EDINBURG — Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said Friday that he supports Gov. Greg Abbott’s new executive orders beginning the slow process of reopening the state, and plans to work toward the same goal locally in the coming weeks, albeit cautiously.
Abbott introduced the three new executive orders Friday, allowing retailers to offer curbside pickup, resuming elective surgeries and reopening state parks. State parks can reopen as soon as Monday, however the executive order regarding retailers goes into effect April 24.
Cortez believes this is a step in the right direction.
“I think that’s great,” Cortez said. “I was listening to him, and he basically wants to take baby steps. He wants to make sure that he can open up Texas while still being safe. I certainly agree with that.”
Cortez said that he shares similar goals as Abbott when it comes to helping the county recover economically.
“I want to have an economic recovery plan to try to get as many businesses back open and as many people back to work,” Cortez said. “We realize that this pandemic is causing us to rethink the way we do business and rethink the way that we congregate as people, knowing that certain activities lend itself for faster transmittal of disease.”
“I think we need to be careful how we move forward,” Cortez continued.
The county judge said that he will be devoting most of his time in the coming weeks to finding a way to get local businesses to reopen and getting people back to work.
Cortez said he does not have a timeline for reopening the county yet, but is already taking steps in that direction, particularly in opening up golf courses.
“I think that having outdoor activities and having physical activities is good for the health of the people,” Cortez said. “If the golf courses can show that there is physical separation, there’s sanitation and they’re taking the necessary precautions — that’s where we want to be. That’s where we want all businesses that we allow. This way it gives us an opportunity to basically use them as a test to see if we can actually open businesses up that have low risks.”