Hidalgo County, Texas– A “Shelter in place” order that will go into effect at 11:59 pm on Thursday, March 26th….
This means all residents in hidalgo county are being asked to stay at home unless they are conducting essential business – like going to the grocery store, bank, a medical emergency or appointment.
Hidalgo county judge Richard Cortez took this approach after 8 people tested positive for coronavirus in the county.
Health experts advised judge Cortez that the spread of the virus could increase if proper steps weren’t taken to keep residents in their homes.
This order will be followed by every city within the county.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued a shelter-in-place order that will take effect on Thursday, March 26 at 11:59 p.m. and will remain active until April 10.
Seeking to limit the spread of COVID-19, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez ordered all residents to stay home unless they are conducting essential business.
The decision comes after a total of 8 Hidalgo County residents tested positive for COVID-19. Medical experts have advised Judge Cortez that the spread of the virus could increase exponentially without drastic action to keep people at home.
Under the order, all people in Hidalgo County must stay home 24 hours a day.
People can travel only for essential matters such as seeking medical help, going to the grocery store, or performing essential government functions. People can leave their homes only for specific reasons, including; To perform activities or tasks essential to your health and safety, such as obtaining medical supplies or medications, visiting a health professional, or obtaining what is necessary to work at home.
Obtain the necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or members of their household, as well as the products necessary to maintain the security, sanitation and essential functioning of the homes, or to deliver those services or supplies to other people.
Carry out outdoor activities, provided that people comply with Social Distancing.
Perform work that provides products and services in an essential business.
Caring for a family member, child, or pet in another home.
“Residents must realize that the safest place for them is in their homes,” said Judge Cortez.
Examples of “Essential Business” include, but are not limited to:
Essential health care operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, other health care facilities, health care providers, mental health service providers, abuse service providers of substances, blood banks, medical research, laboratory services or any related and/or auxiliary health care service.
Home and residential care for the elderly, adults, or children are also considered health care operations. Health care operations also include veterinary care and all health and welfare services provided to animals.
Health care operations do not include gyms and other similar facilities, nor are optional medical, surgical, and dental procedures.
Essential Functions of the Government. Including, but not limited to: First responders, emergency management personnel, Higher education institutions, School personnel that will include and be limited to personnel identified by the governing authority of each school for the purpose of carrying out the distribution or collection of established meals and instructional materials.
All essential functions of government will be carried out in accordance with social distancing, including maintaining a six-foot social distancing for both employees and the general public; wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds often or use a hand sanitizer; cover up when coughing or sneezing; clean high contact surfaces; do not shake hands.
Regarding essential critical infrastructure:
Work necessary for the operations and maintenance of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the National Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure (CISA), including construction of public works, residential and commercial construction, airport operations, water, sewage, gas, electricity, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and disposal, the Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global systems, national and local infrastructure for services computing, commercial infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), banking and financial institutions, operations related to defense and national security, essential manufacturing operations provided they carry out these services or work in compliance with social distancing, including maintenance Social distancing and distancing for employees and the general public.
This includes companies that provide repair, maintenance, services and / or supplies to those companies identified as critical infrastructure. Essential companies that provide essential infrastructure must take precautions to protect employees.
Essential retail. Foodservice providers, including supermarkets, department stores, department stores, wineries, farmers markets, agricultural and produce stands, food banks, liquor stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, selling food, dry goods, food, and supplies for pets and related products and household needs.
Agriculture, food cultivation, beverage cultivation, agriculture, fishing, and livestock production, including processing and distribution.
Companies that send or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences.
Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, with the purpose of taking them by car, delivering them or carrying them out.
Schools and other entities that normally provide free services to students or the general public, just for pick-up and drop-off.
The delivery or performance restriction does not apply to cafes and restaurants located within hospitals and medical centers. Pawn Shop, Title Loan and Personal Loan Business, in order to provide cash loan services.
Laundries, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Auto supply, car and bicycle repair, hardware and related facilities.
Businesses that supply products necessary for people to work from home. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, and insurance services when necessary to help comply with legally required activities.
Businesses that provide basic needs to economically disadvantaged populations such as:
Travel by bus, train or plane (including people in transit). Garbage collection, processing and disposal and recycling, mail and shipping services, building cleaning, maintenance and security, warehousing/distribution and fulfillment, essential business storage, funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries.
Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technicians, general repair contractors, gardening and pool maintenance service providers, providers of home security and other services, contractors, or companies that provide services necessary to maintain essential safety, hygiene, and operations of essential residences and businesses.
Companies that provide goods and supplies to other essential companies that require such goods or supplies to function. Transportation, maintenance, repair of transportation-related equipment, including but not limited to vehicles.
Daycares that provide services to exempt employees may work as permitted.