window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-29484371-30');
Thursday , August 13 2020
PBP_728
TRLA_728
Emergence June 11 – Sep 11, 2020 728
ENTERPRISE 728
Covid-19 Fund 728
EMERGENCE MINDFUL 728.90
Elizabeth 728
Mountains 728
Spring Training 728
Utep Football Generic 728
john overall 728×90
Home | Breaking News | El Paso-area Coronavirus Archive Stories from May 1st thru May 15th

El Paso-area Coronavirus Archive Stories from May 1st thru May 15th

This archive page of our El Paso-area Coronavirus Information has releases and information from May 1st through May 15th.

For the most recent health developments on COVID-19, please visit our up-to-the-minute page; for official info, click below.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)   |   World Health Organization    |    City of El Paso Department of Public Health

***ARCHIVE CONTENT FOLLOWS***

***(5/15/2020)

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting two (2) additional COVID-19 deaths for a total number of 45. Both patients with underlying health conditions are females in their 70s.

El Paso is also reporting 48 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,655. To-date 819 people have recovered from COVID-19; meaning there are 791 active cases within the county. (See  graphics and map for additional data points)

As additional testing resources have been reported, testing has increased in our community with more than 2,200 people tested on Wednesday and Thursday at one of the various testing facilities currently operational with the community. Cumulatively, approximately 17,100 tests have been performed within the county.

This week Governor Greg Abbott ordered local communities to tests all licensed nursing home residents and staff, with the support from local fire departments.

Prior to the state’s orders, testing of nursing homes had already begun by DPH and the Border Regional Advisory Council (BorderRAC). The DPH and BorderRAC is currently working in collaboration with the El Paso Fire Department to administer testing to more than 20 licensed nursing facilities within El Paso.

In addition to testing the staff and residents of each facility, staff are also assessing the overall nursing facilities, reviewing the COVID-19 safety protocols and processes and providing best practices as outlined by local, state and federal orders.

Members of the community who are interested in getting tested are able to learn more about the available testing throughout the county by clicking here.

The public is reminded that even infected persons with little to no symptoms can spread the virus to others. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions.

***

***(5/14/2020)

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting two (2) additional COVID-19 deaths for a total number of 43. The patients with underlying health conditions include a male in his 50s and a female in her 60s.

El Paso is also reporting 151 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,607. To-date 793 people have recovered from COVID-19; meaning there are 771 active cases within the county.

See accompanying graphics and map for additional data points.

“We once again are disappointed to report two new deaths due to COVID-19, and our hearts go out to the families of these two community members. We must remember that all of these deaths are not just numbers, they are someone’s loved one and part of a family,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “Today, we have seen a dramatic spike in positive cases, this is due in large part to the increased testing throughout the county. The spike also means that this virus is still very active in our community and so I must once again stress—as I always do—the need for everyone to take the necessary health precautions by practicing social distancing, wearing a face cover, thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water to keep you and your loved ones safe.”

Mayor Dee Margo and the Office of Emergency Management addressed the need to increase testing in our community with the Office of the Texas Governor. The state afforded El Paso additional testing site supported by the Texas Military Department Mobile Testing Team (TMD-MTT) which increased access to COVID-19 testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals within neighborhoods.

It is estimated that as of today more than 15,700 tests have been performed within the county, of those near 1,000 tests were conducted by TMD-MTT during the initial three days of testing, which began testing on Monday, May 11.

The TMD-MTT supported sites will continue tomorrow, Friday, May 15 through Saturday, May 23, at the four City facilities due to the high demand. The locations are:

  • Armijo Recreation Center and Pool; 710 E 7th Ave, El Paso, TX
  • Nations Tobin Park; 8831 Railroad Dr., El Paso, TX
  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Library; 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd, El Paso, TX
  • Memorial Swimming Pool; 3251 Copper Ave., El Paso, TX

Testing is free and available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The testing locations are drive-thru and by appointment only. Citizens are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at WWW.TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400.

Testing is available to members of the community with or without COVID-19 symptoms. Although not required for testing, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, and loss of taste and/or smell.

Testing in the rural communities also has been extended. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

May 19:

  • Montana Vista Fire Station #2; 5411 Paso View Drive, El Paso, TX 79938
  • Emergency Service District #2, 11440 N. Loop Drive, Socorro, TX 79927

May 20:

  • El Paso County ESD #2 District Office; 16001 Socorro Road, Fabens, TX 79838
  • West Valley Fire Department; 510 Vinton Road, Anthony, TX 79821

May 21:

  • Horizon First Baptist Church; 17018 Darrington Road, Horizon City, TX 79928
  • Emergency Service District #2; 11440 N. Loop, Socorro, TX 79927

May 22:

  • Horizon First Baptist Church; 17018 Darrington Road, Horizon City, TX 79928

Similarly to the testing locations within the City, the rural locations are by appointment only. Citizens are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at WWW.TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400.

Infected persons who have few or no symptoms can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions.

***

***(5/13/2020)

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting five (5) additional COVID-19 deaths for a total number of 41.

The patients, all of whom had underlying health conditions, include:

  • two males in their 70s,
  • a male in his 50s,
  • a female in her 40s, and
  • a female in her 70s.

El Paso is also reporting 43 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,456. To-date 751 people have recovered from COVID-19; meaning there are 664 active cases within the county.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are once again reporting a spike in COVID-19 deaths with the loss of five members of our community. We send our very deepest condolences to their loved ones,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “One of the trends that we are seeing is that COVID-19 is gravely affecting those who are diabetic, have high blood pressure and/or have heart disease. If you or a loved one have these underlying health conditions, I urge you to take the necessary health precautions by practicing social distancing, wearing a face cover, thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water.”

Today, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the federal government has extended El Paso’s existing community-based testing site through June 30, 2020. Mayor Dee Margo and the Office of Emergency Management have been working with the Office of the Texas Governor to address testing in the community.

The existing drive-thru COVID-19 specimen collection site was opened on March 23, 2020, and is managed by DPH, the Border Regional Advisory Council, and other public health partners. The site is currently testing the general public that are presenting symptoms. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, and loss of taste and/or smell.

Testing is free and takes place by appointment Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. An appointment can be made by calling (915) 212-0783 during operational hours.

Infected persons who have few or no symptoms can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions.

Residents with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1. To report non-compliance, residents are asked to call the El Paso Police Department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400.

***(5/12/2020)

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting three (3) additional COVID-19 deaths for a total number of 36. The patients with underlying health conditions include two males in their 60s and a female in her 90s.

El Paso is also reporting 65 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,413. To-date 719 people have recovered from COVID-19. There are 658 active cases within the county. It is estimated that as of today more than 13,300 tests have been performed.

See accompanying graphics and map for additional data points.

“It is another heartbreaking day for our community as we report three new deaths due to COVID-19. We send our deepest condolences to the families of these three individuals,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “Our community is once again seeing a considerable increase in positive COVID-19 cases. I must once again urge everyone—as I do nearly every day—to please, take responsibility for your own actions, if not for your own health then for the health of your loved ones.”

Infected persons who have few or no symptoms can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions.

Residents with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1. To report non-compliance, residents are asked to call the El Paso Police Department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400.

***

***(5/12/2020)

The City of El Paso has partnered with PBS El Paso and the County of El Paso to offer a $1,500 cash prize for a Covid-19 public service announcement video.

The El Paso Safe PSA contest is now open and the final deadline for submissions will be Monday, May 18, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

The contest asks everyday El Pasoans to submit a short video that highlights CDC guidelines, such as maintaining social distancing or wearing PPE when in public.

Videos can be anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds in length, and the top two entries will air on PBS El Paso. In addition, the first place winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize and a second place winner will receive $500.

“We are very excited about this partnership because if you log on to any social media platform like Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, you’ll see that people are exploring their creativity with dance and humor,” said Jessica Herrera, Director of International and Economic Development for the City of El Paso. “This partnership is a great opportunity to capture that creativity while at the same time educating and illustrating their love for our community.”

The winning videos will be announced the week of May 25 and will air in June 2020 on PBS-El Paso, the City TV (Spectrum Ch. 1300, DTV Ch. 13.4, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99) and on the City of El Paso social media pages to include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Entries will be judged based on four criteria: creativity, message effectiveness, how well the video represents El Paso and the quality of video and sound.

Click here to view the video invitation

***

***(5/11/2020) 

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting 8 (eight) new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,348, the number of deaths remains at 33.

To-date 685 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 630 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 702 females and 646 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 80 patients hospitalized, and 34 of those are currently in ICU.

City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza reminds the public that whether you have symptoms or not, you may have the virus and not know it. We know now that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is asymptomatic, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk.

On Monday, May 11, the El Paso City Council unanimously approved extending an emergency ordinance that extended the disaster declaration. The Council also unanimously approved to extend a second emergency ordinance establishing emergency measures.

Both ordinances were first issued on March 13, 2020 and were set to expire May 13, 2020. They will both remain in effect until June 10, 2020.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our community. The public is asked to continue observing health practices that protect everyone, especially those who are the most vulnerable.

Residents with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1. To report non-compliance, residents are asked to call the El Paso Police Department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400.

***

***(5/11/2020) COVID19 Testing Available for Symptomatic, Asymptomatic Residents

Area residents who do not have COVID-19 symptoms are now able to get tested for COVID-19 virus at one of the four recently opened mobile testing sites.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo contacted Governor Greg Abbott on Friday of last week and was able to obtain the Governor’s support to send a Texas Military Department Mobile Testing Team (TMD-MTT) to El Paso to increase access to COVID-19 testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management, TMD-MTT, and the Office of Emergency Management worked over the weekend to stand up the mobile sites within neighborhoods by today, May 11, making testing more accessible for members of the public that may have not been able to get to other testing sites.

The testing locations are drive-thru and by appointment only. Citizens are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at WWW.TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400.

Testing is free and available to members of the community with or without COVID-19 symptoms. Although not required for testing, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, and loss of taste and/or smell.

If residents do not call or register for an appointment, they can still show up at the site and will be instructed to either register on their phone or call the number to schedule accordingly.

Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

May 12 & 13:

  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Library; 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd, El Paso, TX
  • Memorial Swimming Pool; 3251 Copper Ave., El Paso, TX

May 14, 15 & 16:

  • Armijo Recreation Center and Pool; 710 E 7th Ave, El Paso, TX
  • Nations Tobin Park; 8831 Railroad Dr., El Paso, TX
  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Library; 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd, El Paso, TX
  • Memorial Swimming Pool; 3251 Copper Ave., El Paso, TX

For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

***

***(5/10/2020) 

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting one (1) additional COVID-19 death, bringing the total number of deaths to 33. The male patient was in his 60s with underlying health conditions.

El Paso is also reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,340. To-date 685 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 622 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 697 females and 643 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 85 patients hospitalized, and 39 of those are currently in ICU.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority, reminds the public that whether you have symptoms or not, you may have the virus and not know it.

“We are disappointed to report another death due to the virus, and we send our sincerest condolences to his family,” Ocaranza said. “We want to again insist that the community wear a face covering every time you are out in public. Face coverings are a second layer of protection, but it does not mean it will protect you 100 percent if you must socialize with the public. Our best defense is to stay home and reduce our interactions with others as much as possible, particularly our most vulnerable population. Remember that the most vulnerable population are seniors, especially those with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart and lung problems who are more susceptible to the dangers of this deadly virus.”

The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our community. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, especially those who are the most vulnerable. This is why it is crucial to remain distant from anybody not living in the same household and wearing a face covering.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the El Paso Police Department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400. Any violation to the amended Emergency Directive will be issued a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. Anyone with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1.

Health questions about COVID-19 can be made by calling the 21-COVID hotline, which is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For referrals to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

***

***(5/10/2020) COVID-19 Testing Expanded

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and the Office of Emergency Management have been working with the Office of the Texas Governor and the Texas Department of Emergency Management to mobilize mobile testing teams increasing access to COVID-19 testing.

“Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 positive cases and deaths, I contacted Governor Abbott on Friday for assistance with more testing capacity and hot-spot epidemiology analysis,” Margo said. “He agreed to send his Rapid Response Team to El Paso immediately, and they arrived Saturday to begin supporting our Public Health team. I’m gratified with his support of El Paso.”

Since early April, testing through the Department of Public Health and private labs has increased approximately 32 percent. The Rapid Response Team and the City worked quickly to stand up the mobile sites within neighborhoods to help make testing more accessible for members of the public with symptoms that may have not been able to get to other testing sites.

The testing locations are drive-thru and by appointment only. Citizens are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at WWW.TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400.

Testing is free and available to members of the community with symptoms of COVID-19 and those in high-risk groups. The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, and loss of taste and/or smell.

If residents do not call or register for an appointment, they can still show up at the site and will be instructed to either register on their phone or call the number to schedule accordingly. The dates and locations are as follow:

May 11:

  • Armijo Recreation Center and Pool; 710 E 7th Ave, El Paso, TX
  • Nations Tobin Park; 8831 Railroad Dr., El Paso, TX
  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Library; 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd, El Paso, TX
  • Memorial Swimming Pool; 3251 Copper Ave., El Paso, TX

May 12 & 13:

  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Library; 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd, El Paso, TX
  • Memorial Swimming Pool; 3251 Copper Ave., El Paso, TX

May 14, 15 & 16:

  • Armijo Recreation Center and Pool; 710 E 7th Ave, El Paso, TX
  • Nations Tobin Park; 8831 Railroad Dr., El Paso, TX
  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Library; 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd, El Paso, TX
  • Memorial Swimming Pool; 3251 Copper Ave., El Paso, TX

For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

***

***(5/9/2020)

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting 46 new positive COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,322, the number of deaths remains at 32.

To-date 672 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 618 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 690 females and 632 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 82 patients hospitalized, and 40 of those are currently in ICU. It is estimated that as of today more than 12,000 tests have been performed.

“We want to again remind the community to keep our mother’s safe this Mother’s Day,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “Tomorrow is a day that we celebrate our mothers, but we have to remember that being in close contact with them places them in danger of getting this deadly virus. Remember that seniors are more susceptible to the dangers of this deadly virus. Don’t go visit your mom in-person. Do not have physical contact with her, but find different and creative ways to connect and celebrate with her.”

With few exceptions, the majority of COVID-19 patients who have died in El Paso County have been seniors who are the most vulnerable members of our community. It is important to remind everyone that COVID-19 infections can be prevented by staying home and keeping your distance from others that do not live in your immediate household.

Dr. Ocaranza reminds the public that whether you have symptoms or not, you may have the virus and not know it. We know now that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is asymptomatic, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in the amended directive, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our community. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, especially those who are the most vulnerable. This is why it is crucial to remain distant from anybody not living in the same household and wearing a face covering.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the El Paso Police Department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400. Any violation to the amended Emergency Directive will be issued a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. Anyone with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1.

Health questions about COVID-19 can be made by calling the 21-COVID hotline, which is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For referrals to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

***

***(5/8/2020)

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting two (2) additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 32. The patients with underlying health conditions include two males in their 60s.

El Paso is also reporting 86 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,276. To-date 643 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 601 active cases within the county.

Positive cases in El Paso County include 663 females and 612 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 83 patients who are hospitalized, and 47 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

The DPH has been working with the private laboratories, who are only required to report positive numbers, to obtain their total numbers. Based on this reporting, it is estimated that as of today more than 11,800 tests have been performed.

“It is another heartbreaking day for our community as we have the misfortune to report two new deaths due to COVID-19. We send our deepest condolences to the families of these two individuals,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority.

“Our community is once again seeing a considerable increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The number will continue to go up if residents do not take this pandemic seriously. I have said it over and over again that we must remain at home if possible, wear face coverings when out in public and continue to frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Again, I urge residents to take responsibility and do all the necessary preventative measures to keep themselves and others safe.”

On Monday, May 4, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order Number 21, which allows for the opening of more businesses. While it is important to support the local economy, health officials urge the community to review and follow the health prevention recommendations in the order to help slow the spread of the virus.

We know now that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in the amended directive, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our community. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the police department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400. 

Any violation to the amended Emergency Directive will be issued a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. Anyone with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1.

***

***(5/7/2020)

During a Thursday evening news conference Mayor Dee Margo and the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that the area has 1190 total COVID19 Cases, and an additional seven deaths raising the total to 30 in the area.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting seven (7) additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 30. The patients include four (4) males in their 80s, a male in his 70s, a female in her 60s and a female in her 40s, all of who had underlying health conditions.

El Paso is also reporting 71 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,190. To-date 619 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 541 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 625 females and 565 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 62patients who are hospitalized, and 40 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

“We once again are saddened to report seven new deaths due to COVID-19, and our hearts go out to the families of these seven individuals,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “We are now at 30 deaths in our community – one too many. We want to remind the public that the best defense against this deadly virus is staying home, practice social distancing and frequently washing your hands with soap and water. We are all vulnerable to contracting this deadly virus, so we must all do our part in order to stop the spread of this virus in our community.”

City and County officials have amended the current Local Emergency Directive in response to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order Number 21 issued on Monday, May 4 in an effort to stimulate the Texas economy. Part of the amended directive will go into effect on Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m. and will incrementally start to re-open the economy.

We know now that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk.

Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in the amended directive, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our community. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.

The amended directive will include changes to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020, some of which have already been implemented by the State of Texas:

City Facilities

  • City Facilities shall remain closed until further notice

o   All city parks and recreational areas and facilities, including City tennis courts, City basketball courts, hike and bike trails, public swimming pools, water parks, splash pads, public museums and public libraries.

o   The area near Socorro Independent School District Student Activities Complex (“SAC”) located near 1300 Joe Battle Boulevard.

o   The use or any type of recreational vehicle at any outdoor area is prohibited.

o   City parks will remain closed except for use of designated walking paths adjacent to streets, parks, or within public parks.

o   Franklin Mountains State Park shall remain closed until further directed by Texas State officials.

Outdoor Sports

  • Sports that do not include contact with other participants and have no more than four participants play the sport at a time.
  • The use of all private and public golf courses, private tennis courts and fishing is permitted in accordance to the guidelines.
  • Bars, sexually oriented businesses, interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys, video arcades, amusement parks, water parks, splash pads, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios shall remain closed until further notice.

Retail Stores

  • In-store retail services are allowed to operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the retail establishment.
  • Dine-in restaurant services, for restaurants that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the restaurant. Value services are prohibited except for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking.
  • Movie theaters may operate up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of any individual theater for any screening.
  • Shopping malls may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the shopping mall.

o   Food court dining areas, play areas and interactive displays and setting must remain closed until further notice or directed.

  • Wedding venues and services required to conduct weddings may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility.
  • Cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade may open by ensuring at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations.
  • Tanning salons must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations.
  • Private swimming pools (This does not apply to City-owned pools, which will remained closed.)

o   Indoor swimming pools may operate up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the pool facility

o   Outdoor swimming pools may operate at up to 25 percent of normal operating limits as determined by the pool operator.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020:

Offices

  • Offices consisting of more than five individuals or 25 percent of the total office workforce must adhere to maintaining appropriate social distancing.
  • Non-essential manufacturing services, for facilities that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility.

Gyms/Exercise Facilities

  • Classes must operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the gym or exercise facility.

o   Locker rooms and shower facilities must remain closed, but restrooms may open.

Churches/Places of Worship

  • At-risk population (those who are 65 or older, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system) are asked to watch or participate service remotely.
  • Facility designate an area inside and reserve for at-risk population, or offer a service for at-risk population attendees only.
  • Ensure proper spacing between attendees.
  • Alternate rows between attendees (every other row left empty).

The updated Local Directive once completed will be made available at www.epstrong.org under “Health Orders.”

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the police department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400. Any violation to the amended Emergency Directive will be issued a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. Anyone with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1.

Health questions about COVID-19 can be made by calling the 21-COVID hotline which is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For referral to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

***

***(5/6/2020) El Paso area has 1119 COVID positive cases, 23 deaths, 559 recoveries and 537 active cases

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting one (1) additional COVID-19 death, bringing the total number of deaths to 23. The male patient was in his 90s with underlying health conditions.

El Paso is also reporting 39 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 1,119. To-date 559 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 537 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 590 females and 529 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 68 patients who are hospitalized, and 39 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

The DPH has been working with the private laboratories, who are only required to report positive numbers, to obtain their total numbers. Based on this reporting, it is estimated that as of today more than 10,700 tests have been performed.

The majority of COVID-19 patients who have died in El Paso County have been seniors who are the most vulnerable members of our community. It is important to remind everyone that COVID-19 infections can be prevented by staying home and remaining distant from others that do not live in their immediate household.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority, reminds the public that whether you have symptoms or not, you may have the virus and not know it. This is why it is crucial to remain distant from anybody not living in the same household and wearing a face covering.

“We are saddened to report another death due to the virus, and we send our deepest condolences to his family,” Ocaranza said. “If you do not live in the same household with your parents, grandparents and other members of your extended family – do not physically visit them. You can still see and talk with them, but using a different method like FaceTime, phone calls, online meeting chats. The lives of the ones you love are worth more than a get together that can result in sharing or contracting the virus. We need everybody to do their part and take responsibility for their actions to reduce the spread of this deadly virus.”

***

***(5/6/2020) City: Parks remain closed during Mother’s Day Weekend

The City of El Paso reminds the public that gathering and picnicking at City parks and Franklin Mountain State Park during Mother’s Day Weekend is prohibited in order to protect family and friends from the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

“In order to protect our most vulnerable residents, we should all safely honor our loved ones through means other than gathering. This Mother’s Day, I urge El Pasoans to responsibly celebrate their families by continuing to follow social distancing guidelines,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo. “I remind the community we have the power to slow the spread of the virus through our own personal behavior.”

The Local Emergency Directive outlines that City-owned parks to include playgrounds, basketball courts, dog parks and skate parks remain closed until further notice.

Use of selected walking paths have reopened with social distancing guidelines in place.

Mother’s Day Weekend is one of the busiest for gatherings, but to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect families, residents are not allowed to gather at parks.

The City and County of El Paso also prohibit public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling. 

This means family get-togethers with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends who do not live in same household is banned as a preventative measure to stop COVID-19 from spreading.

Law enforcement and code enforcement officers will issue citations to those who do not adhere to the order. The use of McKelligon Canyon and Scenic Drive by the public remains prohibited.

The Local Emergency Directive allows for healthy outdoor activities such as walking, running or biking around neighborhoods and selected walking paths provided residents maintain the 6-foot social distancing requirement.

***

***(5/5/2020)

The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting 51 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s cumulative number to 1,080, the number of deaths remains at 22.

To-date 514 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 544 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 569 females and 511 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are 71 patients who are hospitalized, and 40 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

While private labs are only required to report positive numbers, the Department of Public Health has been working with the private laboratories to obtain their total numbers. Based on this reporting, it is estimated that more than 10,200 tests have been performed.

The Public Health Department will soon begin antibody testing with a subset of public safety and healthcare workers to allow staff to analyze the process in preparation to expand the special testing to the public. Antibody testing is a blood test that indicates if a person may have previously been exposed to COVID-19 and developed antibodies.

City and County officials are in the process of reviewing the current Local Emergency Directive in response to today’s Governor Greg Abbott’s amendments to expand business openings in an effort to re-open the Texas economy.

“We can only continue to re-open our economy if the community does their part to social distance, wear face coverings and not gather,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “It is critical everyone, businesses and residents, follow these guidelines so we do not jeopardize our public health.”

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority, reminds the public that El Paso County is still seeing positive cases on a daily basis and for that reason must still work to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“If you love your mom, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, any mother figure in your life show them your love them by not visiting them in person this Mother’s Day. Give them the gift of health and life, and keep them safe from COVID-19,” Ocaranza said.

“Stop making excuses on why it is ok to visit family members and friends who do not live in your immediate household. Social gatherings are simply not allowed. Meaning social gatherings consist of anyone who does not live in your immediate household, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. are prohibited. We need everyone to please take this serious and take care of each other and not risk losing a loved one.”

The public is reminded again that face coverings are locally mandated, but they are not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household.

Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

It is recommended that face coverings be cleaned daily. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their face covering and wash their hands before and after removing the covering.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the police department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400. Anyone with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1.

Health questions about COVID-19 can be made by calling the 21-COVID hotline which is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For referral to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org

***

*** (5/5/2020)

Governor Abbott announced Tuesday that barbershop and hair salons in Texas can open this Friday, May 8th.  The announcement came during a Tuesday afternoon news conference where Abbott announced other upcoming dates for specific industries within the state to open.

Also allowed to open at the end of this week would be nail salons; so long as social distancing and other guidelines are followed. Abbott said that gyms in the state would be allowed to open on May 18th.

Guidelines for hair stylists include the mandate that they will be able to only work with one customer at a time. For barber shops customers waiting for service, they will have to maintain 6 foot separation or wait outside.

The guidelines for gyms are a bit stricter, as they can only operate at a maximum of 25% of capacity; showers and locker rooms will be closed, and equipment must be disinfected after each use.

As far as bars, the Governor said that the state is in the process of developing guidelines for those businesses to reopen safely.

Abbott’s announcement comes almost a week after businesses in the state reopened in what some described as ‘Phase 1,’ with restaurants and some stores welcomed back customers, albeit at 25% of the business’ customer capacity.

*** (5/4/2020)

The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting 31 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s cumulative number to 1,029, the number of deaths remains at 22.

To-date 486 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 521 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 540 females and 489 males; see accompanying graphics and map.

There are 65 patients who are hospitalized, and 38 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU. Health staff reported a clerical error in the hospitalization numbers reported yesterday which should have been 59 hospitalized, 38 in ICU and 18 on ventilators.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority, reminds the public to continue following the City and County’s Local Directives, which include wearing face coverings and avoiding social gatherings, especially as we approach Mother’s Day weekend.

“Residents need to understand that social gathering are not allowed,” Ocaranza said. “Going shopping or out to eat with anyone that does not live with you such as your extended family or friends is not allowed. If you must go to the store, then please go alone and keep it to a minimum and try to avoid being out of your home. Take responsibility for yourself in order to keep our community safe.”

The public is reminded again that face coverings are locally mandated, but they are not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household. Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

It is recommended that face coverings be cleaned daily. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their face covering and wash their hands before and after removing the covering.

***

***998 cases of COVID19, No new deaths, total at 22; DPH share that 474 people have recovered, leaving 502 active cases within the county (5/3/2020)

The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting 12 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s cumulative number to 998, the number of deaths remains at 22.

To-date 474 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 502 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 522 females and 476 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are now 31 patients who are hospitalized, and 21of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

The community needs to understand that this is not over,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority.

“People are still testing positive for COVID-19 and we need to see more decreases in order to claim a flattening of our curve. The danger still lurks in our community, especially as we approach Mother’s Day weekend, and each of us must still take responsibility to slow the spread of the virus and protect our most vulnerable loved ones. We want to remind everyone that family gatherings with anyone who is not in your immediate household means that you are placing your loved ones—such as your mothers, aunts and grandmothers—at risk of contracting the virus. We need everyone to please take this serious and take care of each other.”

The City and County of El Paso prohibit public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit is prohibited. As has been stated, this means visiting your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends who do not live in same household as you is prohibited as a preventative measure to stop COVID-19 from spreading.

***

*** (5/2/2020)

The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting 25 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s cumulative number to 986, the number of deaths remains at 22.

To-date 455 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 509 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 519 females and 467 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are now 61 patients who are hospitalized, and 39 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

“We need residents to understand that this virus does not discriminate, it attacks all ages and we need everybody to adhere and abide by our directive,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “If you do not need to be out of your home, don’t! You are putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. People are dying and others are in the ICU. Don’t think this can’t happen to you or the ones you love; practice social distancing as best you can, wear your face covering when out in public and wash your hands with soap and water!”

The City and County of El Paso prohibit public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit is prohibited.

This means visiting your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends who do not live in same household as you is prohibited as a preventative measure to stop COVID-19 from spreading.

***

*** City’s total COVID19 cases now 961, Additional death raises toll to 22 (5/1/2020)

The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting one (1) additional COVID-19 death, bringing the total number of deaths to 22. The male patient was in his 60s with underlying health conditions.

El Paso is also reporting 37 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 961. To-date 419 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 520 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 505 females and 458 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are now 58 patients who are hospitalized, and 30 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

“We are saddened to report another death due to the virus, and we send our deepest condolences to his family,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “As I have said over and over again, stay home! Please don’t go out if you don’t have to, don’t visit friends or families who don’t live under your same roof.”

Ocaranza said there is a strong correlation between the Easter break and the spike in positive cases, and he warns that the community will very likely see another spike in cases—or worse, a rise in deaths—due to social gathers expected to occur during the Mother’s Day weekend.

“If you absolutely must go out, wear a face covering because anyone, even those without symptoms, can spread the virus. If you must go to the store or to the mall do so quickly and then go home,” Ocaranza added. “If you insist on going to a restaurant, only do so with family who live in the same household. Wear a mask when entering the restraint and remove it when you are eating or drinking. It is about using common sense to protect your loved ones. Don’t put yourself or your family at risk.”

The Local Emergency Directive has been amended due to the ongoing upward trend in cases. El Pasoans must adhere to wearing a face covering when out conducting essential business or tasks.

The updated directive is available at www.epstrong.org under “Health Orders.”

The directive does not alter Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders as Texas cities are not prohibited from mandating the use of face coverings, but local governments are not allowed to fine or jail people for failing to do so.

The City and County of El Paso also prohibited public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit is prohibited.

Plainly, this means visiting your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends who do not live in same household as you is prohibited as a preventative measure to stop COVID-19 from spreading.

A face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household.

Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand-washing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

It is also recommended that the face coverings be cleaned daily. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their face covering and wash their hands immediately after removing the covering.

Testing in Rural Communities

The Office of Emergency Management has been working with the Texas Department of Emergency Management to provide additional testing sites for the County’s rural communities. The dates and locations are as follow, please note a correction by the State for the Fabens and Horizon locations:

May 12

  • Fabens: El Paso County ESD2 District Office, 16001 Socorro Rd., Fabens TX
  • Montana Vista: Montana Vista Fire Station 2, 5411 Paso View Dr., El Paso, TX

May 13

  • San Elizario: San Elizario Fire Station-1415 San Antonio Rd., San Elizario, TX
  • Horizon: Horizon First Baptist Church; 17018 Darrington, Horizon, TX
  • Vinton:  West Valley Fire Department: 510 Vinton Rd, Anthony, TX

Citizens are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400. Testing is open to all regardless of location of residence.

The goal is to test 60 individuals per site; however, additional testing may be available depending on demand and availability.

The time of the testing will be from 9am to 5pm. If residents do not call or register for an appointment, they can still show up at the site and will be instructed to either register on their phone or call the number to schedule accordingly.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the police department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400 or 3-1-1. The 21-COVID hotline is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For referral to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

 

***

*** El Paso DPH: 924 cases of COVID19, Deaths now at 21 (4/30/2020)

The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting three (3) additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 21. The patients include a male in his 50s, a female in her 70s and a female in her 80s, all of who had underlying health conditions.

El Paso is also reporting 37 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 924. To-date 397 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 506 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 486 females and 438 males; see accompanying graphics and map. There are now 53 patients who are hospitalized, and 31 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

“We are disappointed to report another three deaths due to COVID-19, and our hearts go out to their families. The deaths we have seen are mostly made up of the most vulnerable and there is a strong correlation between the Easter break and the spike in positive cases,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We want to remind everyone that gatherings with anyone who is not in your immediate household means that you are placing your loved ones—your mothers and grandmothers—at risk of contracting the virus. We need everyone to please take this serious and take care of each other.”

EMERGENCY DIRECTIVE AMENDED: Face Coverings Required, Gatherings Prohibited

Due in large part to the ongoing upward trend in positive cases, Mayor Dee Margo, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza are amending the current Local Emergency Directive to make face coverings mandatory and prohibit all public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit.

The updated Directive once completed will be made available at www.epstrong.org under “Health Orders.”

All individuals over the age of two (2), are required to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while outside of their home or residence. A face covering may include cloth masks such as bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters that fit snugly but comfortable against the face secured with ties or ear loops.

Parents and guardians of children over the age of two (2) and under the age of ten (10) shall be responsible for appropriately masking children when outside their residence.

A face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household.

Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand-washing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the use of simple cloth face coverings can slow the spread of the virus by helping people, who may have the virus and do not know it, from transmitting it to others. (See: CDC Website)

It is also recommended that the face coverings be cleaned daily. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their face covering and wash their hands immediately after removing the covering.

TESTING EXPANDED: Locations Added to Region’s Rural Communities

The Office of Emergency Management has been working with the Texas Department of Emergency Management to provide additional testing sites for the County’s rural communities. The dates and locations are as follow:

  • May 12

o   Fabens: Fabens Fire Station-16001 Socorro Rd., Fabens, TX

o   Montana Vista: Montana Vista Fire Station 2, 5411 Paso View Dr., El Paso, TX

  • May 13

o   San Elizario: San Elizario Fire Station-1415 San Antonio Rd., San Elizario, TX

o   Horizon: Horizon First Baptist Church; 12018 Darrington Rd., Horizon, TX

o   Vinton:  West Valley Fire Department: 510 Vinton Rd, Anthony, TX

Citizens are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400. Testing is open to all regardless of location of residence. The goal is to test 60 individuals per site; however, additional testing may be available depending on demand and availability.

The time of the testing will be from 9am to 5pm. If residents do not call or register for an appointment, they can still show up at the site and will be instructed to either register on their phone or call the number to schedule accordingly.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the police department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400 or 3-1-1. The 21-COVID hotline is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For referral to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

**

About Staff Report

Staff Reports are just that, Staff Reporting the news. No skew, no opinion just the news. We pride ourselves on making sure that we bring you the news as soon as it is published, submitted or sent to us. No need to have a reporter rewrite or give their opinion. The facts or information, nothing more.

Check Also

El Paso-area Coronavirus Archive Stories from April 8th thru April 21st

This archive page of our El Paso-area Coronavirus Information has releases and information from April 8th …

PBP_728
Spring Training 728
Utep Football Generic 728
john overall 728×90
Emergence June 11 – Sep 11, 2020 728
Get Shift Done 728
Covid-19 Fund 728
TRLA_728
ENTERPRISE 728
EMERGENCE MINDFUL 728.90
Elizabeth 728
Mountains 728