Graphing done by the city shows a slow increase in cases, but the decline has not yet started and local health officials aren't sure when El Paso should see the peak.
Despite that fact, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order will allow the state's re-opening process to begin on Friday - superseding El Paso's joint city and county stay home order.
In a wide-ranging interview with ABC-7's Erik Elken on Wednesday evening, Margo said if it were up to him - he would've kept the stay home order in place, but the governor's directive "took it out of our hands."
Mayor Dee Margo: We probably would've kept them in longer, yeah. The judge, especially, and I. We talked about it. That's why I made the imperative yesterday. I referred to it as first chance, last chance. Businesses are going to have to comply with these orders if we're going to keep this virus suppressed. We have no choice.
ABC-7's Erik Elken: Are you frustrated? Do you think this is the best way to go with the governor statewide issuing these reopening plans, when places like El Paso aren't necessarily ready for them?
Mayor Margo: By the same token, Erik, we're not sure we're not ready for them. I was getting data today. Everyone talks about testing. We've done as of today 8,967 tests. We average 9.4 tests per 1,000. Houston, Harris County, is 9.6 tests per 1,000. Dallas is 9.55 per 1,000. Travis County is 9.34 per 1,000 and then you get to San Antonio, they're only 4.64. We're equivalent to the top counties in Texas in the amount of testing we do and we're going to continue to do more testing.
ABC-7: You mentioned those testing rates. Even though they compare to the other large cities, Texas as a state is 48th out of the 50 states when it comes to testing rate and our numbers are about 40 percent behind the national testing rate. It's one thing to compare it to the other cities in the state, but when you compare it to the national rate are you comfortable with where we're at?
Mayor Margo: We're doing as much as we can with what we have. We have plenty of resources. I found out today the Texas Department of Emergency Management is going to set up some new mobile test sites here so we can do more. They're going to be here around the second week of May. We're going to have a location in, we don't know where specifically, we're going to have them in San Elizario, Fabens, Horizon and the Anthony/Vinton area. We're going to have four new facilities and they're going to be run by the National Guard. If we have a spike, if we have a significant issue, then we'll take the action we need to do for public health. But if people will wear face coverings, if they'll maintain the social distancing, if they'll follow the rules as we've stated, if they only come out when they need to and especially those over 65 -- stay home.
ABC-7: How quick will you be to call the governor if you start to see troubling signs?
Mayor Margo: In a moment's notice, for sure. And he has said, don't forget, Erik. He's going to re-analyze this on May 14th. If there is a statewide issue, or others that talk to him about our specific areas then I think there will be changes then.