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Persistent rumors about statewide lockdown aren't grounded in fact

2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago Thursday, July 16 2020 Jul 16, 2020 July 16, 2020 7:59 AM July 16, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic

It's a persistent rumor in the Rio Grande Valley: the state is going to shut down again because of the coronavirus.

So far, though, it's just a rumor.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hasn't announced any plans for a new stay-at-home-order or a lockdown.

"I have no knowledge of any of that — or wherever that rumor started," said Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez.

Cortez and other local officials can't force people to stay home. That power rests with Abbott, who announced the first phase of his plan to reopen Texas in April.

After the state allowed non-essential businesses to reopen, the coronavirus pandemic hit Texas hard.

Hospitals hit capacity. Ambulances were stuck waiting for hours before patients could be admitted. And hundreds of people died.

Mayors and county judges across the Rio Grande Valley wrote letters to Abbott, asking him to return emergency management authority to local leaders.

Abbott closed bars and encouraged Texans to wear face masks, but he hasn't returned emergency management authority to local jurisdictions.

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