County Issues Curfew; Bridge Remains Open for Trade and Essential Travel; Call Center FAQs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2020

Pharr, Texas – Amid the rapidly-evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Pharr and Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., will be providing regular updates to keep the media and the public informed as information develops. City officials urge media outlets to please share with their respective reading/viewing/listening audiences.


Hidalgo County Issues Emergency Order and Stay-At-Home Curfew

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Hidalgo County issued an Emergency Order to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among measures included in the order is a mandatory Stay-At-Home curfew, which took effect Monday night. From 10 pm to 5 am, all residents are ordered to remain in their homes and not travel outside the home. The City of Pharr will be enforcing the order, and officials urge citizens to heed the guidance of local, state, and federal authorities to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone. 


Pharr International Bridge Remains Open for Trade and Essential Travel

Last week, President Trump announced that in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the U.S.-Mexico border will be only open for trade and essential travel. The Pharr International Bridge remains open for trade and “essential travel,” which includes, but is not limited to:

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
  • Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);
  • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
  • Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Mexico in furtherance of such work);
  • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
  • Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Mexico);
  • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and
  • Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).

The following travel does not fall within the definition of “essential travel” for purposes of this notification:

  • Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).

The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) reminds the public that residents of Mexico traveling across the border for work are considered essential. Workers will have to show the appropriate documents to prove employment and carry the recommended documentation with them at all times when crossing the border.  

The City of Pharr has been working closely with binational partners as these new changes go into effect and will continue to keep the public informed as the situation develops. 


Pharr Vital Statistics Requests By Appointment Only

Due to public health concerns with COVID-19, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the City of Pharr Vital Statistics will accept birth or death certificate requests by appointment only until further notice. Please call 956-402-4100 to schedule an appointment. To request by mail please visit the City of Pharr website at http://pharr-tx.gov/vital-statistics/This is a precautionary measure to ensure everyone’s safety.  We apologize for any inconvenience.


Pharr Call Center FAQs

The City of Pharr has been staffing a call center to answer questions that residents might have in regard to city operations or general information during the public health emergency related to COVID-19. 

The city has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, which can be found below:

Q. What time is curfew and what are the hours?
A. In accordance with the order implemented by Hidalgo County the times are from 10 pm – 5 am.

Q. If I work at a restaurant/convenience store/grocery store am I allowed to drive to work during curfew hours?
A. In accordance with the order implemented by Hidalgo County, yes there are essential services, please have a work ID.

Q. What is considered essential travel in regard to the curfew in effect?
A. In accordance with the order implemented by Hidalgo County, essential travel includes going to work (for government workplaces and businesses providing essential services), traveling to and from essential businesses and retail establishments, such as grocery stores, hospitals, and medical facilities, and persons serving a law enforcement role. Please refer to the order for more information.

Q. Who is enforcing the curfew?
A. In accordance with the order implemented by Hidalgo County, local and county law enforcement.

Q. Are businesses supposed to be closed?
A. In accordance with the order implemented by Hidalgo County, only businesses providing essential services can remain open. Businesses that are considered “non-essential retail establishments” are prohibited from servicing customers. Please refer to the order for more information.

Q. How many people are allowed to be inside of an essential business?
A. In accordance with the order implemented by Hidalgo County, essential businesses are exempt from the minimum capacities.

Q. Is my water going to get disconnected if I cannot pay the bill?
A. The City of Pharr will not disconnect any water services during this time of public health emergency.

Q. Is my light bill going to get disconnected if I cannot pay the bill?
A. Every electricity provider is different. Please contact your electricity provider directly. 

Q. Who do we contact to report individuals for price gouging?
A. According to the Texas Attorney General’s office, reports should be submitted online at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection/disaster-and-emergency-scams/how-spot-and-report-price-gouging

For any other questions, please call the Pharr 311 Call Center at 956-402-4311 from Monday to Sunday, 8 am to 12 am.

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