Citing a potential spike in the numbers of people infected with COVID-19 this week, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued new, stricter orders for Hidalgo County residents.
Cortez mandated the county-wide usage of facial coverings while people are outdoors and in buildings open to the public, as well as a 24-hour curfew for those under the age of 17.
The orders will go into effect at midnight and remain in effect through midnight, April 30.
A county-wide curfew will also be in effect for all residents from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m., with essential workers and in cases of emergencies.
“The order encourages people to use homemade masks, bandanas and handkerchiefs,” Carlos Sanchez, a county spokesman announced Tuesday in a facebook Live news briefing. “It specifically asks people to not use medical grade masks, which should be saved for healthcare professionals.”
Restaurant workers will also be required to wear masks while performing take out, drive thru and delivery functions, Sanchez said, adding that people will not be required to wear a mask while driving and exercising in the outdoors as long as those exercising practice social distancing.
The 24-hour curfew for minors strengthens the existing shelter in place order. Minors are to remain indoors unless they are under the supervision of a parent or guardian unless involved in an essential activity or emergency.
All businesses in incorporated areas will be expected to adopt worksafe measures that observe social distancing and hygiene rules, Sanchez said.
Community childcare centers will only be allowed to care for children of those working for essential businesses and must adhere to the existing order of no more than 10 people in a room.
Under the new order, people waiting for results of a COVID-19 test and those who test positive for will immediately be ordered to self isolate at home and their family must follow suit.