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El Paso orders everyone to wear face coverings in public amid over 670 virus cases, 10 deaths

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso city and county officials on Thursday evening issued a new emergency order that, among other directives, requires everyone to now wear face masks or coverings in public.

In addition, included in the order is an update list of prohibited activities as well as the requirements for retail stores to offer to-go service beginning Friday as authorized by the Texas governor. (Read the full order below in this article.)

Officials also announced 29 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the county's total to 674, while the official death toll remained at 10. There were 33 El Pasoans hospitalized Thursday, and 21 of those patients listed in intensive care, with nine on ventilators.

RELATED ITEM: How to make your own face mask (whether or not you know how to sew)

Below are the complete details of the new city/county order that takes effect as of Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Face Coverings

  •         All individuals over the age of two (2), are to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while outside of their home or residence. A face covering may include face masks, cloth fabric coverings that fit snugly but comfortable against the side of the face and is secured with ties or ear loops, bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters.
  •          Parents and guardians of children over the age of two (2) and under the age of ten (10) shall be responsible for appropriately masking children when outside their residence.
  •          A face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household.
  •          All non-residents in nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities shall wear a fabric face covering.
  •          Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand-washing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

Prohibited Activities

  •          All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit are prohibited.
  •          Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities are to minimize the movement of staff between facilities whenever possible and prohibit non-critical assistance visitors or providers, as determined through the guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
  •          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.
  •          Residents can walk and run along established walking paths that exist adjacent to streets, parks or within parks; but are prohibited from using trails and trailheads
  •          Franklin Mountains State Park shall remain closed until further notice.

Retail-to-Go: Guidance for Employers, Employees and Customers

·         Requirements

  •    All employees must be trained on environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  •    All employees must be screened before coming into the business for new or worsening cough; shortness of breath; sore throat; loss of taste or smell; feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit; or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID19. Any employee who meets any of these criteria should be sent home
  •    Upon entering the business, employees must wash or sanitize hands
  •    All employees must wear face coverings
  •    Employees must maintain at least 6 feet separation from one another

How to Purchase Goods from Re-Opened Retail Businesses

  •          Customers may purchase items from retail location for pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep but may not enter the premises.

·         Retail to go guidelines:

  •    All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available
  •    Purchased items should be delivered by the employee to the backseat or trunk of the customer’s vehicle whenever possible to minimize physical contact with the customer
  •    Employees must wash or sanitize their hands after each interaction with a customer, and whenever possible. Must disinfect any item that came into contact with the customer

·         Retail delivery to customer’s doorstep:

  •    All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact would be minimized if remote payment is not available
  •    Purchased items should be delivered by an employee or third-party carrier and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The employee or third-party carrier may not enter the customer’s house or business

·         Retail delivery by mail:

  •    All payments must be done over the phone or internet
  •    Purchased items should be delivered by mail without customer contact
  •    The customer should wash or sanitize their hands after the transaction.

Note: 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.

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      1. A temporary health/safety order is not considered infringing on rights. Never has been, never will be. Habeus Corpus isn’t suspended.

      2. Where does the state’s leading ambulance-chaser, Thomas J Henry stand on this? He stands to make a huge fortune representing multiple class-action lawsuits for violation of the US Constitution.

      3. Texas governor says he will allow the state stay-home order to expire on April 30.
        Governor says retail, restaurants, theaters, museums, libraries, churches can open at 25% occupancy on May 1.
        Outdoor sports such as golf and tennis are allowed, as long as four participants or less.
        Governor says his order will supersede local orders.
        Any county with five confirmed cases or less, which he estimates is roughly half the counties in the state, may open the above businesses at 50% occupancy.
        Barbershops, hair salons, bars and gyms are not safe to reopen at this time. Governor says he hopes to be able to do so later in May if conditions allow.
        He expects to do a phase two of re-opening on May 18.

  1. Me too Army Pilot! I don’t even have any masks. We’re are we supposed to get these masks? They’re going to be harder to find than toilet paper. So much for the Constitution.

  2. A lot of those orders are unconstitutional and should not be enforced. No you cannot ban public gatherings, you can only ask for people to not do it.

  3. I’m Constitutionalist and I Choose to try and Not get sick AND Not get others sick. I Choose to Follow the Constitution and Not Infringe on others well being! I’ll wear a mask and I Won’t blow cigarette smoke in your Grandmother’s face either! A 10 year old can make a nose and mouth covering Aaaand you can buy masks on ebay, amazon and Walmart online Right Now! Yeah, it’s all Fun and Games until you get Sick!

    1. Then you have bought into the narrative fellow “constitutionalist”. Masks only prevent the sick from spreading it. A mask will do you no good unless you’re in a full BSL-4 suit for protection from the beeraids.

      1. I have to go in , and follow Ft Bliss rules because, even though we are not DOD, our agency is located on Bliss, so we have to play by the Army’s rules.

  4. It would have been nice to have given the citizens of El Paso how to make a face mask one sewing and one super easy that requires no sewing. To just say you must wear one and not give any other guidance after that is negligent. I think they need to step into some of these home improvement stores and then talk about social distancing and how it is not working there. Here is the link from the CDC to make a mask:

  5. I have mixed feelings on how the government is telling us what to do but wearing a mask is common sense.
    If you can’t buy the masks, look up “how to make masks” videos. Even though the government is making it mandatory to wear them, you shouldn’t rely on the same government to supply them. MAKE YOUR OWN.
    We have been placed at stay at home for over 4 weeks now and I still see a lot of people NOT wearing masks.

    Finally, it not fair to see Wal-Mart still selling non essential items (clothing & t.v’s) but other retail shops are closed.

  6. It is two weeks since Easter. All of those morons with 50 family members just had to have a big family gathering, which explains the surge is cases.

  7. Hey, Trump lovers. Don’t wear a face mask and do what your fearless moron said to do instead. He was just on TV saying high intensity light and bleach in your body will also kill this darn fake virus. Soooooo, go ahead and stick a flash light down your throat and when you’re done get a Bleach enema. That will work. But if you die instead, blame your dumb ass “president.”

  8. About time he grows a pair should have been effect weeks ago we might have been able to get back to some kind of normalcy by now, weak leadership in this city always takes the least path of resistance
    or is out chasing rainbows

  9. A Texas county judge’s 30-day coronavirus mask mandate is being challenged by a local doctor who claims the order requiring Houston-area residents to wear masks in public is “unconstitutional.”
    El Paso, get ready for a bunch of lawsuits.

    “If Judge Hidalgo’s Order is not declared unconstitutional and void, once this virus passes, the rights we are afforded under the Texas Constitution will forever be damaged,” Dr. Steven Hotze, who is also a conservative activist, said of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s order in a court petition, according to the Texas Tribune.
    Hotze also claims Hidalgo doesn’t have the authority to issue an order more restrictive than the governor’s, which doesn’t require masks. The doctor organized a protest Thursday in which hundreds of demonstrators opposed Hidalgo’s order.

    1. I’m surprised Margo hasn’t appeared on CNN to bash President Trump again. Blame Trump for the El Paso COVID-19 cases and deaths. Orange man bad! Regardless he is a one term mayor.

  10. Meanwhile the border is still open and traffic aback and forth from Mexico allowed. But I have to wear a mask and can’t go hike or mountain bike in Franklins (But I can hike & bike in the Organ mountains. Hmmm). Yeah, that all certainly makes sense and is fair. NOT!

    1. Thousands are dying in New York, and all you can think about is getting on your bike and going for a leisurely ride. Oh, the humanity of it all
      Bring out the spades and torches and let’s all burn down city hall.

      1. Meanwhile…. Your Orange Face leader is suggesting you inject bleach into your veins to kill the fake virus. If you die too, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. To be fair, he later said he was being sarcastic. Roll the tape and see the Orange one asking his experts about this procedure. No sarcasm, only ignorance in it’s full glory.

  11. It’s about time the city council finally agreed to make sure everyone wears any kind of face covering to stop the spread of this disease I even voice my opinion for everyone to wear a mask the moment we had our first case of covid-19 but did anybody listen of course not they have to wait until this disease finally became community spread.
    The city council made A wise choice making sure everyone wore a mask in public that includes going to the store going for a walk outside and also going to Banks or any essential businesses in close-quarters wearing masks. I tell you the city council acted too late because now over 600 people have the virus it’s only a matter of time because now we’re expected to have almost 2,000 people infected with covid-19 before May 1st. This could have been prevented if everybody was warned to wear a face covering in order to prevent the spread of covid-19 just saying people.

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