Mission implements curfew guideline following spike in COVID-19 cases

Following the recent spike in cases of COVID-19 throughout Hidalgo County, whose total cases recently surpassed 1,000, the Mission City Council approved a curfew guidance that will go into effect Wednesday morning.

The city’s curfew, which the council approved for two weeks, will be in place from midnight to 5 a.m. It will not, however, apply to essential employees.

Additionally, city employees will have their temperatures checked before each work shift.

An educational task force will also be visiting local businesses to remind them of safety measures available to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“The last five days, the city of Mission has seen a spike in COVID-19 so I made a determination yesterday afternoon that I was gong to call an emergency meeting,” said Mayor Armando O’Caña during the meeting Monday.

City Manager Randy Perez presented data that showed the number of cases in June more than doubled from the total number of cases they had in May.

“We have seen an increase when the reopening came into effect around the beginning of May,” Perez said.

When the city and the county had restrictions in place such as orders requiring the use of face masks and requiring individuals to stay home unless it was necessary to leave their residence, Perez said the city was averaging one to two daily cases but said they are now seeing as much as 10 in a single day.

Of their total cases, the city currently has 55 active cases.

“One of the messages that we want to send out is how important it is for everyone to practice the guidelines the CDC has set,” Perez said. “Most importantly is the face covering; we strongly encourage that everyone continues to wear the face covering and do the social distancing.”

City Attorney Gus Martinez advised the council that it was unlikely they would be able to impose a fine or arrest upon violation of the curfew and that the onus on implementing safety measures in public was on private businesses that allow members of the public into their establishments.

The city is already requiring anyone who enters a city building to wear a face mask and is also screening those individuals with a list of questions and by taking their temperature.

Perez added the city will begin to provide COVID-19 statistics on a daily basis.

“I just want everybody to rest assured that the city council, mayor, and staff do take this very seriously,” said City Council member Jessica Ortega Ochoa. “But it takes all of us to act in a certain way that … we need to care of one another and be safe for one another.”