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Two Border Counties In Texas On Lockdown After Six People Test Positive For COVID-19

By  Ashe
Residents exit US Customs and Border Protection at the Paso del Norte International Bridge during a shut-down of non-essential travel to control the corona virus, COVID-19, outbreak in El Paso, Texas on March 21, 2020.
PAUL RATJE/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Two counties along the Southern Border in Texas have issued “shelter-in-place” rules to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Six people between the two counties have tested positive for COVID-19.

Cameron and Hidalgo Counties each issued orders telling residents to stay in their homes unless they have been deemed an essential worker, such as health care workers, food delivery and groceries, and certain government employees, according to Border Report.

Cameron County’s order was issued by County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. on Monday, writing that it “is necessary to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue.”

Residents must shelter in place for the next 14 days unless otherwise noted. Treviño ordered residents to stay at least six feet from others when outside the residence. Anyone who fails to comply with the information contained within the order faces up to a $1,000 fine or up to 180 days in jail. The order begins at 12:01 a.m. March 25 and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on April 8.

Hidalgo County issued its own order shortly before Cameron County. Both counties have enacted a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the next 14 days. Both counties have also limited gatherings to no more than 10 people.

“This emergency order is intended to put some temporary controls over our citizens, over our businesses and government, which sole purpose is to limit the spreading of this vicious virus,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said during a press conference. “I come to you with a heavy heart and a huge burden but nevertheless a very important one because all the actions we have taken, to date, affect many lives of our citizens.”

More on the Hidalgo order, from Border Report:

  • No social gatherings of 10 or more people, including conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, flea markets and dining in restaurants.
  • Temporary closure of all schools, fitness clubs, barbershops, nail and hair salons, massage and tattoo parlors, tanning salons, movie theaters, bowling alleys and malls and retail stores that do not sell “essential household goods.”
  • All non-essential court matters and hearings will be suspended and all county-related travel is halted.
  • Parks will remain open “so long as the necessary precautions are maintained by public visitors to reduce transmission of COVID-19.”
  • In addition, all county fees are waived for 30 days and evictions forbidden.

Border Report also posted a video in which Cortez discusses non-essential businesses.

“Places like gyms, spas, barbershops and salons are luxuries and unfortunately the human interactions is too great to justify the risk of increased transmission,” Cortez said. “We are asking residents to remain at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. These hours represent the peak hours for social gatherings. This move will lessen the load on the local heroes who continue to serve us during this challenge.”

Cameron County is home to more than 400,000 people while Hidalgo County is home to nearly 800,000, according to the 2010 census. Meanwhile, in Florida, a lockdown order still hasn’t come despite more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus in the state.

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  1. Coronavirus
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  3. Texas

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