Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez addresses COVID-19 situation

Local News
richard cortez.jpg

Richard Cortez (Source: KGBT Photo)

With stay-at-home orders in effect across the Rio Grande Valley, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez addressed concerns on the COVID-19 from his home on Saturday.

Judge Cortez says he is working with the UTRGV School of Medicine to get a projection on how many cases the valley might see in the next few weeks.

“We already have the methodology, we have a temporary model,” said Cortez. “Some of the data points that we used to create that model were I gave them some good information.”

Judge Cortez says he expects to get the projections by Monday or Tuesday.

Cortez also addressed how the county is looking to enforce the stay-at-home orders.

“The Texas Highway Patrol Troopers, the Hidalgo County Sherrif’s Department, and every police department in Hidalgo County is charged with policing these rules,” said Cortez. “We’re going to evaluate everyday performances and try to make it better.”

Cortez mentioned that the county is looking into making stricter guidelines for residents, including travel restriction.

With both cities and Hidalgo County issuing stay-at-home orders, some residents wonder what the difference is between the two declarations.

Cortez explained that all cities in a county must follow the laws of the county, but cities can enforce stricter guidelines on residents if necessary.

Workers who wonder if their business is essential can visit the Cyber Infrastructure Security Agency webpage and find if their business fits in the criteria.

Cortez recommended employers that are symptomatic to stay home, even if their employer does not allow them.

“The employee would have a claim against the employer,” said Cortez. “It would be an unlawful termination if that happened.”

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