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Texas county hard-hit by coronavirus issues new stay-at-home order

A Texas county that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic issued a new stay-at-home order on Monday.

Hidalgo County’s emergency health director ordered residents to shelter-in-place and follow a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The order officially goes into effect Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and is scheduled to last until Aug. 5 at 11:59 p.m.

The order allows people to leave their homes if they have essential jobs, experience medical emergencies, to obtain essential services or to participate in outdoor activity. Those in shared and outdoor physical spaces must social distance at least by six feet.

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The order also says “it is highly encouraged and recommended” for all nonessential businesses to “cease all activities at facilities that may not be provided by curbside, drive-through, or take-out services.”

The county order also institutes a requirement for those under 17 years old to be accompanied by a parent or guardian when outside the home for an essential activity.

Hidalgo County’s order comes as the county reported 524 new COVID-19 cases and 34 more deaths on Monday. Overall, the county has seen 12,787 positive COVID-19 cases and 318 deaths, according to its data.

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The eighth largest county in Texas is ranked sixth with the most coronavirus cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In recent weeks, the Lone Star State has struggled to combat growing numbers of coronavirus cases as it has become one of the U.S.’s epicenters for the pandemic. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has required all people to wear face coverings in public buildings.