Skyrocketing new COVID-19 cases, hospitalization cause for concern for local health officials

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso recorded it’s highest spike new COVID-19 cases Sunday, marking the second time in just four days the city has topped a new record. The El Paso Department of Public Health added 284 new cases Sunday, bringing the new total of virus cases in El Paso to 5,614.

No additional deaths were reported Sunday. The total number of fatalities in El Paso remains 127.

Perhaps most troubling is the rising number of hospitalized patients. According to Sunday’s data, there are now 147 patients hospitalized and 68 in ICU — both new high records. There are also 25 patients currently on ventilators.

As of Saturday, there were more than 5,500 patients hospitalized in the state of Texas — a new number that has health officials throughout the state sounding alarms.

“This jump in positive cases is incredibly concerning, and calls for a renewed focus by each person to be stricter towards taking care of themselves and their loved ones,” said City-County Local Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza

Although some of the new cases can be attributed to clusters in an unnamed nursing facility and detention facility, health officials warn community spread is what’s driving the spike in cases. According to the City, the largest spike in new cases is among young people under the age of 40.

“While we are still investigating the details behind the cause of the spikes recorded over the last week; we’ve seen a trend in cases among those in their teens, 20s and 30s and likely a haphazard approach to health prevention. Collectively, more than 40 percent of our positive cases are individuals in their 20s and 30s,” Dr. Hector Ocaranza said.

The City also says they are working to amend the local health directive orders, some of which were already put into effect by Governor Greg Abbott last week.

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