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Governor doesn’t respond to El Paso County judge’s request for a halt to reopening

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Sunday night said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott still had not responded to his request made a week ago asking the governor to halt the reopening of El Paso until the coronavirus curve flattens.

Samaniego told ABC-7 he also sent a follow up letter to the governor seeking confirmation on whether or not Abbott would accept or decline his request, but there was no reply to that second letter either.

"We'll have to wait to see what happens in the governor's address (Monday)," Samaniego said, referring to a Monday afternoon briefing Abbott has scheduled.

Gyms, non-essential manufacturers and work offices still have the green light to open up at 25% capacity as of Monday.

Samaniego said he doesn't want businesses to open "because they can open," adding that businesses should open only if they have the right equipment and safety precautions in place to do so.

The anticipated ease of restrictions comes after the state of Texas saw its' largest virus outbreak of the pandemic this weekend, with 1,801 cases reported on Saturday and nearly 800 more reported Sunday.

El Paso also saw its' deadliest week of the pandemic as well, as deaths were reported for six days straight.

However, El Paso is now testing patients more than ever since the virus first hit the Borderland. The Texas National Guard was sent to El Paso to provide more testing. While he knows it's only temporary, Samaniego hopes the governor might extend those mobile testing sites.

He said sometimes mobile testing sites are not meeting capacity, which to him does not make sense. "For example, let's say we have a capacity of 130, but 80 people show up or they cancel." Samaniego is pushing for El Pasoans to take advantage to the free testing provided by the state in order to show the need for it in the county.

"What I’m really asking for is that we allow those numbers (of test results) to start telling the story," Samaniego said. "I don’t think we understand exactly to what extent that we have the contamination of the virus in our community.” 

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Brianna Chavez


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