Friday afternoon, the Department of Public Health advised the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department to suspend all City Leagues for two weeks as a precaution due to recent spikes of confirmed COVID-19 cases and growth of cases in youth population.
“Physical activity, especially sports, is important to the overall physical and mental well-being of our residents; however, we cannot ignore the ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations we have seen this week,” said City-County Health Authority Hector Ocaranza.
“We continue to closely monitor the situation in order to provide further guidance and recommendations to the various entities seeking direction. Today we have advised the Parks & Recreation Department to pause City’s sports league to help the community reduce the spread of COVID-19 and avoid unnecessary exposure by postponing City sports for two weeks.”
In the next two weeks alone the more than 460 practices and games for municipal sports leagues would involve between 4,000 and 7,000 athletes in practices and games, not counting staff, spectators and youth guardians.
Teams and families have been notified of the suspension. The Parks and Recreation Sports Division staff are working with teams on re-scheduling when possible and issuing refunds.
The community is reminded that there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Additionally, it is estimated that one in five people who test positive are asymptomatic, meaning these COVID-19 positive individuals showed no symptoms and, if they did not follow preventive measures, they may have infected their loved ones and others around them.
“The worrisome trend of COVID-19 we are experiencing must motivate all of us to strictly adhere to our persistent echo that urges everyone to limit your interactions, practice social distancing, wash your hands often with soap and water, and wear a face covering,” Ocaranza said.
Residents who might have been exposed are urged to visit EPStrong.org and schedule a COVID-19 test at one of the various City and State sites that offer free testing.
Individuals who test and receive notification of positive results from a laboratory are asked to immediately home isolate and contact public health at (915) 212-6520 if not contacted within 24 hours from obtaining results.