City of El Paso announces new closures as a precaution to Covid-19 outbreak

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso is temporarily closing several services as a precaution to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The City said it will close recreation centers, aquatic facilities, libraries, museums, and the El Paso Zoo at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, until further notice.

El Paso Animal Services will also close its doors to the public on Thursday, March 19.

Officials remind people that they can still use most community services online.

The following City Department has online services:

  • El Paso Public Library – The library offers online services 24/7 from home for all its library cardholders. Resources include online books, music, movies, and TV shows. The library is offering story-time, crafts, and tutorials on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For more information visit elpasopubliclibrary.org.
  • El Paso Museums (Archaeology, Art and History)
  • The Museum of Art’s more than 7,000 American, European, Latin American, and Modern & Contemporary art can be viewed at epma.art.
  • The Museum of History has access and opportunities to explore El Paso History through time periods, neighborhoods, or themes on the digital wall archive by visiting digie.org. Additional activities including recipes and coloring pages inspired by exhibits can be printed and completed from home.
  • The Museum of Archaeology has engaging pictures, lectures, discussions and unique posts on its Facebook page.
  • El Paso Zoo – “Sofa Safari” launches on March 19, every weekday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on its Facebook page. Sofa Safari gives everyone a chance to virtually meet a zoo animal and ask the zookeeper questions about the amazing creatures they care for.

The Animal Services facilities affected by the closure include the Animal Services Center (5001 Fred Wilson), Mission Valley Adoption Center (9068 Socorro), and Field Services Building (4501 Hondo Pass). The public closure will result in several operational changes that will allow Animal Services to provide certain services on a limited or emergency basis.

Operational Changes:

  • Animal Protection Officers will only respond to high-priority calls. This includes EPPD/EPFD assistance calls, sick and/or injured animals, cruelty, neglect, rabies, quarantine/bite investigations, traffic hazards, and aggressive animals.
  • The department will not accept any stray animals from the public that are brought to the shelter or reported to 311.
  • Owner reclaims, adoptions, fosters and pet pantry services will be facilitated by phone only and fulfilled by curbside service or home delivery:
  • For owner reclaims, dial 915-212-8741
  • For adoptions, dial 915-212-8705
  • For foster, dial 915-212-8732
  • For pet pantry, dial 915-212-8735
  • Phone lines will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m
  • During this closure, the community is encouraged to help reunite lost pets with their owners by taking these steps:
  • Submit a “Found Animal Report” by calling 311.
  • Take the animal to any El Paso fire station, veterinarian, or emergency animal hospital to have the pet scanned for a microchip.
  • Post the pet as found on sites like Nextdoor, Craigslist and Lost and Found Pet pages on Facebook.
  • Hang flyers where the pet was found, as most pets are found less than a mile or two from their home.

As for employees, officials said workers who can telecommute will be working from home. Other departments that need to have skeleton crews in the office might have rotating schedules where they work from home one week and in the office the following week.

Officials said others will be assigned accordingly to the CDC guidelines to include the social distancing.

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