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Social gatherings restricted in revised stay-at-home order

Posted at 9:01 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 23:25:55-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A news conference was held at the Nueces County Courthouse on Thursday to announce amendments to the stay-at-home order originally issued on March 25.

The main change is that social gatherings of any size are now prohibited, which amends a previous order that limited gatherings to 10 people or less.

The new order as made effective immediately, and continues until 11:59 p.m. on April 30.

"These measures, we now believe, are insufficient to prevent the spread of the virus," said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales of the previous guideline.

The recent amendments come after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order for the state.

"In order to reduce the spread, the governor has issued these orders statewide, and my orders in Nueces County are going to conform to those," Canales said.

Nothing in this order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or a living unit.

"Remember, no social gatherings; but if you want to take a walk with your family and members of your household, that's going to be allowed," she said. "But we're still going to say -- you want that social distance, because we know that really goes a long way in saving lives and reducing the spread of this virus."

Canales also recognized worship and religious services as essential, but with some limitations.

"Services should be provided through remote telework from home unless they are essential services that cannot be provided through remote telework," she said. "If religious services cannot be conducted from home, or through remote services, they should be conducted consistent with the guidelines from the President and CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

More details on what qualifies as an essential activities or services are included in the order.

"I definitely would like to remind all citizens and residents that you need to comply," she said. "It is our goal to keep people safe. We need to do all we can to continue to flatten this curve by preventing the spread of the disease. And we know how to do it. Minimize contacts. And when we do, we will win."