Hidalgo County judge advises avoiding large crowds

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issues a statement Friday morning advising all county residents to avoid public gatherings in which more than 1,000 people are expected.

The statement is based on several reports concerning the coronavirus/COVID-19 and a Thursday afternoon conference call between Governor Greg Abbott, Texas health officials and county officials from across the state. During the call, state officials recommended organizers expecting more than 1,000 people reconsider holding the event and the essential nature of the gathering, including whether it is necessary or being held for leisure or entertainment.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez

The public and organizers should also consider indoor/outdoor crowd density, the release said.

“I take seriously any action that might have an economic impact on Hidalgo County,” Cortez said in a statement. “But even more serious is the health and well-being of Hidalgo County residents. Therefore, I am urging residents to follow the advice of state health experts and reconsider attending any mass gatherings that involve large crowds.”

The statement comes after The University Interscholastic League announced they are suspending all state events. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley announced Thursday they are extending spring break by another week and classes will resume in an online capacity Monday, March 23.

The Edinburg and McAllen school districts announced Thursday they are cancelling all trips outside of the Valley as  a precaution South Texas College and the Sharyland, Mission and La Joya school districts said Thursday they are monitoring the situation closely.

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