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El Paso county judge imposes new curfew with governor’s approval

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Tuesday announced a new nightly curfew that he said meets with the approval of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The curfew will take effect on Wednesday - just one day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend - and will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly through Nov. 30.

Samaniego said the curfew applies to social and recreational activities, but it's doesn't apply to business activities. He said shopping is allowed after curfew "in order to allow stores to remain open for extended hours to minimize the number of shoppers crowded into a store during the day."

However, he encouraged shoppers to use curbside, drive-through and home delivery services to avoid crowds.

El Paso County Sheriff's Commander Ryan Urrutia said county and city authorities "will actively be enforcing" the curfew; violators can be cited and face $500 fines. There will also be enforcement of existing mask and capacity mandates, Urrutia said.

Samaniego also announced a "$10 million regional economic relief program to support local businesses" during the pandemic. The county launched a website with information on community resources at reducetherisk915.org.

The judge offered what he called "a very candid overview on El Paso's current Covid-19 situation," saying that the El Paso County Medical Examiner's Office continues to be overwhelmed by bodies of Covid-19 victims. He indicated there were now 13 refrigerated trailers in use for storage at the existing county morgue and added that officials were in the process of acquiring and launching a new morgue facility.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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