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El Paso County Judge to impose more restrictions if virus surge stays; deputies to enforce orders

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego intends to impose further restrictions if the alarming rate of coronavirus spread continues in the community, he said at a news conference Thursday evening.

His warning came as El Paso County shattered a pandemic record earlier Thursday with 1,161 new Covid-19 cases reported, as well as reaching an all-time high 9,406 active infections.

El Paso Sheriff's Commander Ryan Urrutia said deputies were being called upon and would step up enforcement of existing health orders. He said citations issued for face mask violations carry fines of up to $250 and as much as $500 for house gatherings.

Urrutia and Samaniego also emphasized that law enforcement would be ensuring that restaurants and bars are closed by 9 p.m. as was ordered last week.

Samaniego said he was also immediately ordering the temporary two-week shutdown of all county facilities, including parks and the Ascarate golf course. He also called on all residents to limit travel.

At a separate briefing earlier in the day, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo also urged residents to "stay home" over the next two weeks except for essential activities. Margo warned that local hospitals had hit their capacity.

Health officials appearing alongside the judge indicated new beds were being added at hospitals across the Borderland: 60 at Las Palmas Del Sol, 80 at Hospitals of Providence and 160 at University Medical Center.

The judge said he had sent a formal request to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seeking additional help, most notably utilizing the old William Beaumont Army hospital to provide additional space to treat Covid-19 patients. Already, the governor has said 460 medical personnel and equipment are being sent to El Paso hospitals to help in treating patients.

Health experts have warned that the current surge in infections and hospitalizations will likely lead to more deaths over the next few weeks. Officials noted county morgue capacity is currently around 30%.

El Paso / Health / News / Top Stories

Jim Parker

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



        1. Judging by social media, depending on who you support, Biden handed it to Trump or Trump handed it to Biden. There’s no middle ground. The 25 or so people left in the US that were undecided last night have yet to say anything.

  1. Another coward playing with the lives of innocent people keeping them locked up while he gets paid no matter what happens to the citizens of El Paso. What an idiot. Bet he doesn’t apply these rules to his own family just like hiding biden.

  2. Don’t see how he has the power to mandate more restrictions by himself. Is he trying to emulate the Michigan governor? LOL As I recall, it was his kids that flouted and broke the “shelter in place” rules back in March/April.

  3. What the hec is with all these mask huggers? People are wearing masks everywhere we go, you cant even get in anywhere without one. Geeezus shut up about the masks already.

    1. Maybe the fake judge will deputize the fake mark turner, so he can put on his brown shirt and play storm trooper. Bye the way, Biden got his ass handed to him last night.

        1. What nationwode polls nitwit? The ones that have Democrat/Libturd and anti-Trumpers oversampled. Your bogus polls will make you look like a jackass in a few weeks.

        2. Again, people who respond to those polls are the same idiots who think that Trumps reference to coyotes was actual coyotes. They also think that Hunters laptop is Russian disinformation. You of all people should know that Biden supporters are the most uneducated and/or misinformed people on the planet.

  4. Wait til they decide to stop the election for our safety. Then they will try to take over using the courts. Thats why they are fighting tooth and nail to stop acb

        1. Biden supporters are so uninformed and uneducated. Twitter was blowing up last night because they though Trump was saying that ACTUAL Coyotes were dragging Mexican kids across the border. Biden supporters are morons.

        2. ACB will be confirmed but the post debate polls favored Sleepy Joe. He told one lie but everything the orange buffoon said was a lie. The fact checkers caught them all. The orange buffoon lives in a separate reality from most Americans and that’s what is costing him the election.

          1. Someone needs to fact check your delusional mind nitwit. Biden lied about his dealings with China and about the laptop from hell that he claimed was Russian not his son’s. Obviously he was lying. You can tell when he lies. His eyes get all squinty and he looks straight into the camera. The chickens are coming home to roost for the Biden crime family. Obvious you didn’t watch the debate.

          2. ChiCom Joe as clearly the one lying. He did not state one fact and Trump called him oujt on everyone.

  5. Off topic but no reasonable sane person that actually watched the complete 90 minute debate can come up with the conclusion that Biden won. TRUMP/PENCE 2020!!!!!!

        1. “Fact checkers.” Yeah. Sure. Liberal propogandists and Biden protectors is more like it. They have a reputation for dismissing facts that are actually on record.

  6. Losers to the very end and shriller and shriller with self denial guiding their every statement. Its really kind of sad to see grown men living in an alternate reality and being completely incapable of maturely discussing their positions.

    1. Look, let’s talk about the 3 Biden lies that will cause the biggest destruction of the US and forget about the other dozen lies for a minute. First, healthcare. He lied about the private option. The private option IS medicare for all. When Trump said that 160 million Americans will lose their healthcare he was mostly talking about those of us who get healthcare through our employer. We will lose that under Bidens plan. It won’t exist anymore. We will ne FORCED to go under his government plan which will cost us 100’s of trillions of dollars. Second, his son took money from China and then gave a portion to his dad. He did not provide any service or product for that money. He SOLD ACCESS TO HIS DAD. Therefore, China owns him. Third, killing the oil and gas industry will kill America and along with it most it’s jobs and production. Almost every industry in the world relies on the oil and gas industry including the worthless wind and solar industry. For those 3 reason alone (not including his socialistic economic plan….er non plan) Biden cannot be President. He will destroy America and China will take over. That’s a fact. If you want a fourth I would include his mental instability. He is unfit for ANY office.

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