By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, Cameron County officials issued a mandate for residents to stay home for the next two weeks, beginning Wednesday, March 25.
The mandatory countywide shelter-in-place was announced by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. during a press conference Monday afternoon.
As of Monday afternoon, Treviño said there were six positive cases, 14 negative cases, and 19 pending cases. As of press time, however, there were 10 confirmed cases in the county.
“All these cases are traveled-related,” Treviño said.
In addition, Treviño said there were also 70 people under quarantine, 20 have completed the 14-day treatment, and 50 are being monitored.
“Persons should at all times as reasonably possible comply with social distancing requirements as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC),” he said.
The order directs all individuals currently living in Cameron County to shelter at their place of residence for 14 days unless indicated otherwise.
According to the CDC, 14 days is usually the period when symptoms may appear after exposure to the MERS-CoV viruses.
“All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes expressly permitted,” the measure reads. “Nothing in this order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence, which includes hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities.”
Treviño added that the measure was taken after consulting with the mayors and school superintendents (including independent schools) of each city within Cameron County. Authorities also consulted with state health officials as well as the Cameron County Health Authority.