File photo of Mayor Leeser (Lf) and County Judge Samaniego (Rt) during Wednesday’s news conference. | Clip courtesy EP County
Both County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser issued orders for the region to reflect Governor Greg Abbott’s orders last week to re-open the state and do away with the mask mandate.
According to a statement from Judge Samaniego, County’s Stay Safe Order No. 16 was issued to reflect Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34, and his decision to reopen Texas and rescind his state-wide mandate on masks.
The County of El Paso urges the community to remain vigilant and encourages El Pasoans to continue to wear their facemask, practice social distancing and adhere to standard health protocols.
“Wearing a mask is a small inconvenience that is no different than wearing a seatbelt,” said County Judge Ricardo Samaniego. “We must each do our part to save as many lives as we can. Public health measures are being relaxed too soon before El Paso can reach community immunity. We cannot afford to see another spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”
Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34 gives County Judge’s across Texas the ability to institute COVID-19 mitigation measures such as rolling back occupancy limits to 50%, as well as other COVID-19 mitigation measures if total hospital capacity exceeds 15% in El Paso County.
Both the County and the City will maintain health protocols currently in place and will continue to ask employees and the public to wear a mask before entering a County or City facility.
Please note that County Order No. 16 does not prevent businesses from requiring their customers to follow additional hygiene measures, including wearing a face covering, when obtaining services. Judge Samaniego applauds those businesses, entities, and school districts who have already taken action to continue to enforce these measures.
All businesses are encouraged to implement the following a healthy and safety policy and are encouraged to review the following business resources below.
Mayor Oscar Leeser has issued an updated emergency directive aligned with Executive Order No. GA-34 issued by Governor Greg Abbott on March 2nd, which went into effect Wednesday.
Mayor Leeser stated: “Our goal is to keep our community safe, and to ensure that we maintain a low hospitalization rate, by encouraging all our citizens to continue to follow the precautionary measures that have worked for us thus far – washing your hands often, practicing social-distancing and wearing a face mask. The City of El Paso will adhere to the Governor’s directive. That said, we will continue to require staff and visitors to wear face masks at City-owned facilities, on airport grounds and in Sun Metro vehicles. We will be measured and responsible to ensure the safety of the staff and the public who use our services.”
Mayor Leeser’s order is below, County Judge Samaniego’s order can be viewed via this link.