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Concerned about COVID-19, Hidalgo County judge advises residents to avoid large events

2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago Friday, March 13 2020 Mar 13, 2020 March 13, 2020 6:37 AM March 13, 2020 in News - Local
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, standing at left, advised Hidalgo County residents to avoid public gatherings which may be attended by more than 1,000 people.

Concerned about COVID-19, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez on Friday advised Hidalgo County residents to avoid "public gatherings in which more than 1,000 people are expected."

Cortez made the decision after a conference call between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, state health officials and county leaders, according to a news release from Hidalgo County.

“I take seriously any action that might have an economic impact on Hidalgo County,” Cortez said in a statement released by Hidalgo County. “But even more serious is the health and well-being of Hidalgo County residents. Therefore, I am urging residents to follow the advice of state health experts and reconsider attending any mass gatherings that involve large crowds.”

Cortez said state health officials offered three new guidelines for mass gatherings:

* Organizers expecting more than 1,000 people should reconsider holding the event.

* The public and organizers should also consider indoor/outdoor crowd density.

* Event organizers should consider the essential nature of the gathering, including whether it is necessary or being held for leisure or entertainment.

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