City takes precautionary steps for coronavirus

HARLINGEN — City officials continue to monitor coronavirus developments as Mayor Chris Boswell urges residents to take precautions to prevent the disease.

The city is taking “proactive measures to help prevent the disease,” city spokeswoman Irma Garza stated late Friday afternoon.

“Although no cases have been reported in the Rio Grande Valley, all city facilities including our parks equipment and library resources are being disinfected several times a day,” Garza stated.

“Employees are wiping down open surfaces with Clorox wipes and Lysol disinfecting spray. Staff also has sanitizer bottles at their work stations for themselves and the public. The staff has also been encouraged to forego hand shaking for the time being.”

Officials are following federal guidelines.

“Residents are asked to continue practicing preventive measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control such as washing hands, avoiding touching their faces, disinfecting their areas, covering their mouths when coughing and staying home when sick.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Chris Boswell is asking residents to monitor developments but not to panic.

“It’s very important to keep up with what is happening in our community and the country but it’s also important to practice common-sense hygiene measures like washing your hands and protecting the most vulnerable,” Boswell stated.

As a “precautionary measure,” officials have canceled the Census Concert featuring Solido, originally set for April 4, rescheduling it for May 16.

For more information on the city’s response to the coronavirus, residents are urged to go to

Late Friday morning, Boswell urged residents to take precautionary steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I want to take the opportunity to assure you that the city of Harlingen is monitoring this situation and is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Cameron County Health Department and our city health department to ensure the health and well-being of our citizens, staff and visitors,” Boswell stated.

“Based on the current information, health officials are recommending local communities should take the same basic prevention measures to protect against the coronavirus as we take to avoid the spread of common respiratory illnesses like the cold and flu,” he stated.

“While health officials continue to indicate that the risk for all Texans remains low, the city of Harlingen is working proactively by encouraging these simple but effective habits with our citizens, closely monitoring illnesses like the flu and ensuring our city buildings and parks receive more frequent and thorough cleanings, especially in high-traffic, high-touch areas.”

Officials are recommending residents:

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick and do not return to work or school until you have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen for at least 24 hours.

• Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue (not your hands) and then throw the tissue in the trash. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.