County officials caught up with the COVID-19 backlog, Hidalgo County reports
County officials caught up with the COVID-19 backlog, Hidalgo County reports

County officials caught up with the COVID-19 backlog, Hidalgo County reports

A backlog of 45,000 COVID-19 cases has been cleared in Hidalgo County, making new infections easier to detect.

The backlog cleared up coming Sunday the same day, the county reported 26 new cases and four coronavirus-related deaths.

“We have obtained our numbers, but that does not mean we will not have other problems in the future,” said Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Chief Administrative Officer Eddie Olivarez. “For example, if there is another variant..”

The backlog arose due to the decentralization of COVID testing and reporting as the county, 186 different vendors and people at home did their own tests.

All of these results were sent to the state before being reported back to the county, creating a problem during the omicron wave.

“Omicron didn’t really hit the valley until just around Christmas time, and all of a sudden everyone came back from vacation,” Olivarez said. “Everyone was going on vacation, everyone needed to be tested, so there is a huge demand for testing.”

Monday, March 21, is the two-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in the county. Despite a drop in new cases, Olivarez said he expects the numbers to be back again.

“COVID is becoming endemic, it’s no longer a pandemic,” Olivarez said. “In other words, it’s here to stay. It’s part of our viral inventory that we have now in the United States and here in Texas.”


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