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El Paso orders parks, golf courses closed & quarantine for travelers as virus cases grow to 68


EL PASO, Texas -- City and county officials announced tougher restrictions Wednesday evening as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in El Paso rose to 68. (You can watch the entire news conference in the video player above.)

Mayor Dee Margo and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said all parks and outdoor recreation facilities, golf courses and private clubs will be required to close as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition, anyone traveling more than 100 miles outside El Paso must self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return, the leaders ordered.

Public and private social gatherings of any number of people are now prohibited under the new order. In announcing that change, Samaniego expressed regret for a house party that one of his children threw at his home over the weekend while he wasn't there.

"There orders are about saving lives," said Dr. Hector Ocaranza of the City/County Health Authority, who reported 18 additional El Pasoans had tested positive to raise the county's total infections from the virus to 68.

One of those new cases involved a former resident of an east El Paso nursing home, prompting testing of other residents at the facility.

Dr. Ocaranza said the virus patients numbered 38 women and 30 men, with these cases scattered throughout the entire community. (You can view the location map outlining these cases at the end of this article.)

Officials said the added directives supplement the existing "Stay Home, Work Safe" order issued by the city and county on March 23. Here's a more specific breakdown on the new additions to that order:

  • All individuals living within the City of El Paso are directed to stay at home or at their place of residence unless they are performing essential duties, working in an essential business, government, etc. Public and Private gatherings of any number of people are prohibited.
  • Any travel is restricted to approved activities. Anyone returning from travel of 100 miles or more outside the City must self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Any public of private gatherings at any recreational area, park, pool or recreational facility is prohibited. This includes hike and bike trails, whether formally recognized by the City or not; including, but not limited to any golfing in public or private courses; any gathering in school recreation areas, tennis clubs, and any other private recreational club; the area near Socorro Independent School District Student Activities Complex (“SAC”) located near 1300 Joe Battle Boulevard; all to include the use of any type of recreational vehicle at any outdoor area.
  • Critical infrastructure and construction activities that are exempt are more clearly defined.
  • Business owners must provide mandatory rest breaks of at least 15 minutes every four hours so workers can follow hygiene guidelines. Additionally, businesses can take no adverse action against an employee who has been quarantined or advised to self-quarantine due to possible exposure.
  • The directive still allows the public to visit grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

Officials said residents can report non-compliance with the order by calling 3-1-1 or visiting and following the instruction on the red banner at the top of the website’s homepage.

The complete stay-at-home order, updated with all the additional changes, can be viewed below. And beneath the new order, you'll find the latest map, demographic breakdown and other information on El Paso's virus cases.

Jim Parker

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



  1. Unfortunately, staying home is not possible. The Attorney General Barr, sent out a memo to all state Attorney Generals, stating my agency is essential, and the post commander also gave us all memos, allowing us on post at any time.

    1. I wish you well and hope you remain healthy. I work for a different agency but basically the same thing with me. I just go to work with a smile and use sanitizer as often as possible.

  2. That was samaniego’s spawn that threw the party and daddies explanation was “he did’nt understand the nature of the pandemic” or something like that drivel. He’s just another idiot born to a wealthy family that has no respect due to the fact he was’nt taught any

  3. So there are no provisions on limiting the number of family members that are allowed into a store at one time? There is a problem when husband, wife, 2 kids, grandpa & grandma all go to the store in a herd to buy groceries.

  4. I am very disappointed with the way the city it handling this issue . They need implement strong laws . Unfortunately El Paso citizens don’t understand rules and regulations

    1. it’s all part of the plan. Just like the movie Wally. They are doing everything they can to make us dependent on the government.

    1. MM272

      I would suspect that your profession does not allow you to be so salty. Am I correct? Are your supervisors (if you do indeed have a job) know about the prejudicial comments your constantly make? Just wondering.

  5. City poeple major and other people don’t care this restriction is not going be better for us like president he knows all this shit but ignore he what’s all people die and no more to pay people social security Medicare..

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