SPI to set up checkpoints

The City of South Padre Island announced Friday that it is setting up checkpoints to determine whether people are complying with Cameron County’s shelter-in-place order.

The city says in a news release that the checkpoints are in response to numerous calls from concerned citizens about increased traffic entering the Island.

Officials will also be using extra cameras to monitor traffic and beach activity.

“Unfortunately, there are hotels, vacation rental companies and individuals that have encouraged travelers to come to the Island and this is putting our community at risk,” Mayor Patrick McNulty said in the release. “People spread the virus and everyone should stay home unless absolutely necessary. The County Judge’s Shelter in Place Order is very specific as to Essential Travel. If one decides to travel, it is in their best interest to follow the Essential Travel Orders.”

The first COVID-19 case in the Rio Grande Valley was found in a Michigan couple who were staying at the Island on vacation. They are no longer in the Valley.

A violation of the emergency order is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.