Valley health officials in Cameron and Hidalgo counties say there’s been a slowdown in COVID-19 transmissions.
Hidalgo County on Friday reported one coronavirus-related death and five cases of COVID-19. In Cameron County, health officials reported zero deaths, and 13 cases of COVID-19.
Both county health authorities say the low numbers are due to several factors, including vaccination rates, natural immunity, and the course of the virus.
“Our new positivity case numbers — new being less than 14 days or less — is lessening, is going down,” said Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Director Eddie Olivarez.
It’s slowing down following a wave caused by the omicron variant in the fall.
“It looks to me like we’re in between peaks,” said Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo. “If you look at a chart of what’s been happening since the beginning, you get these big waves and then it calms down for a month or two.”
Cameron County has a vaccination rate of 86 percent and Hidalgo County has an 84 percent vaccination rate, which is higher than the state average.
“When you sit down and look at that, I think we’ve done very well compared to other parts of the state, who have 70s or even 60 percentile range,” Olivarez said. “So, we’ve done well with that. That’s a positive. I think another part that’s important, and we need to give recognition to, the natural antibodies and exposure, for two years we’ve had COVID.”
Olivarez also says people in the Valley, as a whole, have done well with social distancing. As conditions change, more masks are coming off at gatherings, but the virus is still out there, and especially important for folks with elderly parents.
“I’d still be cautious,” Olivarez said. “There’s no harm no foul in trying to be cautious in large groups. Social distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing. The vaccine is the best way to go.”
COVID-19 cases are much lower recently, but there are occasionally large spikes still being reported and that’s due to an administrative paperwork issue because cases are being certified by the state.
Despite the low numbers reported Friday, Olivarez says a report of 900 cases is expected Monday, all of which are old cases that still need to get reported on the official tally.
The true number of new cases is staying on a downward trend.