• November 28, 2021
 County Judge enacts strict measures to combat COVID-19 surge

County Judge enacts strict measures to combat COVID-19 surge

In a more aggressive effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego has amended the County’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order to include stricter measures throughout El Paso County.

“Today, I met with Sheriff Wiles, Constables, Rural Mayor’s, and additional law enforcement agencies to discuss stricter enforcement of the County’s Order given our community’s record high COVID-19 numbers,” said County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego.
“Every citizen must take personal responsibility and do their part to slow the spread of the virus.   I know the community is anxious to get back to normal life, however, we must stay vigilant and not let our guard down.  Please reconsider visiting your family and friends during these unprecedented times in order to protect the health of your loved ones.”

The new guidelines encompass the Town of Anthony, Town of Clint, Town of Horizon, City of San Elizario, City of Socorro, the Village of Vinton, as well as all unincorporated areas of the County.

The new guidelines include prohibitions for private homes gatherings with individuals not within their household, and each household cannot gather in groups larger than 10; as well as stricter rules requiring most county residents to wear a mask when in public.

“Face Covering Requirement. Because an infected person can transmit the COVID-19 virus to others before showing any symptoms, the covering of BOTH a person’s nose and mouth is necessary to help slow the spread of the virus. Therefore, every person throughout El Paso County shall wear some form of face covering over BOTH their nose and mouth, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, whenever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household…”

Additionally, the amended order provides for fines for those not following the new mask guidelines.

“Penalties for Failure to Follow Face Covering Requirements: Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violator of this face-covering requirement, a person’s second violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Each subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 per violation.”

As a reminder, the County Judge has decided to not seek an exemption with TABC to reopen bars per Governor Abbott’s Order.

“Unfortunately, in El Paso, the group with the highest percentage of active COVID-19 cases are young people between the ages of 20-39,” Judge Samaniego shared. “Opening bars in El Paso will only further increase the positive cases in this age group.”
This Amendment aligns with El Paso City Mayor Margo’s Order and went into effect on October 16, 2020.  Provisions of the amended Order include the following:
-Limit occupancies back to 50%.
-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.
For more information on the order, click here.  The entire order is also embedded below



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