EL PASO, Texas -- For the first time since El Paso announced the city's first case of the coronavirus, Mayor Dee Margo is now urging all assisted living operations to release the data surrounding virus cases in each of their facilities.
It comes after ABC-7 learned of a growing and deadly outbreak within the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home.
ABC-7 first reported on the outbreak at the end of May, when the home said six residents had died. Now that number has doubled, with 12 residents dead, another 15 have recovered and six more are still sick.
One of the families affected by loss, who asked not to be identified out of privacy concerns, said their father was an El Pasoan born and raised who was also a World War II veteran.
The family told ABC-7 that he had been hospitalized and was recovering to the point he was released back to the facility, which declined to provide them with their number of positive cases at the time.
Within four days, the veteran had passed.
ABC-7 questioned the mayor about a previous statement he had made contending that the city wasn't doing any harm by not releasing virus case information about these care facilities.
Margo expressed sadness for this veteran and offered his condolences to the family, adding "I urge all assisted living centers to publicly disclose the number of cases at their facility in order to assist with keeping the community informed."
After previously citing a city policy for refusing to release that information, city officials have now provided ABC-7 with a copy of a state law that they claim prevents them from releasing the info themselves.