Hidalgo County judge issues new shelter-at-home order
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signed a new "shelter-at-home" order on Monday, attempting to control a major coronavirus outbreak that killed hundreds of people.
The new order includes a curfew, travel restrictions and a requirement to use facial coverings when outdoors, according to a news release from the county.
“Our rise in numbers and fatalities says that we need to take action now and do what’s in the best interest of our community,” Cortez said. “This action will help us do the right thing to save and protect each other from this deadly disease by sheltering at home.”
The order goes into effect on Wednesday, July 22, at 12:01 a.m. and remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5.
Some parts of the order may not be enforceable. Cortez, however, is asking Hidalgo County residents to voluntarily comply.
According to the news release, the order includes the following directives:
1. All individuals currently living within Hidalgo County, Texas are ORDERED to SHELTER-AT-HOME in their residence. It is highly encouraged and recommended that all commercial businesses operating within Hidalgo County, except essential covered businesses should cease all activities at facilities that may not be provided by curbside, drive-through, or take-out services.
2. There will be a curfew for all persons aged eighteen (18) and over from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The only exceptions are for a medical emergency, to provide covered essential services, or any other purpose permitted under this Order.
3. To the greatest extent possible, all travel during the SHELTER-AT-HOME and CURFEW within the jurisdiction of Hidalgo County should be limited to obtaining or performing essential covered services. Travel should be limited to no more than two (2) persons per vehicle for persons obtaining essential services, and four persons per vehicles.
4. Every person in the County of Hidalgo shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space; wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet (6) of physical distancing from another person not in the same household.
5. Any outdoor gathering of ten (10) or more 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. Outdoor areas or outdoor venues shall operate at no more than fifty percent (50%) as underlined in the order.