We have received a lot of phone calls with local residents asking questions about what exactly is a ‘Shelter at Home’ Order and what does it mean for them. To clarify we are providing these answers brought to us by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.
(FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19/Shelter-At-Home Order
- What are the essential functions?
A. Work, traveling to and from work
B. Medical, traveling to and from medical facilities for necessary assistance
C. Food, traveling to or from a dining establishment or grocery store
- Do employees need any specific identification?
A. To facilitate the speedy resolution of a people traveling during this period, employees should be provided with employee ids or letters of verification from their employer as a matter of convenience.
- What are the essential occupations?
A. Healthcare/Public Health, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, First Responders, Food and Agriculture, Energy, Water and Wastewater, Transportation and Logistics, Public Works, Communications and Information Technology, Other community-Based Government
Operations and Essential Functions, Critical Manufacturing, Hazardous Materials, Financial Services, Chemical, Defense Industrial Base, Construction workers, and Auto Mechanics.
- What about faith Based, religious, or worship services?
A. They are limited to no more than 10 persons when preparing for or conducting video or teleconference services.
- What happens if I get stopped while engaging in a non- essential activity?
A. You may be fined up to $1000 and sentenced up to 180 days in jail for failure to comply with an emergency order.
- Can I travel out of Hidalgo County?
A. Traveling outside of Hidalgo County is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED.
B. Those that do leave Hidalgo County should shelter at home for 14 days after returning.
- Can Family/Friends visit from out of Hidalgo County?
A. No, visitations is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED
B. Relatives returning home from school or other areas may return but non-essential visitations is discouraged.
- Will certain County Departments close?
A. Hidalgo County departments have been asked to identify their essential functions.
B. Functions that may be delayed: will be delayed until the disaster is over or they are deemed an essential function.
- How does this affect parcel delivery services?
A. Parcel delivery is considered essential and businesses such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx are not subject to limitations.
B. They are expected to practice social distancing, follow recommended sanitation protocol and exercise sound judgment.
- How can the community help?
A. There will be many opportunities to help as we face this challenge. We are all in this together; we can start by looking out for each other. Just because we are not in a high-risk category does not mean we can be irresponsible and expose vulnerable populations.
B. We can help the elderly, disabled or mobility challenged neighbors.
- Can retail stores close their doors but allow customers to order online?
A. Yes non-essential retail will be closed but they may still service their customers without in-person interaction.
- When will Hidalgo County reevaluate the order?
A. These orders are all under constant reevaluations. This is a fluid situation that changes daily.
- Why take such extreme measures?
A. Hidalgo County’s healthcare infrastructure will not be able to handle COVID-19 if we do not mitigate its spread.
B. We owe it to our healthcare professionals to do our best to minimize their exposure and support them while they are on the frontlines against this virus.