Yesterday, the County Judge’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, the University Medical Center, Office of Emergency Management and the City-County Local Health Authority spoke to the community concerning the high surge in COVID-19 cases.
For the first time, throughout the pandemic, the Health Department reported 1,161 new cases, and today it was reported that we had 969 new cases. El Paso’s 7 day COVID-19 positivity rate is currently 14.52% and our hospitalization rate is 32%.
“Yesterday, was indeed a difficult day for me with respect to my decision to be more restrictive. It’s not an easy task to make these decisions, while balancing the profound importance of public health, and the impact that this relentless virus has levied upon a striving economy,” said County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego.
“The intent of establishing a 2 week prohibition on specific activities was to align our resources and to initiate a clearer strategy to address the present surge that we have been experiencing; not only throughout the County, but the entire region. We are dealing with a world-wide surge, but our situation in El Paso is much more unique. Slowing down our activities will allow us to initiate root-caused initiatives instead of being statistical spectators. It is my strong intent to work with our Juarez and Dona Anna County leadership and systematically take to heart the much needed regional focus. It is my hope that the community joins our challenge to draw ourselves back to a voluntary Stay Home, Work Safe Order to aggressively minimize the loss of lives and the destructive nature of this insidious pandemic. Our community deserves direction and true strategic interventions. Testing and contact tracing are vital at this time, but these are still only components of finding a solution. We need our community to step-up and be stronger as we all have to be united during these challenging times. I have a tremendous amount of confidence that our relentless Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, State Delegation, and other community leaders will support our collaborative efforts and do all that they can to protect the health of El Paso. One day at a time with thoughtful and deliberate steps will be my beacon and grain of hope during this pandemic.”
Thursday evening, the County Judge sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott to provide him with an update on the crisis taking place in our County, and to seek his support in the event current measures are not restrictive enough. To view the letter click here .
“The County of El Paso urges you to stay home and work safe for the next two weeks to help flatten the curve in our community. County employees will be doing their part, but it will be up to the community to be responsible and do their part as well for the health and safety of El Paso,” Samaniego shared.
“Law enforcement agencies will be heavily patrolling the County to ensure all guidelines are being followed.”
Click here to view the County’s amended it’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order (No.2 Order No. 11) – which include the following:
All County owned facilities, parks, and recreational areas shall close for a two-week period. Hiking, biking, walking and fishing shall be allowed, but all social distancing measures to include the use of face coverings shall be followed and will be enforced.
This shall include the closure of County owned golf courses, handball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, and pools. All tournaments and special events shall be cancelled and prohibited during this period.
Please note that this will not effect any voting sites currently taking place in County facilities.
For purposes of this Order, County employees that perform essential government functions may continue to work onsite. County employees who can work from home shall do so.
County elected officials are strongly encouraged to allow their employees to work from home when possible
As a reminder, below are the additional measures that are currently included in the County’s Order which went into effect on October 16, 2020.
-Limit occupancies back to 50%.
-All restaurants in the County shall cease all dine-in services by 9:00 PM. After 9:00 PM, restaurants are limited to take out and drive-thru only.
-Further limitations on gatherings in parks.
-Further limitations on indoor and outdoor sports, this will include not allowing spectators to attend.
-Further limitations of home gatherings.
-No visitors to facilities that care for the elderly.