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El Paso’s virus spread increasingly due to infected people who show no signs

EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso County Commissioners received some important updates on Monday from local medical and hospital administrators about the city's ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day came from Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza.

According to Dr. Ocaranza and his work studying the impact of the virus in El Paso, roughly 1 in 4 coronavirus cases are being transmitted by way of asymptotic carriers, representing a stern warning as the community continues to open back up.

The commissioners also heard from University Medical Center's Chief Executive Officer Jacob Cintron.

Cintron was asked if any budgetary issues have been hurting his staff's ability to work.

"We have not had a reduction in force," Cintron said. "We have not done any furloughing. We did not want to add another burden putting them on furlough, knowing if we did that, for many the financial implications would not be recoverable."

There was also some good news regarding the ability of El Paso medical facilities to keep up with demands for personal protective equipment.

"While we do have the occasional shortage we work very hard with all the other hospitals in terms of building up our PPE and when there is a shortage in one location we try to help each other out."

He also spoke to the hospital's level of preparedness against a second wave of infections.

"In terms of a resurgence, we certainly hope it does not happen," he said. "As of today we have 27 Covid-19 positive patients at UMC and that is lower than what we've been running."

But he added that hospital cases aren't the only important measurement for how healthy the county is and that he has been concerned by seeing people stop wearing their masks outside.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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