In light of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order No. 36, officials in the El Paso County Judge’s Office say they have been working diligently with the County Attorney’s Office to discuss what options the County has as the Governor’s Order will go into effect Friday night at 11:59pm.
“My priority will always be the health and safety of our community,” said County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego.
“Wearing a mask is the simplest way to keep those around you safe until we reach herd immunity. As we prepare for the full reopening of El Paso’s land ports of entry, I call upon each El Pasoan to seize the opportunity to save lives, avoid setback, and model an unwavering commitment to the welfare of the most vulnerable within our borderland by wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing.”
The County Judge’s release goes on to state:
Although El Paso County is fortunate to be experiencing a decrease in new COVID-19 cases and deaths, the same is not true in El Paso’s sister city, Juarez, who in April 2021 instituted shut downs in an effort to contain a three-fold increase in COVID-19 cases.
El Paso is uniquely situated directly next to a country still struggling to obtain sufficient vaccine doses for its population.
While over 50% of the population over 12 years of age in El Paso is fully vaccinated, Juarez has managed to vaccinate less than 10% of its population of 1.5 million.
Although other Texas counties are geographically insulated, El Pasoans remain at risk until more people along both sides of the El Paso-Juarez border are vaccinated. El Pasoans who have not yet been immunized against COVID-19 are encouraged to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In order to remain responsive to the pandemic, the County of El Paso developed phases for reconstitution of operations.
- The El Paso County Commissioners Court took action on May 10th to enter Phase 1 of the County’s Reconstitution of Operations Plan which allows flexibility for departments to slowly transition their employees back to the worksite by 25%.
- The Commissioners Court will consider moving into Phase 2 of the County’s Reconstitution of Operations Plan in the coming weeks based on the community’s immunization rate, positivity rate, hospitalization rate and other criteria presented by the City-County Local Health Authority, Dr. Hector Ocaranza.
Officials add that El Paso County will no longer be requiring masks to enter County buildings, however, members of the Judiciary may require masks in their courtrooms during in-person hearings.
“Constituents will continue to pass a health screening as they enter County buildings and will need to social distance as much as possible,” officials added.
Members of the public are encouraged to use alternate methods to conduct business via the County’s website, telephone, email or similar systems developed to make constituent services more convenient.
Visit the county’s website to view a list of departments and services that are being offered online. If you must enter the County Courthouse, please make sure to make an appointment in advance.
For more information view the County’s Stay Safe Order No. 17 via the County’s website at Order-No-17.pdf (epcounty.com).