EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In a letter sent to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and other leaders are asking the State to delay reopening businesses in El Paso, citing concerns specific to our region.
The letter cites a large minority population, which is has been more susceptible to the virus.
The county leaders are asking Abbott to keep things the way they are until we see a 14-day downward trajectory in El Paso County.
“I’ve always felt adamant that we’re not ready. We’re not there yet. We’re not flattening the curve. I feel it’s a little premature. In the order, he (Gov. Abbott) allows for an exception for a county to request an extension and that’s what I did.”
As of Monday, El Paso had 1,348 positive COVID-19 cases, 80 patients hospitalized in El Paso County hospitals, 34 patients in ICU, and 19 on ventilators.
The request also comes as Juárez continues to see a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. There were 507 positive cases, but Chihuahua and Juárez health officials estimate the number is quadruple that number. They’ve also counted 113 deaths, while hospitals are beginning to reach critical levels.
Southern New Mexico is also seeing a sharp rise in the number of cases reported in just the last week. There are 245 positive virus cases in Doña Ana County, 12 in Otero County, and 30 cases isolated to the Otero County ICE Migrant Detention Facility just north of Chaparral.
Of the recorded cases in Doña Ana County, 157 are from suburbs around El Paso – Sunland Park, Santa Teresa, Anthony, and Chaparral.
Other signatures on the letter to Governor Abbott include El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, all four County Commissioners, all of the Texas State Representatives from El Paso, State Senator Jose Rodriguez, and mayors within the county. The signatures do not appear to include Mayor Dee Margo.