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‘Very somber’ as El Paso records 1st virus death, up to 225 total cases: See the map of case clusters

EL PASO, Texas -- Calling it a "very somber" moment, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo announced the city's first coronavirus death on Thursday afternoon, as he noted that the total number of confirmed cases had grown to 225.

The death involved a man in his 80s. He had been in an intensive care unit at a hospital on the city's east side, sources told ABC-7.

"It's with a heavy heart that we report the first death in our community, we feel very sad," added Dr. Hector Ocaranza of the City/County Health Authority, who said the victim had an extensive list of pre-existing medical conditions that made him especially susceptible to the virus.

Ocaranza indicated that 11 of El Paso's 33 new cases had occurred in a healthcare facility in the city, but he did not specify which one.

There is also a trend emerging in El Paso where the virus is being spread at gatherings —clusters of people — in their homes as they host parties or visit their friends and families, according to Orcaranza.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in cases and these clusters are an example of how easy the virus spreads by being in close contact with an infected individual that in some cases can be asymptomatic (which means 'without symptoms'),” he explained.

To exemplify the doctor's point, Margo said a dozen virus cases could be traced to two gatherings over the past week involving a group of 20-year olds and a group of 40-year olds.

“In one group, five were positive cases and in the other, seven were positive cases,” he pointed out.

There are now a total of 48 virus patients who are hospitalized in El Paso, and 19 of those hospitalized were in intensive care as of Thursday.

"We need to remain vigilant, that's how we stop this virus," Ocaranza said, continuing to urge El Pasoans to obey the city-county "stay home, work safe" order as well as avoid temptation to gather with family and friends during the Easter holiday weekend.

And El Paso's top health leader also urged residents to use face coverings when out performing essential duties or tasks.

To date, over 3,500 coronavirus tests have been conducted by public health officials in El Paso. But El Paso Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino emphasized that testing will continue producing higher numbers of positive results if behavior doesn't change.

“If we as a community do not do something to stop the trend, the numbers will continue to rise,” D’Agostino said. 

Below is the latest case locator map and other demographic information on the virus outbreak as provided by the health department, followed by a video player in which you can watch the entire briefing Thursday afternoon from the mayor and Dr. Ocaranza.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus Video / Email Alert - Breaking News / Health / News / Top Stories / Video

KVIA ABC-7

Comments

20 Comments

    1. Hey Fero2A, looks like USMCO wanna be, doesn’t like for you to speak your mind and ask intelligent questions. One death has scared him/her/it to death. Not evident of any Marine I know to be scared of made up computer models. But you are correct. What did this poor person die of? Was it because of the virus, or because the person died of something else that happened to have the virus? We don’t know. Thus the question you ask. Good for you.

  1. Just because the man was in his 80s doesn’t make you immune from the virus, in New York doctors in their 30s have died from this Virus. Stay home stay safe and also for all the young people In EL Paso please wear a mask, Stop The Spread and keep your distance of 6 feet or more, last thing we want is our hospitals here to be overwhelmed with patients.

    #ELPasoStrong #WearAMask #RIP

    1. Screw the mask. No one is imune regardless if you wear the mask or hide in your closet. The brave will still go to work, shop and bring this economy that Mr. Trump was able to do back on its feet. Cowards will go back to their hiding and hopefully never be heard from again.

      1. Computer models and engineers win fights. Knowledge and intel is everything in this world. The US failed to protect its own citizens from this. Look at Japan
        s response and numbers. They have a safe clean country yet America is crumbling before our eyes. I thought this was just a flu that numbers would be back to 0 soon? Why then are we hearing the opposite? Just like China and Russia, our govt is compromised by greedy liars and we have to thank the clueless idiots that voted them in to thank them for this. This is bigger than 9/11 in deaths and impact, and trump and his supporters are to blame. Either Trump knew of the death count and didn’t say anthing (evil liar); or he didn’t know was late to respond (stupid liar). Just like 9/11 we’ll never forget what a traitorous con man he is.

        1. What an idiot! You do know that Japan is an island country with strict immigration and travel requirements? How about blaming the Democraps that thought impeaching Trump was more important than combating the COVID-19. Pelosi was too busy tearing up the SOTU versus listening to President Trump’s warning about COVID-19 as back on February 4th. It was mentioned in the SOTU address. BTW – You have been debunked! LMAO. Also, get some meds for your TDS.

  2. The theatrics of bored/scared shitless old men above who just can’t stfu. Catch up on hippa guidelines and shut your peckers. You will never know.

  3. You ever notice how it’s right wing fascists that prop up terrorists and let them attack us? Now they let this virus kill more US citizens than any war. They failed to protect the country again and instead of helping anyone, they make “heroes” out of us and forget about it. There is only the souless pursuit of more profits for their masters. Look at Japan’s response and death rate. They protected their country and economy. Trump has only destroyed both.

    1. @ Mgx- Right’heroes’ like the fireman who sets the fire and happens to be first one on the scene with his accomplice the news reporter. “What did Traitor Trump know, and when did they know it?” as it were.

    2. You will eat your words one day. Follow the money. This virus response is orchestrated by the greedy left. Bill Gates, George Soros, the psycho Green New Deal, the Chicoms are all colluding. Yet our President has lead us through this and we are already starting to recover. Wait until they start to re-classify the death numbers ACCURATELY and people start to realize this was all a fear initiative in an attempt to move us to Communism.

  4. @ Mgx- Right’heroes’ like the fireman who sets the fire and happens to be first one on the scene with his accomplice the news reporter. “What did Traitor Trump know, and when did they know it?” as it were.

  5. COVID19 & WMD🤔 Why didn’t the Heads-In-The-sand radicalized Right Trumptards knee jerk and act early concerning the heads up warnings of the CORONA VIRUS.Warmonger Right reacts “Like-White-on-Rice” on any other WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

  6. Sounds like a whole bunch of folks on this chat site need to start using factcheck.org and then try to augment what are obviously tragically low educational levels. You cannot go around just making up your own facts.

  7. It might also help if some of these folks stopped calling others names like 7th or 8th graders do. When you know your position on a particular issue is weak, calling someone a name will not strengthen it. It just lowers your standing on the issue and re-enforces your opponent’s argument. It’s real easy; just go to “Factcheck.org”.

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