Kleberg County & City of Kingsville Issue Stay-At-Home Orders
KLEBERG COUNTY, TX - Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid, acting in his capacity as Chief Executive Officer of Kleberg County announced today that he is issuing a Stay-At-Home order for residents of Kleberg County effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight. The order currently extends through April 8 and is in place to protect residents from the spread of COVID-19 in the community. "This order is not a decision I take lightly and while we currently have no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in our county, this measure along with the our regional COVID-19 testing site will work hand-in-hand to protect our citizens," Madrid said.
City of Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate said he supports the judge's efforts and announced the city will draft an order that mirrors Judge Madrid's. "By combining resources and working jointly in this effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, we could very well be saving the lives of our citizens," said Fugate.
The Stay-At-Home order is not as restrictive as a Shelter-In-Place order, and while it is a fully enforceable and lawful order, it's intention is to protect the county's residents, while allowing them the flexibility of essential movement to meet their needs. Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. Local restaurants can continue meeting the needs of the community with delivery, drive thru or carry out service. Construction to maintain homes is allowed to continue under the guidelines of the order and even child custody orders, child daycare centers and adult daycare centers will not face an impact aside from a requirement to practice social distancing. However, this order does require non-essential business to transition employees to work from home. It restricts movement in order to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.
"In crafting this order, we worked really hard to ensure our citizens needs would be met while also reducing disruption to local business," Madrid said. The judge requested a food donation from the Corpus Christi Food Bank who delivered nine pallets of groceries to the Kleberg County Human Services Building Wednesday. City crews provided a forklift and manpower to unload the shipment and prepare it for delivery to those most in need ahead of the Stay-At-Home order today.
"Although grocery stores will remain open, I want to make sure our most vulnerable citizens are prepared to stay at home with necessities and groceries that are vital to their health," Madrid said, "we plan to deliver it to their homes today."
Mayor Fugate said city staff will continue to work in conjunction with the county in order to collaboratively meet the needs of the entire region. "It's going to take a concerted and collaborative effort to battle the spread of this contagious disease threatening our community and our nation," Mayor Fugate said, "and that's what we need everyone to do here; if we can all keep our distance for just a little while, we can keep our family, our friends and our community safe."
As the County's Chief Emergency Manager, Judge Madrid worked tirelessly with Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, State Rep. J.M. Lozano and a multitude of local leaders from the South Texas region to ensure a testing site was brought to Kingsville. The Kleberg County & City of Kingsville Joint Regional Testing Site began operating Saturday at Dick Kleberg Park. The site is open to Kleberg County residents and people from surrounding communities from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
"It was critical for me to ensure no one was turned away and by offering this service to allow our neighbors to be tested too, we met that very serious need," Madrid said, "now I need the citizens of Kleberg county to follow the guidelines that I've placed in this order so that once the danger of this global pandemic passes our community, we can come together along with our neighbors and enjoy all the amazing aspects that make our South Texas community such a wonderful place to call home."
Violation of the Stay-At-Home order will result in a $500 fine or 180 days in jail.
Please follow the official Kleberg County Facebook page @KlebergCountyCC and the official City of Kingsville Facebook page at The City of Kingsville, TX for accurate and up-to-date information.