Hidalgo County Health and Human Services remains vigilant regarding developments with Coronavirus. This page is intended to disseminate as much information as possible related to the virus and any threat it may pose to Hidalgo County residents.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez Issues Shelter At Home Order
A Message from County Judge Richard F. Cortez (March 30, 2020)
Un mensaje de parte del Juez del Condado Richard F. Cortez
ORDERS PERTAINING TO LOCAL DISASTER DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY
During this period when Hidalgo County is in a state of disaster, these updates are provided to give a quick overview of developments that may help with the continuation of Hidalgo County operations. For additional questions or concerns call the Hidalgo County Hot-Line Number 956.292.7765. Please note that the numbers provided on this page reflect end of previous business day.
TEXAS COVID-19 CASE UPDATES
|TEXAS REPORTED CASES||3266|
|TEXAS REPORTED DEATHS||41|
HIDALGO COUNTY COVID-19 CASE UPDATES
|HIDALGO COUNTY REPORTED CASES||46|
|HIDALGO COUNTY REPORTED DEATHS||0|
HIDALGO COUNTY TESTING NUMBERS
- Tuesday, March 31, 2020 — Eight more people in Hidalgo County test positive for COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Tuesday, March 31, 2020 — Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez: "A Tsunami is coming". Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 30, 2020 — Ten more people in Hidalgo County test positive. Click here to read more.
- Sunday, March 29, 2020 — Hidalgo County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Saturday, March 28, 2020 — Nine More People in Hidalgo County Test Positive for COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Friday, March 27, 2020 — Seven More People in Hidalgo County Test Positive for COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Friday, March 27, 2020 — County Tax Offices undergo operational changes. Click here to read more.
- Thursday, March 26, 2020 — Two more people in Hidalgo County have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Click here to read more.
- Thursday, March 26, 2020 — Ninth Person in Hidalgo County Tests Positive for COVID-19. Click Here to read more.
- Wednesday, March 25, 2020 — Judge Richard F. Cortez signed Shelter-At-Home Order. Click Here to read more.
- Wednesday, March 25, 2020 — Judge Richard F. Cortez announces Shelter-At-Home Order. Click Here to read more.
- Wednesday, March 25, 2020 — News Advisory of Virtual Press Conference. Click here to read more.
- Tuesday March 24, 2020 — A plan of action is announced by Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. to temporarily implement that all Protective Order applications adhere to be received by phone to ensure the safety of citizens and employees of Hidalgo County. Click Here to read more. Aqui en Español.
- Tuesday, March 24, 2020 — Hidalgo County Commissioners Court voted unanimously on Tuesday to suspend normal operations beginning Monday, March 30 because of “events beyond the control of the County,” related to the pandemic of COVID-19. The order will remain in effect until Monday, April 27. Click here to read more.
- Tuesday March 24, 2020 — Hidalgo County Commissioners Court: A Primer in the Time of COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 23, 2020 — During an emergency meeting of the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Sunday morning, a declaration of local disaster made by Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez was extended until April 5. Commissioners Court also extended the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people and outlined the types of gatherings that are banned as well as critical infrastructure that may remain open. Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 23, 2020 — Statement from Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez.
- Sunday, March 22, 2020 — Hidalgo County health officials have a second confirmed case of COVID-19, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said Sunday. Click here to read more.
- Saturday, March 21, 2020 — First case of COVID-19 in Hidalgo County is Confirmed. Click here to read more.
- Thursday, March 19, 2020 — Judge Richard F. Cortez signs an Amended Order of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency - March 20, 2020
- Thursday, March 19, 2020 —Tax Offices limiting in-person transactions to ten at a time Click here to read more for Spanish click here
- Tuesday, March 17, 2020 — Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signs disaster declaration; orders no mass gathering of 50 people or more. Click to read more.
- Tuesday, March 17, 2020 — 2020 South Texas All Hazards Conference postponed Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 16, 2020 — Jury cancellations through May 8th and grand jury cancellations scheduled for April 1st. Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 16, 2020 — Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued a Disaster Declaration due to a Public Health Emergency after consulting with the leadership of all 22 municipalities within the county. Click here to read more.
- Sunday, March 15, 2020 — Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez: ‘Prepare for Students Returning Home from Campuses Shut Down because of COVID-19 Outbreak.’ Click here to read more.
- Friday, March 13, 2020 — Based on new advisories coming from state health experts regarding COVID-19, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez is advising all residents to avoid public gatherings in which more than 1,000 people are expected. Click here to read more.
- Friday, March 13, 2020 — All jury panels in Hidalgo County have been cancelled for the week of March 16, 2020. Click here to read more.
- Friday, March 13, 2020 — Given the emergency declarations by President Donald Trump at the national level and Governor Greg Abbott at the state level, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued the following statement. Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 9, 2020 — As part of his ongoing effort to be prepared for any contingency related to the coronavirus, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez met with 18 area mayors or their representatives on Monday to share the county’s state of preparedness. Click here to read more.
- Thursday, March 5, 2020 — Although the risk of contracting coronavirus remains low in this region, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said Thursday that he wants to move in a cautious manner and assure that all resources are available to prepare for any potential outbreak. In response to reports of a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, or coronavirus, Judge Cortez announced that the Hidalgo County Office of Emergency Management and the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department are moving to a Level 3 BIO Emergency Operations Status. Click here to read more.
- Tuesday, March 3, 2020 —The non-elected heads of most major Hidalgo County departments were asked by County Judge Richard F. Cortez on Tuesday to review and update their agency’s emergency management plans to prepare for all contingencies related to any possible future spread of coronavirus into the region. Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 2, 2020 — Hidalgo County has created a new webpage dedicated to the latest updates on COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Monday, March 2, 2020 — Hidalgo County Health & Human Services urges the public NOT to spread false information on social media. NO ONE in Hidalgo County has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Only the Center for Disease Control can confirm if someone has the virus, not local labs. Our Health & Human Services Department or the Texas Department of State Health Services will be the one to announce it, if and when the first case of coronavirus occurs in Hidalgo County. In order to prevent coronavirus from spreading in our community it is important to wash hands frequently, disinfect all surfaces, reinforce preventative measures by posting health awareness and stay up to date with travel alerts.
FAQ’s - DECLARATION OF DISASTER Shelter-At-Home Order
(Shelter-At-Home) - What action did the County Judge take?
Judge Richard F. Cortez issued an Emergency Shelter-At-Home Order due to a public health emergency.
(Shelter-At-Home) - Is Hidalgo County following CDC guidelines?
Yes. After extending the disaster declaration, Judge Cortez issued an order which adheres to the Center for Disease Control guidelines and issued a Shelter-At-Home order. Hidalgo County must also abide by all orders issued under Governor Greg Abbott who declared the state of Texas a disaster area because of a public health emergency.
How long will this last?
The Shelter at home order is in effect until April 10. Judge Cortez may cancel the order at any time so these orders are under constant reevaluation.
Why two weeks for the order?
As county officials have tracked COVID-19 outbreaks in other parts of the world, scientists now believe that there is a two week incubation period for the disease. This means that people who are infected can spread the virus over a two-week period. By limiting large events and mass gatherings, Judge Cortez intends to slow the spread of the virus or minimize its effects by limiting its possibility for spreading over a two-week period.
Doesn’t this action impact the economy?
Judge Cortez weighed the economic impact against public safety. In the end, the move is aimed at mitigating infection from COVID-19 and preventing local healthcare providers from being overwhelmed with patients.
What is an essential function?
a) Work, traveling to and from work
b) Medical, traveling to and from medical facilities for necessary assistance
c) Food, traveling to or from a dining establishment or grocery store
d) Do employees need any specific identification?
e) To facilitate speedy resolution of a stop persons traveling during this period should be provided with employee ids or letters of
verification from their employer as a matter of convenience.
Can I still pay my tax bills?
Yes. The Shelter at home declaration specifically encourages online or telephone payments and orders that any service charge not be assessed during this period.
Businesses - Are Businesses subject to the Order?
Yes and no. If the business does not primarily deal with essential Healthcare Operations, Essential Government Functions, Essential Critical Infrastructure, Essential Retail, Essential Services or Essential Services necessary to maintain essential operations of residences or other essential businesses then YES. If the business does, then NO.
How do I know if my business can remain open?
Only critical infrastructure and essential personnel should be working. Examples of critical infrastructure are listed in the order. But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides additional guidance.
Who do I call to report a business that should be closed?
Call your local municipality or law enforcement agency to report the business and your concerns.
Will the McAllen airport stay operational?
Yes, as of now the airports are still operational, and domestic travel is allowed although not recommended. Governor Greg Abbott mandated that all persons flying into Texas from New York, New Jersey or New Orleans must self-isolate for two weeks. For questions call, 956-681-1500
Can I drive to work if I work outside of the county?
Essential Travel includes travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Personal Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Personal Activities, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations. Travel to return from a place of employment from outside the jurisdiction (returning from a place of work) is allowed.
Is the County providing free meals to school aged children or the elderly? Who is managing this project?
Local school districts are providing "Grab & Go" lunches at specific locations. In addition, Hidalgo County’s Community Service Agency is dropping food off to elderly residents. For questions about that program, call 956-383-6240
Will public transportation continue to run?
Yes, Valley Metro is still running on schedule but only allowing half the ridership to observe social distancing. For questions call, 1-800-574-8322.
Can I take a walk outside, or at the park?
Yes, as long as you stay within the recommended space (6 ft.) between other people. As per the Order all county parks are closed
Can I walk my pet?
Yes, as long as you stay within the recommended space (6 ft.) between other people.
Can I still pick up food from a restaurant?
Yes. If they provide drive-thru, delivery or take out service, and is highly encouraged throughout the duration of this Order.
Will grocery stores and gas stations stay open?
Yes. They are Essential Business.
We are in the middle of moving. Can movers still do their jobs?
Our leave is up and we have to move into a new home. Will we be fined if stopped?
Moving is allowed during this time, no fine will be issued. Please confirm with your municipality on their regulations during this "stay and shelter" order
Food Truck - I own a Food Truck / Ice Cream truck, can I still sell my goods? Do I have to be licensed to do so, so I don’t receive a fine?
Yes. If they provide drive-thru, delivery or take out service, this is highly encouraged throughout the duration of this Order.
Adult Day Care - Should Adult Daycares be open?
Yes, they can be open, they are considered essential services. They should be following CDC proper care guidelines for long term care facilities.
Are we allowed to visit Adult Daycares?
Travel - Can I travel to Canada or Mexico?
Unessential travel has been restricted. If you must travel to Canada or Mexico, it is best to check with their authorities or travel guidelines.
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TEXAS STATE AND FEDERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
March 20, 2020 Texas Governor Abbott Issues Statement On Texas Supreme Court Temporary Suspension Of Residential Eviction Proceedings. Click here to read more
March 20, 2020 Texas Governor Abbott Waives Health Care Fees For Incarcerated Texans In TDCJ Facilities.Click here to read more
- March 20, 2020 Texas Governor Abbott, Matthew McConaughey, Roy Spence Release PSA On Importance Of Social Distancing. Click here to read more
March 19, 2020 Texas Governor Abbott Issues Executive Orders In Accordance With Federal Guidelines To Mitigate Spread Of COVID-19 In Texas Click here to read more
March 19, 2020 Dr. John Hellerstedt Issues Public Health Disaster Declaration In Texas.
Friday- March 13, 2020 Texas Governor Greg Abbott declares State Disaster for all Texas counties.
Wednesday - March 11, 2020 World Health Organization characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic.Click here to read more
HIDALGO COUNTY SCHOOLS
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CLICK THE APPLE FOR HIDLAGO COUNTY SCHOOL MEAL DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION
Message from County Judge Richard F. Cortez - March 30, 2020
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez Issues Shelter At Home Order
El juez del condado de Hidalgo Richard F. Cortez emite orden de refugio en sus hogares
Hidalgo County extends Disaster Declaration Condado de Hidalgo extiende declaración de desastre
County Judge Cortez message on COVID-19 positive case Hidalgo County Health Authority Physician
CORONAVIRUS INFORMATIONAL VIDEOS
Coronavirus - Diagnosis and Risk for Pregnant Women Coronavirus - Travel Alerts and Large Mass Gatherings
Coronavirus - What are the symptoms? Coronavirus - Social Media and Misinformation
Coronavirus - How can I avoid catching it? Coronavirus - What is it?
PRESS CONFERENCES AND COMMISSIONERS COURT
Commissioners Court - March 31, 2020
Hidalgo County Virtual Press Conference 03/23/20 Conferencia de prensa virtual del condado de Hidalgo 3/23/20
Emergency Commissioners Court - March 24, 2020 Commissioners Court - March 22, 2020
Judge Cortez signs Disaster Declaration - March 17, 2020 Press Conference - March 16, 2020
Press Conference - March 5, 2020 Press Conference - March 2, 2020