How COVID-19 Is Changing The Migration of ‘Winter Texans’ To The Rio Grande Valley

Typically, some 100,000 retirement-age people flock to the region to escape cold winters elsewhere.

By Alexandra HartDecember 21, 2020 5:39 pm, , ,

There’s a type of migration to the Rio Grande Valley that usually happens this time every year. Thousands of “Winter Texans” descend on the Valley to seek refuge from the cold weather of the Midwest.

These travelers are largely retirement age, making them a high-risk group for complications from COVID-19. And with South Texas already seeing elevated numbers case numbers, this could be a concerning mix.

“So in a normal year, experts have told me that about 100,000 people head down to the Rio Grande Valley,” said Morgan O’Hanlon, who wrote about Winter Texans for Texas Monthly. “But we’re expecting to see at least half of that, if not more, so that … the minimum edge is going to be about 50,000.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How communities have built an economy around Winter Texans

– How the pandemic is affecting the Rio Grande Valley right now

– How local governments are preparing for the vacationers who do show up

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