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50% of all El Paso virus cases linked to close contact with those infected, much of it from home gatherings

Chart shows sources of coronavirus exposure in El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- New data released by El Paso health officials links half of all coronavirus cases in the county to close contact with someone infected - much of it the result of home gatherings with family and friends.

The finding is contained in exposure data released over the weekend in response to a request by ABC-7.

It is worth noting that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that roughly a third of those infected with the virus are asymptomatic, meaning they don't show any symptoms despite having the virus.

The new El Paso data also links 20% of virus cases to community transmission and 20% to travel, while 10% of cases remained under investigation as epidemiologists search for possible exposure links.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo along with other city and county leaders have expressed particular concerns about El Pasoans crossing the Mexican border into Juarez, which has seen the region's deadliest outbreak that has claimed 210 lives to date.

"We have families on both sides. Culture, commerce on both sides for over 300 years and that's just part and parcel to who we are," Margo said late Sunday night on ABC-7 Xtra. "We've been trying to discourage people from going to Juarez and [against] large gatherings."

Margo is also discouraging gatherings of any kind, even those within the home.

"Most of the positives (cases) that have come out of gatherings have come out of gatherings at homes, based on the data we've seen from epidemiological analysis of contact tracing," Margo said. "It's where you let your guard down. We're known for large families in this region."

Margo has urged El Pasoans to wear face coverings when leaving their homes to reduce the likelihood of spreading or contracting the virus.

As of Monday, the total number of virus cases in El Paso was up to 2,376, with 58 of those cases turning deadly.

Coronavirus / El Paso / News / Top Stories

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

Jim Parker

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



  1. Wow, who would have thought you could catch a contagious disease by coming in contact with an infected person!? And here I thought it was from toilet seats. Guess ya learn something new everyday. So the other 50% must come from what, hiking trails and Scenic drive?

  2. Wait up here. So of I’m in my yard in Central, and an infected person coughs over on the Eastside, I probably won’t get sick?
    Good to know, KVIA, good to know.
    Inversely, if the BLITHERING IDIOT governor of New York puts INFECTED PEOPLE into NURSING HOMES with OLD PEOPLE, ALREADY AT RISK – that’s called MURDER, right?

    1. Yeah that’s the Orange Man’s fault! You know, the state that openly defies the federal laws on immigration now totally just blindly followed the President’s orders of sending infected people into nursing homes, that makes complete sense! It’s astounding what TDS does to a nation.

  3. Wow it’s almost as if mandating people stay in their homes and only allowing a handful of stores open, like Walmart, could concentrate the viral load!! It’s almost like mandating a shut down after the 1st confirmed case, instead of before any confirmed cases were in El Paso, did absolutely nothing and may have made things worse according to newer studies. It’s almost as if mandating people to wear masks without informing them about proper decontamination procedures and how only sealed masks with a proper particulate filter would actually protect you would give people a false sense of security! Absolutely incredible.

  4. You cant figure out exactly what is causing the spread, contact tracing is just a shot in the dark. One would literally have to go back in time with a doctor, examine every person, and culture every surface to make an assumption like the one they are making otherwise your just grasping at straws.Also if a person is asymptomatic for two weeks how do they know it was through social gathering that caused the spread. The reason they are blaming large gatherings for the spread is that everyone is afraid to tell the Governor that he made a huge mistake opening Texas and especially El Paso, too soon. In case you haven’t noticed not even the news media has gone against the Governor and his decision to prematurely open up Texas. He should of waited till we got more of a grasp on this virus. I can guarantee that the Governor and his henchmen saw there was plan to give away another round of stimulus checks, and he said F… that “Im not going to give away anymore of my money, I’ll just open up Texas who cares about the elderly and the sick anyways. I really cant stand how that man “the Governor” works, he no regard for the lives of poor, weak, and the minorities. He had a chance to expand medicaid through this trying time and the A-hole cant even do that for the poor. He wants to look good in front of his rich golfing buddies. Im glad I didn’t vote for that cold blooded, evil man.

        1. Please don’t put an old white gringo in that pile of make- believe Americans. I hate defending any Republican now that the orange buffoon has ruined the party, but Abbott did rely on advice from people who actually attended school to study public health and epidemiology before making his decisions to open up. Its too soon to tell if he made a mistake in the timing though. The orange buffoon has good advisors, but as is his habit, he’s too stupid to listen to them. Rex Tillerson comes to mind.

          1. You’re as big a clown as the other fool.
            Actual taxpayers with brains, who have or have had jobs, morals and a clue – never vote for Democrats.
            The debacle a.k.a. the Obama Reich cured many of that issue. Example:
            Trump 30 states.
            Clinton 20 states.

  5. The deplorables Jamesben, bigoof,
    Albertcovarde aka Madmike/gee dubb NOT COMFY BEING THE NEW MINORITIES. Unhappiy old bigots in town. No one cares what you have to say. Stay hidden, behind closed doors, be quiet in public, and STFU. Continue to scream online. No one cares.

    1. That’s exactly who the orange buffoon’s real people are. Poor uneducated white trash, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and mental patients who are terrified of gay people.

        1. Plus he’s reading out of a George Soros Democrats/Libtards for Dummies book to spout off leftist talking points. He probably gets paid 25 cents per rant. Other than Alberto and his dozens of aliases he is preaching to the choir.

  6. Trump targets the low IQ gullible whites like the local 5 for a cheap vote. Keep rowing and we will find raw land. Lol. Los pendejos magas. Being used.

  7. The true and real question: has your live improved since the moron in charge is in office? Less taxes? Improved quality? Eaten better? Etc? Lol.

    1. Obviously your QOL has not improved. Trump has nothing to do with your laziness, not wanting to work and being on welfare. Alberto the section 8 welfare queen.

  8. The only thing being fed /spewed by the moron in charge is non objective. And the morons minions are eating it. Morons. The moron in charge has done nothing at the end of the day but Yap his untannned about like all his followers. DONE NOTHING!

    1. He did force a tax break for the wealthy and corporations through congress with a promise that it would crate jobs. Not a single job was created.

      1. False. Manufacturers added 6 times more jobs under Trump than under Obama’s last 2 years. BTW – You must not work because you would know that the Trump tax plan is working. You have more take home pay meaning less taxes.

        1. I thought you would get around to it. You just admitted you don’t have a clue. There isn’t a single credible economist that agrees with you. All that tax break accomplished was a large deficit and addition to the national debt.

          1. Plus it gave the orange buffoon and his homies a way to get out of paying taxes.

  9. Yeah, No. The tax break was just a pretty gift wrapped in Trump false promises to working people. Fact is 60% of “savings” went to the richest 20 % of the income ladder. Trump’s Tax cut slashed Corporate taxes by 40%. And by 2019 the economy grew by 2.9%, same as 2015 under Obama administration. Just another Trump subterfuge to help the rich get richer and when there aren’t enough tax revenue collected, guess what? Huuuuuge government deficit. Enjoy your invisible tax break everyday working people. Update: Covid19 has voided all tax benefits and 35 million are out of work while rich people eat caviar and sunbathe in their swimming pools

    1. Put blame where it belongs. The current unemployment situation is because of CHINA. and their virus. Once the liberal, Green New Deal psychos allow this country to get back to work the employment numbers will improve and President Trump will fix the economy AGAIN. The stock market is already starting to recover and the big, black, corrupt turd that formally occupied the WH can’t take credit this time. Oh and like it or not, business (both big and small) and the richest individuals in this country carry the majority of the tax burden in this country. Stop complaining.

      1. Not complaining, lady. I know the facts upset you so much you have to resort to infantile name calling. Just like your Fake president, who comes up with childish names for anyone who won’t kiss….the ring. You can defend your sophomoric “president” until the cows come home, but it won’t change the fact that he is so dumb it’s laughable. I heard he flunked kindergarten three times until the teacher got so tired of him that s/he paid his daddy to pull him out of class.

        1. So dumb and yet doing such a better job than Obama ever could. What does that make Obama then? Get real. Try basing your posts on facts not on things you think you might have heard someone say one time. The man is brilliant. He can run a country, deal with hoaxes and scams, expose lies, piss off you, the media and the left, and all on 4 hours of sleep a night. You can’t even write a coherent post without having to take a nap after.

          1. Yep. Dumb as a rock and a big mouth. Hey original NADA, poor you. It’s gonna take a lot of work to Deprogram you of the Trump cult of personality. Don’t worry Medicaid will be glad to help you with your problem. BIDEN-WARREN 2020!

          1. Exactly, FeoZero. Put your JWAM hat on. It should fit you just right. By the way, TWITTER just today started Fact-Checking your bogus president. Now the only people dumb enough to believe his lies will be the Republikkklans.

  10. Boo Who… I need Stimulus Money to Feed My Children!
    Reality: buys hair weave, booze and an iWatch!
    End The Lockdown Americans Want To Work!
    Reality: Heads Straight To Pack The Bars and Beaches!…First a Hangover and then a Ventilator!

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