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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).

Jim Parker

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



  1. 30 deaths in El Paso because of the virus. Maybe. Since all deaths are being counted as coronavirus deaths, regardless if they died of other causes. There is no way to tell which ones are legitimate. Suspicious you thing? Yep.
    Stat? Yes, .000028571 of the population has died of the virus. Maybe not. Maybe its time El Pasoens look at the facts before they continue to stay in their homes.

    1. ALL deaths? Where the eff you come of with that bs, the Alex Jones website? Your stupid diatribe with debunked opinions and bald face lies day after day are tiresome. Jesus F. Christ, you are one stupid SOB.

      1. Um, it’s been documented. They admitted they were told to count anyone WITH COVID-19 as a COVID-19 death. Have you not noticed that flu, pneumonia, heart attack and stroke deaths have DRAMATICALLY dropped?

          1. You watching too much fake news CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC. But it’s funny you watch Fox News. What a dolt!

          2. Funeral Home Directors, Doctors, Politicians. You name it, they’ve said it.

  2. I bet you’d change your mind me. Dave if it was one of your family members that died from the virus. It’s people like you that I see being intubated in the e.r. praying to God how sorry you are for all your sins and clinging to every bit of hope as you gargle your last breath right before the ventilator takes over your breathing and you are paralyzed by all the paralytic meds they have just given you, then in that moment you realize all the tough talk you wrote in your comments have led you here, where tough guys with big mouths are reduced to little baby’s crying for there Mama’s. Wise up, think thing through. Believe me this happens to the toughest talking as well as to the kindest we are all at the mercy of the almighty.

    1. There is no such thing as the “almighty” and we are at the mercy of people who do not believe in science and data but in rumour and right wing distortions.

  3. Everything I’ve ever written is completely factual. I don’t just make stuff up. I’m not that creative. Not my fault you don’t happen to like or agree with those facts.

    1. Trump and Xi lied about this and tried to cover this up. They saidnitnwasnt a big deal and under control. They played golf and had rallies while its spread. Look at Japans death and infection rate. Tokyo is the largest, cleanest, safest city in the world. It has done much better than NYC and japan is cleaner and safer still. America is responsible for not protecting itself and its economy. Thisnisnwhat happens when you have poor education and predatory propaganda to serve only the ultra wealthy. Just like China and Russia.

  4. So KVIA fails to run the story about Mayor Margo not wearing a mask and following social distance guidelines. Fails to lead by example. He was at the El Paso Country Club on May 1 with his wife and friends. With his sound leadership the covid19 cases will probably increase.

    1. I’m not sure which kvia you’ve been watching, but the kvia I watched this morning was all over that story. Seems like the Mayor would know better.

      1. I don’t watch KVIA TV. The other local media outlets carried this story days ago. KVIA is a day late and dollar short as usual. The incident happened on May 1 so do the math moron. BTW – Thanks for admitting you watch fake news KVIA. Margo is a one term mayor.

        1. He is a Republican and thanks to the orange buffoon, most Republicans will not be re-elected. That’s a shame too because there are some decent ones.

          1. Trump will get re-elected by a landslide, the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate and Republicans will seize the House. Better get packing for Canada eh?

  5. Once again the poor leadership of the Mayor and his Quack advisors are showing their lack of effective leadership. We don’t understand the numbers? Really more testing more numbers Mayor Dumb Dumb. And again with New Mexico just up the street and Juarez in the middle of a flare up tell me exactly how do you plan to justify calling the Governor? Are you really that incompetent? Really simple solution Mayor Dumb Dumb open the City full throttle and advise the elderly and anyone with pre existing medical conditions to mask up. How many of us from El Paso have already had the disease and now carry the antibody? Oh wait you do not know imagine that. How many people have not followed the directions of the governor’s order and carried the disease to grandma and grandpa? It lives on your clothes, shoes plastic, it floats in the air on dust particles so tell me genius exactly what is your plan? Keep the city closed forever? Have the national guard block off all roads from New Mexico so people there don’t bring in the disease? Tell the people from Mexico that work on the US side everyday they can no longer come to work? God almighty Mr Mayor you and your quack of advisors have to amongst the dumbest incompetent people in America. I would be more than happy to come down there and show you supposed to be highly intelligent people how to lead this city out of this mess. Wolcott for Mayor!!!!

  6. We will see another surge, two weeks after Mother’s Day because you and I know that some of these geniuses will have family gatherings with mom and in two weeks the first ones to suffer will be the elderly relatives.

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