Stricter measures: Curfew may be implemented

At a Thursday press conference, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. detailed the county’s latest and stricter measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

All bars and restaurants will be ordered to close their dining areas, though establishments will still be able to operate drive-through, takeout and curbside service, he said.

“We know this is already having a severe impact on our local economy, especially our small business owners,” Trevino said. “But the whole point of this is to have two, three, maybe four weeks of sacrifice, hopefully two, rather than two, three or four months of sacrifice.”

Also, it’s likely that a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be imposed starting tomorrow, he said. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issued notice this morning that it is closing all parks and beach access in the state, Trevino said. County beaches and parks are already closed. Acknowledging rampant speculation regarding closure of the county’s international bridges, Trevino said no such plans were in place as of Thursday morning, though events continue to develop quickly.

“We’ve been in close contact with our federal partners at (Customs and Border Protection) and also our partners on the Mexican side with the Mexican government,” he said. “To date there are no plans to close any of our ports of entry here in Cameron County. … That could very well change. Keep that in mind.”

Trevino said if the bridges are closed it’s hoped that cross-border commerce will be allowed to continue unimpeded, considering the coronavirus emergency is already delivering a devastating economic hit. The judge, as at earlier press briefings, asked residents to chill out and be considerate of their neighbors.

“We’ve asked everyone to remain calm,” Trevino said. “There’s been this rush to the supermarkets, to the stores, overbuying and hoarding of groceries. Individual families are now having difficulty getting the staples that they need in order to stay at their house for the next week or two. Everybody must be cognizant and generous and selfless. If we don’t do this we’re going to create additional problems.”