EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The City of El Paso gave a press conference on Thursday to discuss the ongoing record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases reported, and there is good news and bad news.
The good news is that Wednesday’s reported 3100 cases of COVID-19 were inaccurate.
According to Mayor Dee Margo and Public Health Director Angela Mora, a clerical error on Tuesday led to the surge in cases reported on Wednesday.
Mora stated that cases for separate days were uploaded and reported together.
The bad news is that El Paso is maintaining its trend of about 1500 cases per day for more than one week, and public trust in the City is dwindling.
Members of the City’s leadership provided updates, and you can read KTSM’s breakdown below:
- Mayor Margo reported that new cases of COVID-19 continue to be contracted at big-box retailers, and urges only one member per household to shop
- Significant spread is occurring at private home gatherings. According to Margo, people are leaving dine-in establishments at 9pm and then having private home gatherings that new enforcement teams are being created to investigate
- The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Defense have provided 1400 nurses, technicians, and respiratory therapists to alleviate the strain on local frontline health care workers; supplies of PPE are not a problem
- Margo says the City is following science and deferring to Dr. Ocaranza for guidance as needed
- Testing capacity has increased, and this week has had 10,000 test capacity this week
- Two new testing sites become operational this week at Album Park and Memorial Park; appointments can be made here.
- United Memorial center from Houston is working with the county out of the county sportsplex; capacity of 1000 tests per day and are averaging 400-500 per day
- The City says its known fatality management would be an issue, and are having frank conversations on storage needs from local funeral homes and morgues
- FEMA has provided five trailers: three are currently in use at the Office of the Medical Examiner and two are on reserve at the Fire Department Training Academy
- A request has been made to the Texas Funeral Commission to come to El Paso to make assessments
- According to Assistant Chief Peter Pacillas, an additional enforcement team is being created that will work with TABC and amplifying enforcement efforts
- Wednesday was a successful night: TABC opened one case, and officers responded to multiple calls of private gatherings
- El Paso Director of Public Health, Angela Mora, reports 80 new contact tracers are being on-boarded within the next two weeks
- A total of 129 contact tracers are being added to the existing system