EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Sunday afternoon ordered a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew daily due to El Paso's coronavirus crisis.
The curfew will be in effect for both the county and city starting Sunday night and continuing for two weeks. Law enforcement agencies will enforce the curfew along with the face mask requirement and other mandates, he said.
The judge said El Paso's sheriff, police chief and constables had all been directed to enforce the orders, which he indicated has the support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
The one exception to the curfew is for those engaged in work involving essential services, Samaniego said. He also indicated that business not following existing health guidelines face the prospect of being shut down by authorities.
School districts have been advised they should postpone high school football and other sports events for the next two weeks, Samaniego said.
The judge made his announcements at a news conference where he declared that "all hospitals have reached capacity." (You can watch the news conference in the video player at the end of this article. It begins about 13 minutes into the recording.)
Earlier Sunday, El Paso topped 11,000 active virus cases as local hospitals experienced a 300% increase in patients.
Officials have also announced that the El Paso Convention Center will be converted into a makeshift hospital, with the federal government also sending aid.
Also this weekend, there was a state request made to use the old William Beaumont Army hospital to house non-Covid patients - and there was a plan put into place by local hospitals to airlift some patients to hospitals elsewhere in the state due to the lack of bed space.