Despite new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention easing COVID-19 mitigation recommendations, Hidalgo County health officials say there is a false sense of security regarding the ongoing pandemic.

Ivan Melendez, of the Hidalgo County Health Department, said he understands that the public may be tired of COVID safety measures, but now is not the time to relax them.

“Currently, more than 10% of beds in Hidalgo County in hospitals are COVID patients,” Melendez said, noting that people could develop severe symptoms from the latest variant.

“I think there’s a false sense of security that ‘well, this variant isn’t lethal,’ but we reported five deaths yesterday,” he said. There are people sick with the new coronavirus and people still dying every week…I don’t understand why you want to withdraw it. ”

CDC’s new COVID recommendations no longer discriminate based on individual vaccination status due to breakthrough infections.

People exposed to COVID are no longer recommended to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status, but instead were asked to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and be tested on day 5. . Additionally, screening of asymptomatic persons with no known exposure will no longer be recommended in most community settings.

“My thoughts are: I think we are all tired of all the hassle, as much as we are now with monkeypox being the focus, but now is not the time not to. I think we need quarantine, we don’t need masks,” he said.

He added that until hospitalizations begin to decline, people are encouraged to continue to take precautions such as wearing masks indoors, keeping distance, and most importantly, getting vaccinated.

After a slight decline last week, COVID-19 hospitalizations fluctuated across the Rio Grande Valley this week.

153 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, with the number of cases jumping quickly to 161 the next day. The number rose to 165 on Wednesday and dropped to 153 on Thursday.

Thursday’s 153 patients included 112 adults, 33 adults in intensive care, and 8 pediatric patients.

Hidalgo County had 118 hospitalizations due to COVID, dropping slightly to 117 by the weekend. These patients included 103 adults and her 14 pediatric patients. Of these, 21 adults and 1 child were in the intensive care unit.

This week, Hidalgo County also reported six more residents died from COVID-19-related complications, including two who had not been vaccinated. The total number of residents who have died due to COVID has now reached 3,957.

The county reported 1,481 new cases this week, including 899 confirmed and 582 probable cases.

This brings the county’s total case count to 223,259 cases, including 142,665 confirmed, 77,435 probable, and 3,159 suspected cases.

Cameron County reported 1,290 new cases this week, including 491 confirmed, 794 probable and 5 self-reported cases.

They also reported four more COVID-related deaths, raising the total number of deaths from COVID to 2,277. did.

Starr County reported 65 confirmed and 66 probable cases, and Willacy County reported 35 confirmed and 19 probable cases, according to DSHS data.

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