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 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.”



• 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”.



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.


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.


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.