The Alamo and Mercedes flea markets are the latest Valley institutions to fall victim to the coronavirus.
Both markets will close their doors Wednesday through the end of the month, according to a statement on their website.
The announcement comes a day after Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced he would be signing a seven-day disaster declaration prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people.
The declaration applies to everything except for schools, institutes of higher education and businesses, which “are exempt unless you’re in the business of mass gatherings,” says county public affairs director Carlos Sanchez.
“As we follow the Coronavirus (COVID 19) developments closely, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to voluntarily and temporarily close down the Mercadome also known as Alamo Flea Market and the Mercedes Flea Market, effective Wednesday March 18, through Tuesday March 31,” the release from the flea markets said. “With the safety and health of our community as our highest priority, we feel it is our social responsibility to temporarily close our flea Markets to reduce the risk of spread of the Coronavirus during this pandemic.”
The statement encouraged other businesses to follow suit.
“We strongly encourage our fellow customers to avoid large crowd gatherings and other businesses in our community that attract large crowds to do the same,” it said.
The release said leadership at the flea markets would continue to follow the advice of health officials and that updates would be posted on social media and www.Mercadome.com.
“We also recognize the hardships this decision may have on our customers and vendors and assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly Please be patient with us as we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow recommendations made by public health officials,” it said. “We will get through this together.”