COVID-19 cases reach over 270 locally

By Gaige Davila

Laguna Madre area towns and cities have over 270 COVID-19 cases total, as cases continue rising across Cameron County, the Rio Grande Valley and the state. 

As of press time, Port Isabel has 175 COVID-19 cases, the most of the area; Laguna Vista has 48 cases; South Padre Island has 37 cases; and Laguna Heights has 13 cases, according to Cameron County Public Health records. In total, the Laguna Madre area has 273 COVID-19 cases. 

Regarding the COVID-19 cases in Port Isabel, City Manager Jared Hockema said transmission is likely because of people working in service industries who are contracting the virus then spreading it in multi-generational homes, basing the observation on cases he is aware of locally. Hockema said that the city staff members who have contracted the disease all contracted COVID-19 from a family member.  

“Here in Rio Grande Valley, particularly in Port Isabel, we do have a lot of people who live with extended family and live in close quarters,” Hockema said. “A lot of people (here) work in the tourism industry and with the public. They go home, their family members subsequently become infected.”

Hockema said several of the cases confirmed by Cameron County Public Health in recent days were part of a backlog of cases.

“A lot of these are old cases,” Hockema said. “I think they’re probably plateauing a little bit.” 

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