Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. did not hide his irritation at a Tuesday afternoon press conference with the many county residents who still...
Hidalgo County reported eight additional COVID-19 cases Tuesday evening, bringing the total number of infected to 46. More than 420 people have been tested in the county and 17 cases are pending results. Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez warned “a tsunami” of COVID-19 cases is coming as local law enforcement agencies began setting up checkpoints to enforce a shelter-at-home order across the county. In neighboring Starr County, only one more case was reported Tuesday.
Cities throughout the Rio Grande Valley are beginning to crack down on emergency stay-at-home orders, enacted to combat the spread of COVID-19, by setting up checkpoints throughout their respective cities in response to worries that enough residents were in compliance. The city of Peñitas is among the cities that plan to set up checkpoints, a decision that was prompted by the large amount of traffic they were still seeing on their main thoroughfares, according to City Manager Omar Romero. That observation was echoed by Peñitas Police Chief Roel Bermea, who said they were told there were still too many people on the road at night. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez warned “a tsunami” of COVID-19 cases is coming and asked local law enforcement to step up policing activities to ensure the stay-at-home order is being followed. Cortez is concerned that residents of Hidalgo County are not taking the emergency order seriously, a news release from the county stated. “We know there is a tsunami coming,” Cortez said in his most forceful language yet. “It hasn’t hit us yet. If there is anything we can do to mitigate this, it is stronger enforcement on the orders.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has troopers and special agents staged at the McAllen International Airport in an effort to determine which travelers are arriving in the Rio Grande Valley from Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Washington, as well as Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Miami, Florida. The action is in response to Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order requiring all travelers from these states and cities entering Texas to self-quarantine for 14 days, says DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez. DPS began the effort Saturday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a Rio Grande Valley nursing facility have been linked to Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Harlingen by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. Three employees at the facility were confirmed as having contracted coronavirus, Treviño said in his Tuesday afternoon press conference in Brownsville. “All of these individuals are in isolation currently,” the judge said. Read the full story at valleymorningstar.com.
The deadline for the Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office to announce whether it will seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing a state trooper came and went Monday without a decision. This is because the March 30 deadline set by state District Judge Letty Lopez on Feb. 26 occurring before COVID-19 was first confirmed in the United States and after the March 16 meeting of the Hidalgo County Board of Judges, which set in place numerous restrictions on court activity meant to mitigate the large crowds of people that gather at the courthouse. Those precautions have resulted in limited opportunities for Victor Godinez’s defense attorneys to meet with the 24-year-old man for safety reasons, according to an unopposed motion for continuance his counsel filed last Friday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Walmart on Tuesday announced it will begin rolling out new steps over the next several weeks to help protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include providing masks and gloves for store employees, as well as asking them to submit to temperature checks regularly. “(W)e’ve decided to begin taking the temperatures of our associates as they report to work in stores, clubs and facilities, as well as asking them some basic health screening questions,” the company said in a news release. Employees with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home with pay, and will be unable to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days, the statement reads. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
In an effort to reduce the need for in-person appearances in court, the chief federal judge for the Southern District of Texas signed off on new orders restricting certain cases from having to appear. Beginning Monday, any case in which the pre-sentencing report guidelines are for 21 months of punishment or more will be continued until a date after May 15, the order signed by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal stated. The Southern District of Texas is made up of eight divisions — McAllen, Brownsville, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Victoria and Houston. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Traffic along major roadways here was down by nearly 70% this weekend, according to a news release from the city Tuesday. Last week, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez issued a stay-at-home order for the entire county to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, encouraging residents to continue to practice social distancing and limit gatherings. “In an effort to gauge whether the stay at home order was being adhered to, the City of McAllen Traffic Operations department conducted vehicle counts for the first weekend of the stay at home order,” city officials said in a news release. “Traffic counters were set up at major roadways in various locations around McAllen.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.