MISSION - Municipal restrictions, following a series of Executive Orders issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott relating to COVID-19 preparedness, will go into effect in Mission at midnight on Friday, March 20, 2020.

The four orders serve to limit public gatherings and help reduce exposure for people across the state. These orders are in line with federal guidelines issued by the President and the CDC and will aid in the state's efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"We are at a pivotal moment in our response to COVID-19, and it is crucial we follow the state’s lead to contain the spread of this virus," Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña said. "One of the most effective ways we can do this is to promote social distancing and make sure our Mission residents avoid large group settings where the risk of spreading coronavirus is high.”

The orders which essentially prohibit eating or drinking inside an establishment will be effective starting at 11:59 PM on Friday, March 20, 2020, and will end at 11:59 PM on Friday, April 3, 2020, subject to the governor’s executive order. Violating the order in Mission is a Class-C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 per violation.

“We must all do our part to safeguard our communities and protect public health,” City Manager Randy Perez said. “That is why we are implementing these restrictions set forth by the state. The order still allows restaurants in our city to provide curbside, drive-thru or carry out service.”

The following restrictions will be in place in Mission per the Governor’s Executive Order:

Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order. Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.   The order does not prohibit people from visiting grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner the coronavirus will be contained.