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Coronavirus

Mayor urges ‘stay home’ as El Paso shatters virus record with 1,161 new cases, hospitals hit capacity

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso County shattered a pandemic record Thursday as health officials announced 1,161 new Covid-19 cases and four coronavirus-related deaths, with one of those victims in her 40s.

The county of El Paso over the past 24 hours has recorded more new coronavirus cases than 30 states in the nation, according to an ABC-7 examination of case data published by the New York Times.

The number of active cases increased to 9,406, which is a also an all-time pandemic high and makes 16 days in row of record-setting infection counts.

These record-breaking numbers prompted city and health leaders to hold a briefing Thursday afternoon, at which time Mayor Dee Margo asked all El Pasoans to "stay home" for two weeks and only go out when absolutely essential. He said any order for a full city shutdown would need to come from the governor, who he has been in contact with.

With data showing many El Pasoans are getting infected at stores and restaurants, officials said compliance task forces would be visiting businesses to ensure Covid-19 guidelines are being followed; the task force can issue citations to violators.

Margo also announced the use of city parks would be restricted to walking trails only; he said no athletic league or tournament play of any kind would now be allowed in parks - which had become a gathering spot for people.

The latest fatalities reported Thursday due to the virus were all women, one each in their 40s, 60s, 70s and 90s. Officials predicted the death toll would grow over the next few weeks because hospitals are overflowing right now with Covid patients.

"Our hospitals are hitting capacity," Margo said, adding that the bulk of 911 medical calls currently being handled the city's firefighters also involve Covid-19.

Hospitalizations dipped slightly Thursday from 578 to 571. However, the number of intensive care unit patients increased to 159, an all-time high.

The Texas Department of State Health Services told ABC-7 on Thursday that it had already deployed 581 doctors, nurses and respiratory personnel to help at El Paso hospitals and were sending another 150 by the weekend.

"Today’s spike is part of an overall increase in cases seen over the last month due in part to ongoing community spread," Margo said, as officials outlined four key factors said to be driving the rapid rise of infections locally:

·        Individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 are not following proper health protocol and are not isolating;

·        Residents are continuing to host or attend house parties, social gatherings or family gatherings;

·        Residents are not wearing face masks while out in public or around people that do not live in the same household;

·        Individuals who have tested positive are not being cooperative with Contact Tracers by failing to answer their calls, provide accurate information, or do not adhere to their recommendations.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the City/County Health Authority, said police officers were being utilized to deliver quarantine orders to those individuals known to be infected but failing to self-isolate.

Health experts noted their data showed infections and spread of the virus are particularly prevalent in 20 and 30 year olds, which is the age bracket cited as the biggest offenders of not following safety guidelines while out in public.

Since the start of the pandemic, El Paso has recorded 36,025 confirmed virus cases, with 25,875 reported recoveries - although doctors note that some recovered persons may still experience long-term health issues from having been infected.

For a complete look at El Paso's Covid-19 data, click here.

El Paso / Health / News / Top Stories / Video

Mauricio Casillas

El Paso native Mauricio Casillas co-anchors ABC-7’s Good Morning El Paso.

Jim Parker

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

Comments

53 Comments

          1. They always mean YOU, you Nitwit. Who else but the dummy who goes by the handle AV? Bet you hold Mike’s dick when he pisses, too.😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          2. I go by that handle to piss you off and it works. Making you sound like a right winger. Too funny.

    1. So Fero2a who is your friend madmike also goes by the name AlbertVelarde (a man he hates) and Danlanders on here yet you keep talking smack about this Alberto guy. Does not make any sense. You guys seriously have too much time on your hands. The nursing home should provide you guys with more activities. Maybe coloring a Confederate flag with crayons will make you guys feel better. #prayersforthementallyill

      1. See you are really dumb. No relationship so you get no cigar. Alberto Velarde is very real though. We know it is you moron. You can’t hide. I’m playing with my Trump yard sign moron and enjoying my well earned retirement loser.

          1. Fero never has anything better to do but to be up in here probably on all the other news outlet comment sections. This man gets 0 ass I bet. Only from big poof

      2. Unlike you, I have two memos in my vehicle, one from the U.S. Attorney General, and one from the Garrison Commander, that state I am essential and allowed to go anywhere in the United States and Fort Bliss. You stay home, since you are certainly NOT essential for anything, you useless pissant!

          1. You are anything but “essential”. In fact, you’re the most non-essential person I’ve come in contact with in the last 30 years.

  1. Can’t wait till Abbot opens the Bars so Mike can go get his Covid19 on the rocks at his favorite hole in the wall. Only way he’ll shut up and quit posting dumb shit.

    1. I’d say a good draconian measure is to stay away from whites like you throwing tantrums regarding masks. Waaaaaawaaaaaa Wuuu girt rites!!!!!! Go jr!!!!

    1. But they will continue the COVID19 panic porn until after the election. After that all they will be ranting about is getting rid of the electoral college again.

  2. If people who have tested positive refuse to quarantine and cooperate with tracers, they should be jailed on a wing in the jail dedicated to such dangerous folks.

    1. That’s ridiculous. That’s like saying that all the fat slops who sit around stuffing their faces with cheese burgers and burritos need to be arrested because their irresponsible behavior is leading to heart disease and diabetes which is driving our health care costs sky high and ultimately could contribute to them having a “COVID-related” death. You’re an idiot.

          1. Fero2A, you cannot be a communist and a facist. Get an education. There are opportunities everywhere.

    1. Man are you stupid. Sorry no relationship. But we know you are that loser Alberto Velarde and his sidekick markturner. One of his 25 psycho schizo personalities. There is only one me but many of you springing up. Especially when you are outnumbered. LMAO.

  3. Lol. RINO Dee won’t stay at home.

    His fatass will be at the country club, smoking big cigars and drinking martinis – that the taxpayer subsidies.

    Eff off Dee.

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