Val Verde County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. and Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano on Monday signed amended disaster declarations ordering tighter restrictions on citizens’ movements in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The mayor and county judge met at the city’s emergency operations center about 7 p.m. Monday to sign their amended declarations of local disaster for public health emergency. Both leaders then addressed Del Rio and Val Verde County residents via a Facebook live stream broadcast on the city’s Facebook page.
The complete declarations are available on the county’s web site and on the city’s Facebook page.
The county document can be accessed using the following link:
The city document can be accessed using the following link: https://www.cityofdelrio.com/home/showdocument?id=4259
Shortly after signing the new document, Owens briefly went over the county’s version, highlighting areas he said he believed “were of most concern to our community right now.”
“One of the things we came up with is a curfew, and the way it reads is, ‘a 24-hour curfew shall be imposed on residents 17 years or younger who are not in school, are not accompanied by school personnel, a parent or guardian or are going directly to his or her place of employment or returning from his or her place of employment,” the judge read.
The new declarations also limit the number of customers allowed inside the H-E-B, 200 Veterans Blvd., and Walmart, 2410 Dodson Ave., to 50 customers at a time, and 25 customers at a time inside the H-E-B, 500 Pecan St.
“Dollar stores and all the other smaller convenience stores, will be limited to 10 customers,” Owens said.
“We want to make sure our constituents are safe. Please try to stay home as much as possible,” he added.
He gave out the number of the city’s community hotline at (830) 775 2313 and the county judge’s office number, (830) 774 7501 (both available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) for residents with questions.
Owens said he and the mayor have gotten questions about barber shops and beauty salons.
“If you have more than the individual in the chair that you’re working on, if you have more people there, then you have too many people in the establishment,” Owens said.
“Please, let’s continue social distancing and let’s use our common sense to make sure we come out of this, which we will, but we need to be neighborly and we need to use a lot of common sense,” the county judge added.
Lozano then read the entire city declaration, which is titled, “Stay home. Stay safe.”
Both the county and the city declarations order all county residents “to shelter in their place of residence.”
All businesses, other than those deemed essential, are ordered to cease operating. The declarations both list in detail what those essential businesses are and include essential healthcare operations, essential government functions, essential critical infrastructure, essential retail, providers of basic necessities to economically-disadvantaged populations, essential services necessary to maintain essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, news media and childcare services.
The declarations also cancel all public or private gatherings except those occurring inside a single household or living unit and those permitted under the order.
Restaurants may only provide take-out, delivery or drive-through services.
Churches may offer religious services through video and teleconference and are limited to having 10 staff persons on the premises to prepare those services.
All elective medical, surgical and dental procedures are prohibited.
The declarations also place limits on the amount of toilet tissues residents may purchase in one trip.
If someone in a household tests positive for COVID-19, the entire household must isolate at home.
Nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities are ordered to prohibit non-essential visitors.
Public and private schools and institutions of higher learning must provide a safety plan to the county or city’s emergency management office 72 hours before allowing students to return to the classroom.
The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23, and continues until 11:59 p.m. on April 3.
Persons who “knowingly or intentionally” violate the order are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 180 days.