EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — For only the second time in 12 days, Health officials with the City of El Paso say no one died from complications of the COVID-19 virus Saturday, keeping the total number of fatalities in El Paso at 58.
As KTSM reported Friday, Rosie Soria died at UMC Friday afternoon from the virus, according to her family. The City previously said there is a delay from the date of death until the Office of the Medical Examiner confirms the official cause of death.
There were also an additional 105 positive cases reported by the Department of Public Health, bringing the number of cases to 2,265 in El Paso. Of those, 1,208 are considered recovered, and 999 are still active.
Perhaps most troubling for health officials is the stubbornly high hospitalization rate in the County. Saturday, 116 people were hospitalized with the virus. Of those, 66 are in ICU, and 22 are on ventilators. According to a statewide database, El Paso only has 36 remaining ICU beds left in the trauma zone, which includes parts of Hudspeth and Culberson Counties.
Saturday’s data brings to a close the week with the highest number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. There were 539 new cases recorded this week compared to 404 new cases last week. There were fewer deaths this week (12) compared to last week (14). The increase in positive test results is likely due to expanded testing throughout El Paso County thanks to the state’s surge team, which was brought in to assist with expanded testing access.
El Paso is also seeing many detainees in federal, state and local prison and detention centers test positive for COVID-19. ICE confirmed 21 cases of detainees at their El Paso Processing Center on Montana Avenue. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reports 93 inmates and 13 employees have tested positive for the virus.
On Friday, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office confirmed their first case of COVID-19 in a 36-year-old man who was detained May 6 on several charges. EPCSO says the man has been in insolation since he became symptomatic. At least three cases were reported at the Juvenile Detention Facility in the Lower Valley last month. Nearby, an outbreak at the Otero County ICE Processing center has infected 66 migrant detainees and a combined 79 federal and state inmates at the Otero Prison tested positive for the virus as of Friday.
Authorities in El Paso are continuing to urge residents to observe Memorial Day remotely. The community is encouraged to honor our fallen military heroes by flying the United States flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. The community is also asked to consider taking a moment of silence at 3 p.m. in an act of symbolic unity.
The Fort Bliss Memorial Day Ceremony will be held virtually beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, May 25, 2020. The ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook and can be viewed here: www.facebook.com/FortBlissGarrison/