COVID-19 Info

Shelter in Place Order… What does that mean? Effective 3/24 12am

City of Port IsabelThe Shelter in Place Order goes into effect at 12:01 am. Wednesday March 24, 2020. If you are not sheltered in place you will likely be stopped and questioned by Law Enforcement for violation of the Shelter in Place Order. If your violation of the Shelter in Place order is not justified you may be cited/arrested for your conduct and face a fine of up to $1,000 or a sentence in jail for a period not to exceed 180 days. Please help us help our community stop the spread of COVID-19 and respect what has been asked of all of our community.

If you are unable to determine if your situation is covered by or addressed by the orders that have been issued, then please submit your inquiry by email to eocenter@co.cameron.tx.us or by phone to 956-356-6607 in said inquiry, identify your name, business, contact information and specific question. It will be very helpful if you direct attention to a specific part or provision of the Order for which you would like clarification.

FAQ’s: Frequently Asked Questions

• Anything that is for Government can be considered “Essential.”

• Anything to do with food for Consumption, Distribution or Sales can be considered “Essential.”

• Anything to do with “Overnight accommodations” such as Hotels or extended stay can be considered necessary function.

• Anything to do with Vehicles including parts, services and sales can be considered “Essential.”

• Anything to do with utilities can be considered “Essential.”

• Anything to do with construction of commercial or residential buildings can be considered essential.

• Call Centers can remain open if they being used for “Essential” Government functions such as Medicare Medicaid, Utilities, Insurance Claims, and Banking Centers MUST also follow social distancing guidelines.

• Churches are limited to 10 or fewer per gatherings, Churches may also broadcast.

• Liquor Stores can be considered essential since they may supply restaurants, and convenient stores.

• Fishing in the Laguna Madre is permitted and may utilize private docks, MUST follow social distancing guidelines.

• Security companies and systems can be considered “Essential.”

 

EXAMPLES OF NON-ESSENTIAL Businesses

• Schools for CDL and Driver Licensing, Barber Shops, Beauty Supplies, Tattoo Parlors, Massage Parlors, Bars with on premises consumption license that does not serve food, Nail salons, Sole clothing retailers, Pet groomers are NOT considered “Essential”.

 

SEE MORE DETAILS BELOW…

WHAT: Mandated county-wide shelter in place.

WHEN: This Order becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended by Cameron County.

WHO: All individuals living within Cameron County.

HOW LONG: For a period of fourteen (14) days.

EXEMPTIONS: Essential Personal Activities, to obtain healthcare operations services, to perform essential infrastructure operations, to perform or access essential government functions, or to operate essential business.

WHAT DOES SHELTER IN PLACE MEAN? Stay at home! If you need to perform an essential function, then you may leave. Be sure to follow guidelines for social distancing and hygiene while performing essential functions.

All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited. (Nothing prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence.)

If someone in the household has tested positive for coronavirus, the household is ordered to isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school or any other community function.

If outdoor spaces are shared, individuals must be at least six feet apart.

WHAT ORDERS ARE STILL IN PLACE? All restrictions enacted by the City of Port Isabel, the Governor, and the County Judge, to the extent that they are not superseded by this order.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL PERSONAL ACTIVITIES? Engaging in tasks or activities such as obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, obtaining supplies they need to work from home.

Obtain necessary services or supplies for household such as canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food and supply, fresh meats, fish and poultry and other household consumer products and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences.

Engaging in outdoor activities while complying with Social Distancing Requirements.

To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business.

To perform minimum basic operations, i.e. working from home.

To care for a family member or pet in another household.

Obtaining Healthcare Operation Services. Healthcare provider, hospital, clinic, dentist, pharmacy, home healthcare, mental health provider, veterinary care. But does not include fitness and exercise gyms or similar.

Performing Essential Infrastructure Operations means services or performance of work necessary for operations and maintenance of public works construction, construction of housing, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, telecommunications. All in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements.

Transportation maintenance.

Performing or Accessing Essential Governmental Functions means: first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement. School personnel, persons may leave their residence to carry out meals and instructional packets distribution. Families obtaining meals and instructional packets.

WHAT IS AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS?

Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and such.

Agriculture, food and beverage cultivation, processing and distribution, such as, farming, ranching, dairies and breweries.

Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services for economically disadvantaged.

Newspapers, television, radio and other media.

Gas stations and auto supply, auto repair.

Banks and financial institutions.

Hardware stores.

Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, HVAC repairs and other service providers.

Landscaping and pool cleaning services.

Businesses providing mailing and shipping services.

Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers.

Businesses that supply products needed for people who work from home.

Airlines, taxis and other transportation for hire.

Home-based care for seniors, adults or children.

Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults or children.

Professional services, i.e. legal or accounting.

Funeral homes.

Childcare facilities for employees exempted in this order.

WHAT SHOULD NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS DO? All non-essential businesses shall cease business activities other than minimum basic operations, i.e. to maintain value of the inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits and to facilitate employees to continue to work remotely from their residences.

WHAT ABOUT RESTAURANTS? Drive-thru, delivery or carry out only. May not operate later than 10 p.m. Food may not be eaten at the site where it is provided.

LIMITATIONS ON ITEMS: All sales of bath or toilet tissue are limited to the greater of (a) twelve (12) rolls per purchase or (b) one (1) package per purchase.

WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TRAVEL: Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons. Travel to or from educational institutions for instruction materials or meals. Travel to return to residence from outside jurisdiction. Travel required by law enforcement. Travel for non-residents to return to their place of residence.

Public transportation can only be used for Essential Personal Activities or travel to and from work to operate an Essential Business or Maintain Essential Governmental. Riders should comply with Social Distancing Requirements.

WHAT ARE SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS?

Maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other individuals.

Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer.

Covering coughs or sneezes (into sleeve or elbow, not hands).

Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces.

Do not shake hands.

FAILURE TO COMPLY: Constitutes an imminent threat to public health.

Port Isabel Restaurants to offer Take-Out, Curbside or Delivery

Dining in Port Isabel! Carry out, drive-thru or delivery ONLY!Wednesday 3/25, 7:00 p.m. UPDATE:
Dining out these days looks a whole lot different! Same great food from Port Isabel restaurants, served curbside for you to take to your Shelter in Place location! Here is a list of who is serving what.

Groceries are available at several restaurant locations. Click on this LINK for the most up to date information we have. Call ahead! Restaurants will close at 10:00 p.m. It is prohibited to consume food on the premises. Drive-thru, carry out or delivery only. If you see anything we need to update, please let us know!

Porky’s Pit, Isabel’s Cafe and Marcello’s are temporarily closed.

UPDATE: Port Isabel Mayor issues proclamation.

THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that the following regulations are hereby enacted, or re-issued, effective at 5:00 pm on March 25, 2020. To the extent a regulation previously-issued is in conflict with these regulations, this regulation shall control.

-No person shall be upon public rights-of-way, including streets, sidewalks, alleys and parks at any time. Exceptions include: personnel essential to the function of public entities or businesses, and persons traveling to obtain medical care, medication, food, staples of daily living or other essential services.

No commercial business may allow the general public upon its premises unless they are seated in a vehicle. Express exemptions are made for essential services and functions, as defined herein, including but not limited to transportation providers, laundromats, banks and other financial providers, hardware stores, medical providers, utilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, foodservice of takeout and delivery, exempted day cares, shipping/postal, units of government, as well as any building work issued under an exempted permit and landscaping required to maintain health conditions.

Other essential business establishments may provide services via take-out or delivery, so long as no more than 10 people congregate in the take-out area. Drive-through and take-out patrons are to be instructed to remain in their vehicles. If take-out patrons are on foot, they must be seated at last 6 feet from each other.

Businesses are encouraged to implement procedures whereby take-out patrons pay via telephone or electronic means, and the order is placed in the open tailgate or trunk of the vehicle, to minimize contact between patrons and employees of the establishment.

Businesses must observe the regulations issued on March 19, 2020 with respect to operations within their premises.

-This restriction shall continue until 11:59 pm on April 8, 2020, or until rescinded or modified.

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the following regulations are hereby enacted, or re-issued, effective at 12:01 am on March 25, 2020. To the extent a regulation previously-issued is in conflict with these regulations, this regulation shall control.

3/20 Proclamation Declared: “Public consumption of food & drink, food service prohibited; see more…

Port Isabel stands with her community. City of Port Isabel.PROCLAMATION AT A GLANCE
Effective 3/21 6 a.m. 
• All bars, adult day cares, public fishing piers, excursion boats are prohibited from serving the public. All building permits are suspended, subject to exemptions by the building inspector for essential work.
• Public consumption of food and drink is prohibited
Effective 3/20 6 a.m. 
• Food service establishments are prohibited from offering dining room service.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Are there any changes in openings/closing of Public buildings and City parks?
• No. The City Hall (956-943-2682) and Municipal Courts (956-943-1281) are all operating during normal business hours, but offices and lobbies are closed.
Will garbage collection continue?
•  At this time garbage collection will continue on its regular schedule.
How do I get school lunches for my children since schools are closed until 4/3?
• Food Distribution – Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily as follows: Pick-Up Locations: Port Isabel High School, Derry Elementary, Garriga Elementary. Time: 11:30 a.m – 1:00 p.m.
Are the City Parks open?
• City Parks are closed until further notice. Gatherings of 10 or more are prohibited.
Are restaurants open?
• They are only open for drive thru, delivery and carry out. Dining rooms are closed. The self serve fountains in convenience stores are not allowed to operate.

City of Port IsabelSTATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF CAMERON

Proclamation 2020-3-20-1 [pdf]

BE IT KNOWN that on this, the 20th day of March, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Port Isabel, the Honorable Juan Jose “JJ” Zamora, has issued the following proclamation, and caused his hand and the seal of the city to be affixed to the same:

“An order implementing precautions related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).”

WHEREAS,  A state of emergency currently exists in the City of Port Isabel, and such emergency has been declared by the Mayor on March 13, 2020 and affirmed by the City Commission on March 17, 2020; and

WHEREAS,  Under ordinance 703, passed by the City Commission on March 17, 2020, and under the provisions of the Texas Disaster Act, the mayor is empowered to act as the city’s Emergency Management Director, and as executive officer of the governor, in enacting such regulations as may be necessary to preserve life and property; and

WHEREAS, I, Mayor Juan Jose “JJ” Zamora have found good cause due to the COVID-19 outbreak to issue the following order, which shall remain in effect for a period of 60 days, or until terminated, whichever is sooner.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the following regulations are hereby enacted, or re-issued, effective at 6:00 am on March 21, 2020. To the extent regulation previously-issued is in conflict with these regulations, this regulation shall control.

-All bars, adult day cares, public fishing piers, excursion boats are prohibited from serving the public. All building permits are suspended, subject to exemptions by the building inspector for essential work.

-Public consumption of food and drink is prohibited.

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the following regulations are hereby enacted, or re-issued, effective at 6:00 am on March 20, 2020. To the extent  regulation previously-issued is in conflict with these regulations, this regulation shall control.

-Food service establishments are prohibited from offering dining room service.

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the following regulations are hereby enacted, or re-issued, effective at 5:00 pm on March 19, 2020. To the extent regulation previously-issued is in conflict with these regulations, this regulation shall control.

-Food service establishments and bars will limit their seating by 50% of their current configuration, with a maximum of 50 patrons per establishment. This regulation shall be construed to limit both the maximum number of persons who may be served in the establishment and the maximum seating capacity of any table, booth or bar counter.

-Food service establishments and bars will have a minimum distance of 8 feet between tables, or a minimum distance of 6 feet between patrons seated at the bar.

-Dining rooms of food service establishments and all bars must close by 10:00 pm until 6:00 am. Last Call is 9:45 pm.

Drive-through and take-out will be allowed to remain open, so long as no more than 10 people congregate in the take-out area. Drive-through and take-out patrons are to be instructed to remain in their vehicles. If take-out patrons are on foot, they must be seated at last 6 feet from each other.

Restaurants are encouraged to implement procedures whereby take-out patrons pay via telephone or electronic means, and the order is placed in the open tailgate or trunk of the vehicle, to minimize contact between patrons and employees of the establishment.

-Business establishments will be allowed to designate one or more parking spaces for take-out; parking requirement based on occupancy are hereby waived to the extent they are affected by the designation of take out service. Take-out and drive-through food service is strongly encouraged and recommended, as is take out service for retail establishments.

-All dance floors, in bars and restaurants are closed. Live music and all DJ entertainment are prohibited.

-All buffet food service or self-serve service is prohibited.

-Hotels, motels and rental housing properties are required to completely sanitize all touch surfaces within a dwelling unit before it may be rented to the public.

-All public and private gatherings of more than 10 people for any other purpose are prohibited. Immediate family members, banks, medical, veterinary, food service, grocery stores, pharmacies, shipping stores and depots, as well as units of government, are exempt from this requirement. All establishments not subject to this exemption, including bars that do not offer food service and laundromats, shall enforce the limit of 10 persons, provide frequent sanitation of all frequently-touched hard surfaces (including counters, knobs, rails, faucets and point of sale systems) and provide hand sanitizer and hand washing facilities to patrons and staff.

Exempt facilities shall ensure that there is adequate separation between staff and patrons, and that the number of persons within the establishment at any time is no greater than 50 percent of approved capacity of the facility. Staff and patrons shall be provided with access to hand sanitizer and hand washing facilities, and shall periodically sanitize all hard surfaces subject to frequent contact by employees and patrons, including faucets, counters, rails, knobs, drive through canisters, point of sale terminals and switches.

Grocery stores and pharmacies shall sanitize the handles of shopping carts and baskets between each use, and shall frequently sanitize conveyors, point of sale terminals, and other surfaces exposed to customers. Such sanitation practices shall be subject to monitoring by the City of Port Isabel. The City of Port Isabel Health Inspector shall be empowered to close any establishment that does not comply with these regulations, or the operation of which poses a threat to public health and safety.

Childcare facilities may apply for an exemption to this requirement to the extent that children of medical personnel, teachers, foodservice workers, police offices, ambulance attendants, firefighters, other essential government personnel, pharmacy workers, transportation workers, sanitation worker or grocery store employees under the care of the facility cause the number of persons at the facility to exceed 10, provided that other measures are enacted to ensure health and safety under the approval of the City of Port Isabel Health Inspector.

Public, private and parochial schools shall be exempt from this order to the extent they are operating under the regulations of their governing authority.

The Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce and the Laguna Madre Youth Center are exempt from this order to the extent they are operating under the regulations of their governing authority and the City of Port Isabel.

-Nail salons, manicurists, pedicurists, barber shops, beauty parlors, estheticians, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, social clubs, gambling houses, reducing studios, gymnasiums, dance/exercise studios, martial arts/wrestling studios, and other establishments in which the City of Port Isabel Health Inspector determines that patrons come into frequent close or physical contact with staff and one another, are ordered to cease operation.

-Disposable cups, napkins, plates and utensils must be used for all service to food service and bar customers.

Cups shall not be refilled. Customers may also be served single-serving bottles or cans.

-Self-service soda fountains, bars, jugs and tureens; garnishes, fruit and straws for beverages; and, self-service trays, dispensers and containers for condiments, are prohibited in all food service and bar establishments.

Fuel service stations must sanitize fuel pumps every hour, preferably after each use.(Rescinded 3/20/2020)

Sanitizer must be available at the pumps. Stores attached to fuel service stations must adhere to the requirements in this order for grocery stores.

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the City Commission of the City of Port Isabel has by Ordinance 703 prohibited any person from charging more than the price prevailing on March 13, 2020 for the following items:

(a)    groceries, beverages, toilet articles, ice and cleaning supplies

(b)    construction and building materials and supplies, and earthmoving equipment and machinery

(c)    electrical and gas generating and transmission equipment, parts and accessories

(d)    charcoal briquettes, matches, candles, lamp illumination and heat unit carbides, dry batteries, light bulbs, flashlights, and hand lanterns

(e)    hand tools (manual and power), hardware and household supplies, and equipment rental

(f)     automotive parts, supplies, and accessories

(g)    plumbing and electrical tools and supplies

(h)    apartment, duplex, multi-family dwelling, rooming house, hotel and motel rental

(i)     gasoline, diesel oil, motor oil, kerosene, grease, and automotive lubricants

(j)     restaurant, cafeteria, and boarding-house meals

(k)    services of roofing and building contractors, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, tree surgeons, and automobile wrecker companies

(l)     medicine, pharmaceutical, and medical equipment and supplies

(m)   blankets, quilts, bedspreads, bed linens, mattresses, bedsprings, bedsteads, towels, and toilet paper

(n)    furniture and clothing

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the following definitions are hereby adopted for the purposes of the enforcement of this order:

-Food service establishment: a place that serves items for human consumption to the public. Includes “nutrition” and “wellness” establishments and clubs. May also serve liquor, beer or wine for consumption in conjunction with food service. Does not include kitchen or delivery of a public school, or of a government agency or instrumentality.

-Bar: a place that serves beer, liquor or wine to the public for consumption on the premises.

-Grocery store: a place that sells items for human consumption and staples of daily living to the public.

-Childcare facility: a place registered with the appropriate departments of the State of Texas for the care of children, but which is not a public, private or parochial school.

-School: an educational institution subject to the requirements of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the US Department of Education, the US Department of Health and Human Services in which an organized curriculum is presented in requirement of federal or state law.

-Take-out: the provision of goods for consumption at a location other than the business premises.

-Dining room: a facility on or adjacent to the premises of a food service establishment for the consumption of food and drink.

-Public consumption: the consumption of food and drink in a public place, including streets, sidewalks, parks, parking lots or any other open space accessible to the public.

-Drive-through: the provision of goods to motor vehicle drivers for consumption at a location other than the business premises.

-Buffet: the style of serving in which pre-prepared dishes are presented to customers on a counter, table or rail.

-Self-Serve: served by the customer to him or herself from a common fixture, fountain or container.

-Frequent close or physical contact: touching, rubbing of clothed or unclothed body parts, or persistent, manual operation conducted less than arm’s length. Does not include activities conducted in a medical facility.

-Medical facility: a facility operated by or under the authority of a physician, psychologist, physical therapist, professional counselor (rescinded 3/20/2020), orthodontist or dentist licensed in the State of Texas.

-House of Worship: a place of religious observance.

-Governing authority: the Texas Education Agency, Texas Department of Agriculture, the US Health and Human Services Department, a school board, a board of directors, parish council, priest, minister, bishop or other similarly-recognized authority.

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED, that the City Commission has fixed a criminal penalty of $500 for any person who violates a provision of this order, or of Ordinance 703. Any officer of the City of Port Isabel, including health inspectors, police officers, fire marshalls, code enforcement officers and building inspectors, is authorized to enforce this ordinance.

DONE, this the 20th day of March 2020.

_____________________________
Hon. Juan Jose “JJ” Zamora, Mayor

ATTEST:

_____________________________
Susie Alcocer, City Secretary