White House officials ask Texas to intensify COVID-19 response, reduce business capacity

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The White House is calling on Texas to create stricter guidelines to get control over the rise in COVID-19 cases.

“We need to do more than what we are doing because if we don’t do more than what we are doing then why should we expect things to get better,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez.  

The White House is calling on Governor Greg Abbott to intensify his response efforts for COVID-19 by reducing capacity in restaurants and businesses. 

Locally, Hidalgo County is creating a program to help businesses create a safer environment for the community.

“We want to educate, train businesses to operate safely. To me if a business can operate safely at full capacity then why shouldn’t we let you be in business,” he said.

Back in September, Governor Abbott allowed businesses to go from 50% capacity to 75%. Judge Cortez said because of the increase in cases they are stepping up their enforcement measures. 

“We’re going to be spending a good amount of money and effort to really put out the word of the things that we are asking people to do,” said Cortez.  

With Hidalgo and Cameron County seeing a rise in cases, Cortez said change can only happen with the community’s help.

“This is our community, you don’t need law enforcement to tell you that you need to do this or ‘we’re going to punish you or put you in jail or fine you’. No, this is your community,” he said.  

While it’s not up to Judge Cortez to reduce the capacity for businesses, he is urging everyone to continue taking the necessary precautions to stop the spread. 

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