HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas — Hospitals and healthcare workers are overworked and overwhelmed.
Under the governor’s order there are limitations on enforcing mask requirements.
“Law enforcement doesn’t have any authority to make any arrests. Even if a person is not wearing a mask, there just no authority. They can be cited,” said Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez.
Just a short drive on the 281-highway north, Brooks County attorney says they will arrest any resident who tests positive for COVID-19 and does not quarantine.
Sheriff’s departments across the RGV say it’s hard to actively search and arrest people who test positive and refuse quarantine but if deputies are made aware of someone violating the order they will investigate.
“They have that duty especially if they can confirm that someone tested positive and being out in the public, of course they’ll look into that,” he said.
State code 22.05 says if “A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.” District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said that gives communities the authority to charge people that are endangering other’s lives.
“If they don’t follow the orders they could be arrested a Class B misdemeanor,” said Rodriguez.
However, Rodriguez says that’s something they don’t want to resort to.
“Because this virus is a threat to the people of the state of Texas and Hidalgo County again under 22.05. Someone could be possibly charged with deadly conduct if they are being reckless and they put someone in imminent danger,” he said.
In Hidalgo county sheriff’s office sends out a “self-quarantine” control order to those who test positive.