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