Two Port Isabel residents test positive for COVID-19

first_imgBy Gaige [email protected] Port Isabel residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus COVID-19, according to Cameron County Public Health Department and the City of Port Isabel.The residents are two men, ages 62 and 64, according to a press release from the City of Port Isabel.One of the residents is self-isolating at his residence in Port Isabel, while the other is self-isolating in Brownsville. The latter’s permanent residence is a Port Isabel address, but Cameron County Public Health and the City of Port Isabel have not determined their entire movement from Port Isabel to Brownsville, according to Jared Hockema, Port Isabel’s city manager.Both persons have county-issued orders to stay home.Hockema says Cameron County is communicating with the city more than previously.A person who tested positive for COVID-19 was self isolating in a Port Isabel condo, two sources with close knowledge of the situation told the PRESS on March 25. Cameron County Public Health did not respond to multiple requests to confirm the person’s location in Port Isabel, and they didn’t initially notify City of Port of Isabel officials either.A few days after the person’s location was learned by the City of Port Isabel, Cameron County lifted their self-isolation order, notifying the city via a letter and email. The person has since left the condo.Hockema said several of the city’s suggestions, including adding tables to their press releases announcing new COVID-19 cases in the county, were followed by Cameron County, including more frequent communication by text and phone call.The City of Port Isabel will be assisting the Cameron County Public Health in locating Port Isabel residents who test positive for COVID-19, along with monitoring them, ensuring they’re following their county-ordered self-isolation.Cameron County Public Health will notify persons or places that may have had significant exposure to the two cases. Hockema says Port Isabel residents should not be concerned with exposure as much as they should be with maintaining social distancing and preventing the virus’ spread.“We need to all act as if we have it,” Hockema said. “We have a moral obligation to prevent the spread of this illness.”Hockema is not aware of any other persons in Port Isabel who are awaiting COVID-19 test results.Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. said during an April 6 press conference that of the 87 persons testing positive for COVID-19, 62 people are self-isolating, 12 people have been hospitalized and 13 people have recovered. RelatedLaguna Vista resident tests positive for COVID-19By Gaige Davila [email protected] A 44-year-old Laguna Vista man has tested positive for novel coronavirus COVID-19. Cameron County Public Health department confirmed the case, along with two other cases–a 27-year-old man from Brownsville and a 59-year-old man from Los Fresnos–around 9:30 p.m. March 26. In a media release, Cameron County…March 27, 2020In “News”Cameron County COVID-19 cases in the triple digitsBy Gaige Davila [email protected]  Three weeks after Cameron County confirmed its first COVID-19 cases, there are now over a hundred residents with the novel coronavirus.   As of this article’s printing, there are 147 cases in Cameron County. So far, three Cameron County residents have died: an 81-year-old man and a…April 9, 2020In “News”8th COVID-19 case confirmed in PI as cases in Cameron County riseBy Gaige Davila [email protected] Eight Port Isabel residents have tested positive for COVID-19, Cameron County Health Department data shows.  Last week, two Port Isabel residents tested positive: an employee from the Point Isabel Independent School District, becoming the fourth person to test positive in the city, and a 21-year-old male,…June 12, 2020In “News” Sharelast_img read more

POLITICS OF PAIN: Colorado largely spared opposition to painkiller limits

first_imgDENVER | Lawmakers and policy experts say Colorado legislators have been spared intensive lobbying seen in other states by the pharmaceutical industry to oppose restrictions on prescription painkiller sales.Pharmaceutical companies and related groups spent more than $130,000 in state candidate contributions over the past decade in Colorado, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Those contributions came from the Pain Care Forum, a national network of drug firms and opioid-friendly groups. Nationally, the forum opposes regulations that would cut the availability or use of prescription opioids, especially painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl.Abuse of those painkillers contributes to the national opioid abuse epidemic that also involves illegal drugs such as heroin. There have been more than 6,900 drug overdose deaths in Colorado since 2006; more than 47,000 people died nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In Colorado, laws have expanded access to Naloxone, a powerful drug that can stop overdoses, and removed criminal penalties, under certain conditions, for those who might hesitate to report drug overdoses to emergency responders.A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that drugmakers that produce opioid painkillers and allied advocacy groups spent more than $880 million on campaign contributions and lobbying over the last decade as they worked to influence state and federal policies. The groups have an array of political interests that include opioid advocacy, and their spending was eight times that of the gun lobby during the same period. By comparison, groups advocating for limits on opioid prescribing spent about $4 million.The investigation comes as the number of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers has soared, claiming the lives of 165,000 people in the U.S. since 2000. Reporters analyzed campaign finance and lobbying data from 2006 through 2015, reviewed hundreds of documents and conducted more than 150 interviews. The AP and Center for Public Integrity found that drugmakers and allied groups employed an annual average of 1,350 lobbyists in state capitals around the country and contributed to a total of 7,100 candidates for state-level office.Democratic state Sen. Irene Aguilar, a physician and backer of the Naloxone law, said she’s not encountered industry opposition to regulating painkiller access. And Lisa Raville, executive director of Denver’s Harm Reduction Action Center, credits the expanding use of Naloxone for saving more than 400 lives in Colorado.Officers with 22 police agencies in the state carry Naloxone, and drug-dependent inmates in three county jails — Arapahoe, Boulder and Denver — have been trained in its use, Raville said.Pain Care Forum members donated more than $441,000 between 2006 and 2015 to candidates for and members of Colorado’s congressional delegation.Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton has co-sponsored legislation to provide more resources to physicians and first responders, improve addiction warning labels for opioid medications and encourage the use of non-opioid painkillers for pain management. He recently held forums on the topic throughout his 3rd Congressional District.“We haven’t heard very much from the pharmaceutical industry since this issue became a top priority for Congress early in the year,” Tipton said in a statement.“Most of us assume that if our doctor prescribes us a medication, it’s safe for us to take. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many kids become addicted to pain medications and turn to substances like heroin when they can no longer get the pills.” This undated photo provided by Jennifer Weiss-Burke on Sept. 12, 2016 shows her son, Cameron Weiss. Weiss-Burke said her teenage son’s descent into drug addiction started with an opioid prescription a doctor wrote for him for a wrestling injury. After his death from a heroin overdose in 2011, Weiss-Burke pushed for a bill limiting initial prescriptions of opioid painkillers for acute pain to seven days. The bill exempted people with chronic pain, but opponents still fought back, with lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry quietly mobilizing in increased numbers to quash the measure. (Jennifer Weiss-Burke via AP)center_img This undated photo provided by Jennifer Weiss-Burke on Sept. 12, 2016 shows her and her son, Cameron Weiss. Weiss-Burke said his descent into drug addiction started with an opioid prescription a doctor wrote for him for a wrestling injury. After his death from a heroin overdose in 2011, Weiss-Burke pushed for a bill limiting initial prescriptions of opioid painkillers for acute pain to seven days. The bill exempted people with chronic pain, but opponents still fought back, with lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry quietly mobilizing in increased numbers to quash the measure. (Courtesy Jennifer Weiss-Burke via AP)last_img read more