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After a week in self-quarantine, Pharr police chief plans to return to work Friday

3 days 5 hours 6 minutes ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 March 26, 2020 7:54 AM March 26, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic
Pharr Mayor Ambrosio "Amos" Hernandez, left, administered the oath of office to police Chief Jose A. Luengo, at right, in January 2019. (Photo courtesy of the city of Pharr.)

Pharr police Chief Jose A. Luengo plans to return to work Friday after seven days in self-quarantine.

Luengo and his family traveled to Mexico for a vacation. When they returned to Pharr, Luengo said they decided to stay home as a precaution.

“My family and I, we are OK — thank God,” Luengo said. “We have no symptoms. We are not sick.”

Luengo said he started the self-quarantine on Friday, March 20, and plans to return to work on Friday, March 27.

He notified Pharr Police Department employees on Sunday.

“This email is to inform you that in light of the current COVID-19 situation, I will self-quarantine for the next couple of days,” Luengo wrote in an email obtained by KRGV-TV. “I want you to know that your health and the health of the community is of supreme importance to me.”

Luengo joined a long list of Rio Grande Valley leaders who decided to voluntarily self-quarantine as a precaution during the past few weeks, including McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, Mission Mayor Armando “Doc” O’caña and members of the Mission City Council.

“It’s surreal, I guess,” Luengo said. “But to me and my family it’s very important — the health of the community and everybody else.”

Luengo said he worked from home during the past week, sending emails and making phone calls. He managed the department with help from Assistant Chief Juan Gonzalez and Assistant Chief Edward Chavez.

“Even though, again, I’m self-quarantining, I’m still participating, providing guidance or direction,” Luengo said.

All Pharr residents should take common-sense steps to protect themselves from the virus, Luengo said, including frequently washing their hands, practicing social distancing and staying at home whenever possible.

“We’ve got to continue practicing those cautionary measures that we have,” Luengo said.

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