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Judge seeks to reimpose El Paso curfew as Texas troops sent to morgue, 500 apply for morgue jobs

inmates help at morgue
Inmates are seen helping move bodies at the morgue.

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego sent a letter Friday to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seeking approval to reimpose a curfew in El Paso as the surging number of Covid-19 deaths continues to overwhelm the county's morgue.

Samaniego's request came as the state mobilized a team of 36 Texas National Guard troops to provide help at the morgue starting Saturday. The troops, whose deployment was in question just a day prior, will relieve county jail inmates who had been utilized in recent days to move bodies from the morgue building into refrigerated trailers.

On Friday evening, the judge told ABC-7 that the Medical Examiner’s Office had 240 bodies filling up both the main morgue and nine mobile morgues currently in place.

Commissioner David Stout said the county also hoped to hire and have as many as 25 morgue attendants in place by Monday after receiving 500 applications for the newly-created temporary jobs in less than 24 hours. The positions will pay nearly $30 an hour but provide no healthcare benefits.

As of Friday, El Paso health department data showed there had been 845 confirmed virus deaths so far during the pandemic with 430 additional deaths currently under investigation.

Multiple sources told ABC News that El Paso’s Fatalities Management Taskforce was working to arrange a new central morgue facility to handle the massive number of deaths. The location was still undecided but when it is selected, it will likely not be publicly disclosed.

Samaniego's complete letter to Abbott can be viewed below.

El Paso / Health / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

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



    1. Hey idiot Delanders. Brush up on contact precautions and impaired decision making associated with alcohol and drug consumption after hours. Learn something new. Uuuuhhhhh oooooh uuuhhhhhh. Pinchi pendejo.

    2. If a shutdown worker before, why do we need to do it again? Also, if a shutdown didn’t work before, why do it again? Einstein’s definition of insanity was; To keep doing the same thing repeatedly, while expecting different results.

  1. Can’t argue with this Landers Basket case. Leave this lander’s dummy alone in his make believe world where pandemics cannot be controlled and should just be left to kill as many people as it pleases. You should have worked for Trump and his gang of Idiots who live in their own fabricated reality.

    1. Can anyone explain how a curfew helps to stop the virus? Also, why are they 1000’s people living in El Paso still crossing back and forth to Juarez everyday?

      Wear a mask, wash your hands constantly, practice social distancing and limit only 1 person to go shopping but DON’T shut down the economy.

      1. The orange buffoon already shut down the economy when he refused to come up with a nationwide plan to deal with the corona virus. Remember, he lost the election by more than 6,000,000 votes because of it. Leaving it to the states resulting in a patchwork of plans didn’t work.

  2. The 1918 pandemic used isolation, good personal hygiene, and crowd limitations, “which were unevenly applied. >675,000 died in the last 9 months of the year. At 250,000, we’re ahead of the game. No one person is responsible for this pandemic. Every person was given “best practice” guidelines and individually they chose to accept or ignore them. Actions have consequences which we see in the daily death count. Winter 1918 and Spring 1919 saw a resurgence of cases, but by Summer it had died out. Hopefully we will see the same thing this coming Summer.

    1. The 1918 flu virus was a completely different virus. This new mutation called covid 19 is not effected by a change in seasons. As the planet warms and humans venture into areas we’ve never been before, many viruses and pathogens will be flushed out and into contact with humans. These viruses are also undergoing rapid evolutionary leaps which will make it more difficult to control their spread. Covid 19 has already undergone several evolutionary mutations since first infecting humans in China.

  3. The fact that 500 people applied to do a job no one wants to do, only illustrates the unemployment condition in El Paso County. An estimated 100,000 people are unemployed here, all because of lockdowns that haven’t worked. Remember on the next county election, which County Commissioners, like Samaniego who made you unemployed.

    1. Remember, that 100,000 unemployed out of 750,000 is 1/7th of our population, but when you deduct the children under 18, it is probably more like 1/3 of the adult population is out of work.

      1. Bullshit. The places most suffering, are run by democrat fascists, that impose draconian measures that don’t work anyway. Then you have the “Rules for thee, but not for me” democrats like Newsome.

      2. That coward is no more Mark Turner than I am. He is alberto. There is no DMV record of him in El Paso County, no property records and no property tax records of him. His alias showed up about the time KFOX ran an article about a convicted child sex predator with that name getting out of a halfway house here. The dumbass even used the convict’s year of birth, until he was called out on it, then changed it to 1961, claiming the 1946 alias was his mom’s birth and he was born in 1961. That would make his mom 14 when she had him.

  4. I have read all the comments made by the drama queens in this blog but the reality is only 10 people from 1000- have died from the flu made pandemic (covid) now from those ten people who died 7-8 are elderly people, and according to my own experience, elderly people do not die of covid they are killed in the UMC El Paso TX in the name of covid, so which are the real numbers of people dying,( without counting the elderly people who are killed in UMC hospital) I guess nobody knows, not even the people in charge, for example few days ago a person with the last name of Mora said that the covid numbers were an error. I have no doubt this covid is a scam that only drama queens believe and are afraid of it.

    1. I see that many Sheriff’s Departments and local police departments are refusing to enforce the shut downs in leftist-controlled cities and states. Good for them. I would not enforce these imperial edicts and Fuhrer Directives from fascist democrats either.

      1. That’s the kind of ignorance and stupidity that resulted in the economy being shut down. The economy will stay shut down until we get control of the virus.

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