City of Del Rio

Val Verde County/City of Del Rio Local Health Authority Dr. J.J. Gutierrez on Tuesday gave city council members the go-ahead to reopen the San Felipe Creek for recreational activities, but also warned Del Rioans not to let their guard down in the continued fight against COVID-19.

“Our numbers are looking better and better. We’re dropping into a downward spiral,” Gutierrez told the Del Rio City Council members at the start of his routine update on the status of the COVID-19 fight in Val Verde County over the past week.

As in previous updates, Gutierrez warned the council Del Rioans must not become complacent in dealing with the disease and its spread through the community.

“We’re not out of the woods. Please, please understand that we’re not out of the woods, but we’re seeing some decent trends in the right direction, and we need to keep on working very diligently. It’s not hard work; it’s more cumbersome, nuisance-type of work: Wear your mask. Distance, and so forth. I know it can become very boring and you can get numb, but COVID doesn’t take a day off,” Gutierrez said.

“We need to keep our guard up, get those numbers down. . . Around the corner, I know (the school district) is doing online right now, but we’ll be in a better spot for our children if we can continue to keep those numbers down,” he added.

Gutierrez said Val Verde Regional Medical Center “is doing fantastic in terms of the numbers.”

“Today was the last day that we had our doctor, a board-certified pulmonologist. The feds did not see a need to keep him here any longer, so he’s gone back to Bethesda, Maryland, and that’s just a marker of where we’re at as a community. The medical personnel that had been deployed to Val Verde, it’s not deemed necessary to keep them here any longer, and that’s testament to what everybody in the community is doing.

“I want to believe that everybody is taking this much more seriously. They’re taking more of a personal responsibility for what they are doing. What everybody does impacts the community, so kudos to everyone for what they’ve been doing,” Gutierrez said.

He said the county and city “are in a much better spot” than they were even a month ago.

“I applaud the community for everything they’ve done,” he said.

Later in the council meeting, during a discussion on the city’s ongoing declaration of disaster for public health emergency, Gutierrez gave his blessing to relaxing restrictions on access to the San Felipe Creek.

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