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El Paso’s deadliest virus day: Death toll spikes by 7, new cases surge by 71


EL PASO, Texas --  El Paso experienced it's deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Thursday evening as they also revealed details about outbreaks in a pair of state-run facilities, unveiled new local directives and discussed some additional testing locations.

“We once again are saddened to report seven new deaths due to Covid-19, and our hearts go out to the families of these seven individuals,” said City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “We are now at 30 deaths in our community – one too many."

Mayor Dee Margo and County Judge Ricardo Sameniego both warned that a sustained surge in fatalities and infections could derail plans to further re-open the local economy.

“If our numbers continue to spike and if we have continued issues here, then Judge Samaniego and I will probably have a conversation as early as next Monday with the governor’s office about potentially limiting any more expansion for the time being until we get our arms around where we are,” Margo said at an evening news conference. (You can watch it in full in the video player at the top of this article.)

BY THE NUMBERS: (Scroll to end of article for more data)

  • There are 7 new deaths for a total of 30; El Paso's deadliest day
  • Victims are 4 men in 80s, man in 70s, 2 women in 60s, woman in 40s
  • The virus death toll now exceeds the death toll of the Aug. 3rd tragedy
  • Case fatality rate rises from 0.68% on Apr. 12 to 2.52% on May 7
  • 71 new cases reported for a total of 1,190 infections
  • 71 is the second highest case spike, the largest was 74 new cases
  • 62 patients hospitalized, which is down 6 from prior day
  • 40 patients are in the ICU, which is up 1 from prior day
  • 19 people are on ventilators, which is up 2 from day before
  • There have been 7 days with high peaks since Easter weekend

"The mayor and I are convinced that we don’t have a good understanding of the numbers, they continue to climb," reacted Judge Sameniego.

Outbreaks at Sanchez State Jail, El Paso Psych Center

There are now significant outbreaks at two state-run facilities in El Paso. Dr. Ocaranza provided data, but did not specifically name them. However, reporting by ABC-7 and Bob Moore at El Paso Matters has uncovered the identity of these facilities...

  • El Paso Psychiatric Center: 53 cases, 1 death, 48 recovered (300 tested)
  • Rogelio Sanchez State Jail: 33 cases, 21 recovered

New City/County Directives Issued

The mayor and judge have amended their current Local Emergency Directive in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest Executive Order. The amended directive, which will start going into effect May 8 at 12:01 a.m., outlines specific guidelines for the following to operate...

  • City Facilities
  • Outdoor Sports
  • Retail Stores
  • Offices
  • Gyms/Exercise Facilities
  • Churches/Places of Worship

The updated directives are available by clicking here. A full listing of all orders to date can be found at under “Health Orders.”

Ascarate Park Closed For Mother's Day

In an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19, El Paso County Parks and Recreation will be closing Ascarate Park to patrons on Sunday, May 10. Ascarate Golf Course will remain open on May 10 only to golfers whom have a reserved tee time. More details:

Judge Sameniego said the decision to close the park stemmed from recent mass gatherings there and a desire to prevent that from happening during Mother's Day, sparking a potential repeat of outbreaks triggered by Easter gatherings.

"Mother’s day is a very critical point for us," the judge explained. "How we behave as a community during Mother’s Day is we’re either going to be having to tell the governor that we need to reverse the order... or we’re going to feel really good about ourselves."

Walmart Stores To Offer Drive-Thru Testing

The City of El Paso announced several new coronavirus drive-thru testing locations at Walmart stores, but they aren't relaxing the criteria required to get tested. The new sites open Friday in the parking lots located at...

  • 4530 Woodrow Bean, El Paso, TX 79924
  • 1850 N Zaragoza Rd., El Paso, TX 79936
  • 7555 N Mesa St., El Paso, TX 79912

Those interested in being tested need to visit to determine if you are eligible for testing and to make an appointment.

In addition, Mayor Margo said the National Guard would be setting up mobile test sites May 12 and 13 in Horizon, San Elizario, Fabens, Montana Vista and Vinton.

Case Locator Map & Other Statistical Data

Below is the latest coronavirus case locator map and other demographic information on the virus outbreak as provided by the health department.

The map shows the amount of positive cases by zip codes, with the number of cases in red dots: 79821 (2), 79835 (34), 79836 (7), 79838 (12), 79849 (22), 79853 (20), 79901 (6), 79902 (13), 79903 (43), 79904 (37), 79905 (58), 79907 (56), 79911 (8), 79912 (84), 79915 (51), 79922 (5), 79924 (57), 79925 (52), 79927 (69), 79928 (81), 79930 (32), 79932 (51), 79934 (30), 79935 (31), 79936 (156), 79938 (173).

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Jim Parker

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


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