County Judge nixes bars reopening in El Paso County

Saturday afternoon, El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego announced that he has made the decision not to reopen area bars, due to the recent Covid-19 surge in the county.

“After consulting with our Local-Health Authority, Dr. Hector Ocaranza and Mayor Margo, I have made the very difficult decision to not reopen bars in El Paso County,” said County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego.

“I am very sympathetic to all of our business owners during these unprecedented times, especially our bar owners, however, the health and safety of our community must prevail…”

According to the news release, as of today, El Paso County is shown at Stage 2 in the El Paso Community’s Scorecard which can be found online, via this link.

County officials share that the Community Scorecard is an assessment of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic within El Paso County.  It is defined by 14 performance measures over 5 categories, each being assessed with a score between 1 and 4 (4 being the best).

“The percent of total hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in El Paso County is 16%, the percent of total hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in the trauma service area is currently at 13.6%,” County Judge Samaniego shared.  “This morning, the El Paso Health Department announced 546 new COVID-19 cases, which brings us to a total of 27,953 total cases.”
“In addition to the information above, we also have data that tells us that the group with the highest percentage of active COVID-19 cases are young people between the ages of 20-39,” Samaniego stated.
“Opening bars in El Paso will only further increase the positive cases in this age group.”
Samaniego added that this decision would be revisited in the coming weeks.
“During the next few weeks, rest assured that I will be in close communication with our health professionals, as well as other community leaders in the event that our situation gets better so that we may discuss the possibility of reopening’s at a later date.”