iluna@valleytowncrier.com 

HIDALGO – Under Judge Richard F. Cortez’s new Emergency Order made Thursday, March 26, announcing a Shelter-In-Place order, Cortez is seeking to adjust that order in the upcoming weeks said in Friday’s (April 3rd) Live Q&A conference with Hidalgo Co. Public Affairs Director Carlos Sanchez.

The 11-page order is to remain in effect for two weeks but Cortez is wanting to extend that period.

“No doubt I am going to ask the commissioners court to extend the order,” said Cortez. “This will be consistent with what the president wants to do and I know our battle with this virus will extend beyond April 30th.”

Even after issuing the Shelter-At-Home order on Wednesday, March 25 but didn’t go into effect Thursday, March 26, Cortez shares that the community’s response isn’t where it needs to be.

“I am seeing a lot of people out on the road that don’t believe in the Shelter-In-Place order. It’s the right thing to do and I am hoping that as time goes by we will learn to live in this difficult time.”

Cortez adds because of the state of emergency the virus has made an impact on, he does not want it to control the publics’ lives any further.

In Friday’s Live Q&A conference, a Five-Part Response Plan from the county was mentioned that includes the following: 1) needed necessary controls 2) available testing and personal protection equipment (PPE) 3) testing and responding to a positive COVID-19 patient 4) an economic recovery plan and 5) the county’s 4,000+ employees operation plan.

“Community control was intended to pass an order that would put us in the best position to limit the spread of the disease,” he said.

Cortez recommends that all 22 municipalities and rural areas within Hidalgo County should have a uniformed order and consider everything.

He adds that the current order will be modified with specific non-essential activities and what is considered to be essential and wearing some sort of face protection.

As of Tuesday, April 7, 2020, there are 113 positive cases of COVID-19 in Hidalgo County with 13 areas considered to be “infected clusters” announced in a press release.

Judge Cortez will be meeting with elected officials on Tuesday, March 7 to modify the order.

For more information on COVID-19 and updates visit the following link https://www.hidalgocounty.us/2630/Coronavirus-Updates

 

To watch Friday’s full Q&A click the link https://www.facebook.com/132212980152968/videos/166037027870508