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Brewster County Issues Shelter-In-Place Order And Establishes Community-Wide Curfew

By Mitch Borden

As towns across the Big Bend region prepare for the coronavirus, Brewster County Judge Commissioners are issuing a shelter-in-place order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Expanding on a previous disaster declaration, Brewster County Judge Eleazar Cano is banning all public and private gatherings for the general public—and instating a curfew for communities from 10 pm to 5 am.

All of the new restrictions go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 31. News of the order came shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order requiring Texans to limit personal interactions that could lead to the spread of COVID-19.

Currently, there are no identified cases of COVID-19 in Brewster County, but officials are putting these new procedures in place to mitigate the spread in rural communities. The emergency declaration mandates that six feet distance is kept between residents while outside their homes at all times.

Individuals are allowed to go about approved activities such as exercising, grocery shopping, and caring for a family member. There are exceptions to the order for specific workers and businesses deemed essential.

Essential businesses that can remain open include:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Hardware Stores
  • Liquor Stores
  • Gas Stations
  • Restaurants: Carry Out & Delivery Only
  • Banks
  • Funeral Homes
  • Child Care

For the complete list, refer to the shelter in place order at the bottom of the page.

Judge Cano is mandating that if one member of a household is diagnosed with COVID-19 the entire home is put under quarantine. He's is also restricting any no essential visitor to elderly care facilities unless they are providing critical assistance or visiting a dying patient.

Brewster County is empowering law enforcement to carry out its order. Anyone found in violation of the decree could face a fine up to $1,000 for each violation.

If residents are displaying signs and symptoms of the coronavirus the shelter in place order instructs them to call Big Bend Regional Medical Center at 432 -837-3447.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.