EL PASO, Texas-- More than 200 days into the pandemic, city officials believe residents are still not following guidelines aimed at containing the coronavirus. This lack of compliance by residents is part of the reason El Paso has been trending in the wrong direction, officials contend..
More than 800 additional cases of Covid-19 were reported Friday, an all-time high for El Paso since the pandemic began. City officials are now rolling out what they call an 'education task force' in hopes of informing those who going against the grain.
"We are letting our guard down we are not protecting ourselves like we did at the beginning. I know that most of us are probably tired of hearing to cover your face, wash your hands, keep your distance. But those are the basic practices that we need to practice to get this crazy number of cases back into control," Angela Mora, the El Paso Public Health Director, said.
The task force is made up of seven teams, each tasked with going to Covid-19 hotspots, looking for offenders. They will be going to populated areas such as retails stores like Walmart and groceries. Their objective is to find establishments that are allowing patrons to shop without masks, or those not obeying capacity restrictions.
"We just deployed the seven teams this morning, they are going to be providing information both in English and Spanish to the citizens in those (surging) zip codes and primarily we are going to be going over the pre-emptive measures," Mora said.
The groups will be accompanied by a police officer to ensure citations can be given on the spot when warranted. The data at the end of the first day of enforcement on Friday was not readily available.