County issues shelter-in-place order

Culberson County Commissioners met in emergency session yesterday at 9:00 a.m. to consider a “shelter in place” declaration, which would mirror similar declarations taking effect in El Paso and other neighboring counties.

The declaration, as Judge Carlos Urias explained, is not a lock-down as has been rumored, but defines what the term “shelter in place” means, which in a nutshell, applies to non-essential travel except to grocery stores, pharmacies, clinics, etc. Judge Urias also clarified the rules for restaurants as being allowed to provide delivery and take out services, but only to curbside. Patrons can call in orders and be notified when their orders are ready but are not allowed to come in to place their orders or wait for their orders at the bar or restaurant. Patrons are not allowed to dine in or outside as well.

Judge Urias also stated that the declaration from the State Department of Health and the Commissioners’ Court, gave authority to the Sheriff’s Department to enforce violations by businesses that were not compliant, with escalating penalties. Judge Urias stated that businesses would get a warning for a first offense, citations for the business owner, employees and patrons for the second offense and referral to the appropriate licensing boards after that.

Hotels, motels, RV parks and rental homes were not affected by this declaration. The rest of the contents is outlined in the official declaration provided by Judge Urias in this publication.

The Court will be meeting before April 3rd to determine whether to extend the declaration or amend it.