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El Paso hospitals prepare for virus crisis with new safety procedures while awaiting more test kits

El PASO, Texas -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spent over an hour Tuesday speaking with top hospital administrators and CEO's from El Paso and beyond on Tuesday during a video conference.

Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for University Medical Center, said the conversation covered a wide range of important topics, including the transfer of more money, ventilators, coronavirus tests and other medical supplies.

"That conversation really ran the gamut," said Mielke. "And we definitely have a solid plan coming into place."

Part of that plan includes making sure that El Paso hospitals are some of the safest places in the city.

Throughout the day, hospital personnel were placed at the entrances, setting up a series of coronavirus screening areas that included fever test checkpoints to stop any potential carriers from coming inside.

Abbott this week announced that the state will soon be able to test more than 10,000 Texans weekly, and Mielke said increasing testing capacity is critically important.

"Tests will tell the tale," said Mielke. "If you look at South Korea and Italy, the difference is amazing. South Korea did more testing and Italy not so much.”

As of Tuesday, Texas had at least 76 confirmed virus cases, with three of those in El Paso. The state also has recorded two deaths, but none at this point in the Borderland.

El Paso / News / Video

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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