’s marquee sign on wednesday, April 29, advertises its reopening on May 1, the same day Texas Governor Greg Abbott began lifting restrictions on businesses meant to stem the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Gaige Davila.

“Since the (state’s) reopening, the science is telling us it’s not over,” Castillo said. “We didn’t even have our first wave yet. The wave is coming now. That was a warning.” 

Castillo said testing has increased throughout the state, with around 6 percent of tests returning positive. But in Cameron County, 30 to 50 percent of the tests taken at various testing sites are returning positive. 

“What’s really growing is the community cases, and most of them are in people under 40,” Castillo said. “We were hoping not to see this. Not every state has seen it, not every county has seen it, but we are seeing it.”

Port Isabel has confirmed 19 cases of COVID-19, with Laguna Vista at 2 cases. Port Isabel’s youngest cases are 6 and 11-year-old boys, linked to previous COVID-19 cases, according to data from Cameron County Public Health. 

Six South Padre Island residents are confirmed to have COVID-19, but several people who are employed in South Padre Island businesses have recently tested positive for the disease, sources told the PRESS, leading to those businesses’ closures. Those people, the PRESS was told, were not residents of South Padre Island, living elsewhere in Cameron County. 

It is unfortunate that South Padre Island is starting to see COVID 19 cases on the Island,” South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty told the PRESS in a text message. “We all knew that SPI was not invincible to this virus, and we are seeing these cases starting to pop up due to possibly forgetting the importance of the Open Texas Guidelines and following the proper procedures.”

McNulty said he expects South Padre Island’s case numbers to rise to 8 in the next few days, and up to 16 in the next ten days. 

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2020/06/26/we-didnt-even-have-our-first-wave-yet-cameron-county-warns-residents-as-covid-19-cases-increase/

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