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Hidalgo County judge increases occupancy capacity limits due to drop on coronavirus hospitalizations

5 days 18 hours 8 minutes ago Tuesday, February 23 2021 Feb 23, 2021 February 23, 2021 4:51 PM February 23, 2021 in News - Local
By: KRGV Digital
KRGV File Photo

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued an order increasing occupancy capacity limits at establishments going into effect Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The order will remain in effect until rescinded by the judge. 

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) notified Cortez that due to the drop in hospitalizations Hidalgo County no longer met the threshold set out in Executive Order GA-3 and may reopen some establishments at 50% capacity and others at 75% capacity.

“The combination of vaccinations and adherence to facial coverings and social distancing has lowered our hospitalization numbers,” Cortez said in a news release. “Although this is a step in the right direction, I urge our county residents to remain vigilant and continue to uphold the safety measures set forth by medical experts.”

The new orders state the following:

  • Bars and similar establishments that hold a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages, may open at up to 50% of the total listed occupancy of the establishment. The 50% occupancy limit applies only indoors; the limit does not apply to outdoor areas, events, or establishments.

  • Business entities that are providing goods and services directly to the public, including but not limited to open-air (flea markets, farmers markets), and retail businesses must adhere to Minimum Standard Health Protocols.

  • Elective surgeries and procedures may resume.

  • Any outdoor gathering in excess of ten (10) people is prohibited, unless the Mayor of the City in which the gathering is held or the Hidalgo County Judge in the case of a gathering in an unincorporated area, approves of the gathering, and such approval is made subject to applicable conditions or restrictions.

  • Household social gatherings, including family gatherings, shall not include more than ten (10) persons.

  • Public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). 

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