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Coronavirus

New El Paso restrictions as virus cases, hospitalizations reach all-time high

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso officials are imposing new restrictions on restaurants and some businesses as new daily cases of the coronavirus soared to an all-time high of 717, along with 20 delayed positives, for a tally of 737 on Thursday.

It is an "unprecedented amount of new cases," observed Mayor Dee Margo at a news conference.

There are now a record 6,887 active infections among a total of 30,624 cases since the start of the pandemic. There was also one additional death - a man in his 80s - reported Thursday to raise El Paso's death toll to 554.

The hospitalization rate due to Covid-19 in El Paso County has now risen to a whopping 28%, the mayor indicated, also the highest of the pandemic.

State health officials noted that there were just six intensive care unit beds available on Thursday throughout all of the El Paso area hospitals. Of the 438 patients hospitalized Thursday, 111 were in the ICU, according to El Paso health department statistics.

Margo and City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza announced the following "strong restrictions on activities in our community to slow the spread" as of 12:01 a.m. Friday...

  • Occupancy is rolled back to 50% for all non-essential business.
  • Restaurants must close at 9 p.m., except for take-out/drive-thru
  • Visits to nursing homes and elderly care facilities are put on hold
  • Gatherings in parks are limited to 10 or less
  • Indoor sports cancelled, no spectators for outdoor sports (doesn't apply to UTEP, Locomotive)
  • No home gatherings are permitted
  • Note: Election polling places are unaffected by restrictions
  • Reminder: Halloween trick-or treating will not be allowed

Fire Chief Mario D'Agostino said the city's enforcement task force would be issuing citations to those violators who fail to follow the new restrictions.

"Today’s spike is part of an overall increase in cases seen over the last week due to community spread believed to be caused by Covid-19 fatigue resulting in residents letting their guard down," the mayor said.

Public Health Director Angela Mora added that more than half of the new cases are among El Pasoans between 20 and 49.

“We make a call to the millennials and all the other people out there partying and wearing their masks on their necks to please listen and work with us,” Mora said.

Margo said he talked with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about the city’s new restrictions and Abbott didn’t voice any concerns.

“We’ve been in constant contact with the governor, and he knows exactly what we have implemented. We’re fine,” Margo said.

During a news conference later Thursday in El Paso to announce a Texas Supreme Court pick, Abbott was asked about El Paso's restrictions and said the mayor was acting within his authority.

"Local officials do have levels of flexibility to make sure they are able to contain the spread of Covid-19, and it appears that is exactly what Mayor Margo is doing," Abbott said.

Earlier this week, the governor announced the state was sending a team of 75 additional medical personnel to the area to help local officials treat patients. Those reinforcements have arrived, Margo confirmed.

That was on top of 169 professionals the state had already sent. The state is also sending an additional 2 million masks and a cumulative 4 million pieces of personal protective equipment to El Paso, Abbott said.

“We will continue to surge resources to the El Paso region until the time El Paso has Covid contained,” the governor said on Thursday.

For a look at complete El Paso health department data on Covid-19, you can visit EPStrong.org (The Texas Tribune and Associated Press contributed to this report.)

El Paso / Health / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

52 Comments

  1. What a shithole city we live in. Can’t even have a press conference correctly. Retirement can’t come soon enough so I can get the hell out of here.

    1. I did my second retirement in May, but we are staying until my wife retires. We have looked at properties in central Texas, the Gulf Coast, Italy, Ireland and Switzerland. Switzerland is the only country that allows you t keep US citizenship, and bring your firearms too.

          1. Just what the Swiss immigration authorities are looking for. A mentally disturbed American Republican right wing zealot who wants to bring his guns into the country.😏

          2. Until recently all healthy Swiss men aged between 18 and 34 are obliged to do military service and all are issued assault rifles and pistols which they are supposed to keep at home.

  2. “Today’s spike is part of an overall increase in cases seen over the last week due to community spread believed to be caused by Covid-19 fatigue resulting in residents letting their guard down.” Right, a highly contagious virus that can’t be stopped by all this foolish mask nonsense is our fault. Morons.

    1. I see people going about their business wearing masks but obviously they don’t work or effectively. You can’t filter a microbe that’s about 2 microns in size with a crappy mask. That’s like not having an air filter in your car.

          1. In 19 days we won’t have to respond to your fake news and lies. You’ll be in meltdown mode just like back in 2016.

      1. That’s exactly where you belong MAGA. You will be content there and what few people are there share your warped world view so it will be a comfortable place for you. Idaho would be good too. I have to agree that Wyoming would be nice. Especially in the communities around Yellowstone.

    2. We got our flu shots yesterday and the pharmacist said that they are already starting to fill prescriptions for flu relief type medications. I can’t help but wonder if these higher numbers are including the seasonal flu. Remember, hospitals get relief funding for China virus diagnosis but not for the flu. Follow the money.

    3. Just a week ago, over 6,000 scientists joined together in signing a petition calling for the government lockdowns to cease. According to experts, the lockdowns were having an irreparable effect on society. While some are in favor, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed course on the matter when they told reporters the lockdowns should be avoided.

      Talking to The Spectator, Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, told reporters, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”

    1. It works very well. Trouble is that we’ve stopped doing it and we have started gathering in homes and bars that have obtained restaurant permits from the TABC.

      1. B.S. You are so full of it as usual. I haven’t seen one person in El Paso not wearing a face mask or socual distancing. Get out of your libturd bubble nitwit. BTW You do know it was sarcasm. rofl.

  3. there is a huge jump in numbers for sure and people are sick so restrictions are in order. What is not surprising to me is unveiling of the “does not apply to” list. Expect that to get larger and used more openly…..rules for thee

    1. They said no Easter, no mothers day, no Memorial day, no fathers day, no 4th of July, no Labor day, no Halloween and now probably no Thanksgiving and no Christmas. This isn’t just an attempt to drive us into socialism and government dependence but its an attack on the traditional family unit.

      1. It’s not false information. Of course no leftist media will report on it nitwit. Just like they won’t cover the Biden Burisma scandal that just came out and more came out today. Your buddy Joe is in hiding. The October surprise backfired on Demoturds. Be careful what you wish for.

      2. Getting tired of having to educate constantly.
        *
        The CDC study, which surveyed symptomatic COVID-19 patients, has found that 70.6% of respondents reported “always” wearing a mask, while an additional 14.4% say they “often” wear a mask. That means a whopping 85% of infected COVID-19 patients reported habitual mask wearing. Only 3.9% of those infected said they “never” wear a face covering.
        *
        Here’s the link to the actual report. It has some big words so you might struggle a bit. try your best. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm

          1. I’ve got the Biden family theme song:

            You like subpoena coladas…..

            Getting caught in Ukraine…..

            If your dad’s into children…

            But you are into cocaine….

            If you like making deals at midnight…

            Over the internet….

            If you want to buy influence…

            Just slip me a big check…

        1. Read the report on the link in your post. You are mistaken in your conclusions about the report. It never said what you are setting forth. Masks and social distancing work but we have to be diligent about it and we’ve stopped that by going to bars and cafes and going to enclosed spaces with too many people. And we have the big white trash meet and greets sponsored by the orange buffoon which aren’t helping.

          1. 70% always wear masks 15% almost always do. It says that.
            *
            People in El Paso are following the rules. I go to restaurants and Walmart or albertsons regularly. People are wearing masks and social distancing. I don’t see gatherings in my neighborhood. Something doesn’t add up.

          2. What doesn’t add up is fake news markturner. Where does he dream up his responses? Nothing but pure leftist propaganda and rhetoric. What does add up is he is one blithering idiot not to be trusted.

          3. Just a week ago, over 6,000 scientists joined together in signing a petition calling for the government lockdowns to cease. According to experts, the lockdowns were having an irreparable effect on society. While some are in favor, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed course on the matter when they told reporters the lockdowns should be avoided.

            Talking to The Spectator, Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, told reporters, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”

      3. Just a week ago, over 6,000 scientists joined together in signing a petition calling for the government lockdowns to cease. According to experts, the lockdowns were having an irreparable effect on society. While some are in favor, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed course on the matter when they told reporters the lockdowns should be avoided.

        Talking to The Spectator, Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, told reporters, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.” dumb ass fake turner.

  4. Because you can’t stop it. There has to be herd immunity via vaccine. And people need to keep themselves healthy. If you’re going to get obese, use tobacco, drink in excess or any other bad life style choices viruses and infections will kill you much easier.

  5. ust a week ago, over 6,000 scientists joined together in signing a petition calling for the government lockdowns to cease. According to experts, the lockdowns were having an irreparable effect on society. While some are in favor, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed course on the matter when they told reporters the lockdowns should be avoided.

    Talking to The Spectator, Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, told reporters, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”

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