EDINBURG, Texas — To comply with state orders, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez announced beginning at midnight on Wednesday, businesses and other establishments in Hidalgo County will no longer have facial covering or capacity restrictions.

The county’s news release said under local orders signed on Tuesday, Judge Cortez is recommending and strongly encouraging that residents and businesses in Hidalgo County continue to practice safety measures to combat the spread of the virus.

This includes the use of facial coverings, limiting the number of people allowed in businesses, following hygienic measures and avoiding large crowds.

“I was hoping that we could keep some of these restrictions in place until after spring break because we have been headed in the right direction in limiting new cases,” Judge Cortez said. “But we are doing this to comply with the orders of Governor (Greg) Abbott. That’s why I continue to urge people to exercise caution, especially as we approach the Easter holiday.”

The county said for those businesses that wish to continue mandating the use of facial coverings by its customers, the judge said protections exist, such as the use of the state trespassing law to deal with those who refuse to comply with business restrictions.

The five-page order strongly advises that people continue to follow safety guidelines set out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.