EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso County Judge Richard A. Samaniego has sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott to provide him with an update on the surge of COVID-19 cases that are being reported daily in El Paso.
In the letter, County Judge Samaniego also asked the governor for his support in allowing City and County leaders to impose further restrictions if the high number of COVID-19 cases do not drop.
You can read County Judge Samaniego’s full letter to the governor below:
On Thursday, El Paso County officials ordered for County parks to be temporarily closed until the number of COVID-19 cases drops.
“Yesterday, was indeed a difficult day for me with respect to my decision to be more restrictive. It’s not an easy task to make these decisions while balancing the profound importance of public health, and the impact that this relentless virus has levied upon a striving economy,” said County Judge Samaniego.
The County’s amended Stay Home, Work Safe Order includes the following:
- All County-owned facilities, parks, and recreational areas shall close for a two-week period. Hiking, biking, walking, and fishing shall be allowed, but all social distancing measures to include the use of face coverings shall be followed and will be enforced. This shall include the closure of County-owned golf courses, handball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, and pools. All tournaments and special events shall be canceled and prohibited during this period.
- Will not affect any voting sites currently taking place in County facilities.
- For purposes of this Order, County employees that perform essential government functions may continue to work onsite. County employees who can work from home shall do so. County elected officials are strongly encouraged to allow their employees to work from home when possible
“The intent of establishing a 2 week prohibition on specific activities was to align our resources and to initiate a clearer strategy to address the present surge that we have been experiencing; not only throughout the County, but the entire region. We are dealing with a world-wide surge, but our situation in El Paso is much more unique. Slowing down our activities will allow us to initiate root-caused initiatives instead of being statistical spectators. It is my strong intent to work with our Juarez and Dona Anna County leadership and systematically take to heart the much needed regional focus. It is my hope that the community joins our challenge to draw ourselves back to a voluntary Stay Home, Work Safe Order to aggressively minimize the loss of lives and the destructive nature of this insidious pandemic. Our community deserves direction and true strategic interventions. Testing and contact tracing are vital at this time, but these are still only components of finding a solution. We need our community to step-up and be stronger as we all have to be united during these challenging times. I have a tremendous amount of confidence that our relentless Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, State Delegation, and other community leaders will support our collaborative efforts and do all that they can to protect the health of El Paso. One day at a time with thoughtful and deliberate steps will be my beacon and grain of hope during this pandemic.”