BROWNSVILLE — What Cameron County is now calling a “travel restriction” rather than a curfew is going into effect midnight Sunday.
According to the order signed by County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. during a Friday afternoon press conference, between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. after the restriction is implemented no travel will be allowed on roads within the county except by those authorized by the emergency management director to assist in protecting the health and safety of the public, law enforcement and other first responders, and anyone traveling to or from work as an essential function of government, school, medical, nursing or business activities.
Also exempted are people traveling to pharmacies, hospitals or medical clinics, gas stations for fuel or the store for groceries as long as there is no deviation from the route, Treviño said. Anyone traveling on their own private property will also be exempted.
“We will continue to have Cameron County parks and beach access points closed to the public,” he said. “Gatherings throughout the county at public and private locations are limited to no more than 10 people per (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines.”
Treviño also noted that, per a mandate from Gov. Greg Abbott, as of Saturday at midnight, all restaurants and food trucks were allowed to open for business no later than 10 p.m. and no on-premises dining is permitted, only delivery or takeout. Restaurants and bars with mixed-beverage licenses are also allowed to provide beer, wine and mixed beverages for delivery and takeout only until 10 p.m.
Hotels are required to completely sanitize all touched surfaces and in all individual rooms before guest check-in, Treviño said, while all businesses, churches and places of worship will limit groups to 10 people or less, and will institute social distancing with a minimum distance of six feet apart. The exceptions are grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and government agencies.
Gas stations are required to sanitize self-service equipment a minimum of once an hour and preferably after each service. Also, in keeping with the county’s effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Treviño is recommending a two-week shelter-in-place policy.
“I am recommending that individuals shelter in place for a minimum of 14 days,” he said. “This recommendation may become mandatory, depending on further developments.”
At the press conference, county Health Authority Dr. James Castillo III implored county residents to put off birthday celebrations and other social or family gatherings of all types until the coronavirus has been contained, noting that young people are vulnerable to the virus contrary to previous assumptions. Nearly 40 percent of those sick enough from coronavirus to be admitted to the hospital are between the ages of 20 and 54, he said. Castillo said anyone who is sick should stay home, and that anyone suspecting they have coronavirus should call their health care provider before visiting the clinic or a hospital.
The best way to prevent the virus from spreading in Cameron County is for everyone to behave as if they already have it and conduct themselves accordingly, he said.
The Cameron County Coronavirus Hotline is (956) 247-3650.