Dr. James Castillo is the Health Authority for Cameron County. Data from him shows that the county’s percentage of deaths by coronavirus is thrice the state average that is based on population.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Castillo contemplated why this had occurred and decided that it must be either because the population has ill health and problems already due to poverty, demographics, due to lack of access to health care or because there were disproportionately large infections in the area.
Castillo believes the real reason might be a combination of the factors he mentioned before. In any case, he accepts the fact that the county was hit significantly by the coronavirus.
He noted the valiant efforts of the county’s doctors and hospitals that did their best to help the people.
Still, however, people are being admitted to hospitals in the county seeking treatment for the coronavirus.
He calls for people to be more cautious. People are growing accustomed to seeing large numbers of deaths by a coronavirus and therefore feel desensitized but the threat is still very much out there. He reminds people that they are still averaging about 200 cases per day in Cameron County. This is a number he considers an alarmingly high indicator of the rate of transmission in the County.
By Monday, the cases in the county have grown to 19,225, the number of recovered patients stands at 12,804 cases and deaths by coronavirus have amounted to 510. So far about 111,872 residents in the county have tested positive.
He remarked that Cameron County is among one of the largest counties ranking as the 13th largest in Texas, population-wise. In the number of coronavirus cases however the county ranks on number eighth while in deaths by coronavirus, they rank as fifth.
Leslie Bingham is the CEO of Valley Baptist Medical Center Brownsville. In a press conference, Bingham explained that around 25% of the daily hospital admissions were patients suffering from coronavirus, 33% of the overall census is also made up of patients suffering from the novel virus. ICU beds are also filled at 150% capacity.
Daily cases of people testing positive for the virus are still high, although the number of patients for coronavirus at the county’s hospitals has declined considerably.
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Manny Vela, Valley Baptist Health System CEO, believes for the first time in weeks the coronavirus patient census at VBMC hospitals has declined below 100 in number. Still, however, the county is in the vice-like grip of the coronavirus crisis.
Vela reminds people again that the crisis will not disappear within a night and that it is expected to endure till fall, winter, and even into the next months of the next year.
This means the public must learn to be more vigilant and abide by the guidelines presented by health experts and observing county and state orders to wear masks. They should also avoid large social gatherings and observe social distancing measures; they are also advised to abide by any curfew rules set in place. If people are not mindful of such practices, community transmissions may not slow down anytime soon.
Castillo also reminds parents of the importance of vaccines because children can be at a risk for a condition called “multi-system inflammatory syndrome” if they have more than a single virus in their bodies. Studies show children can risk being seriously ill, therefore it is also advisable for parents to get their children vaccinated for both flu and the coronavirus when the vaccine is made available.