El Paso health department records more than 4,000 active COVID-19 cases in one month

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – In one month’s time, the city of El Paso’s Public Health Department recorded more than 4,000 active COVID-19 cases an increase not seen since last year’s spike, according to Mayor Oscar Leeser.

Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego held a joint news conference over COVID-19 Wednesday morning. They urged El Pasoans who have not received a vaccine to get one and for fully vaccinated individuals to get their booster shots.

“So, I am not trying to be an alarmist to be honest with you. I just really want to show the numbers where we are today. Where we were a year ago, we were way off,” Leeser said. “A year ago, we were the worst city in the nation. This is why we want to talk about the numbers where we are today so we can make sure that we do what is proper and take precaution.”

Today, the city recorded 826 new COVID-19 cases and more than 100 individuals with infections are in intensive care units at area hospitals, according to Leeser. And, there are 368 individuals in total hospitalized with COVID-19 infections.

“These numbers are very sobering,” he said.

Leeser said a new variant identified in Texas may mean more cases as individuals shop for holiday gifts.

“I urge you to know your surroundings,” he added.

The introduction of the Omicron variant is still being investigated by the Texas Department of State Health Services but health officials say it is very contagious. The variant was identified in a fully vaccinated woman in Harris County after she became infected with COVID-19. She had not traveled outside her community when she caught the virus.

Health department data show 71.2 percent of all individuals five-years-old and up in the county are fully vaccinated compared to 54 percent across Texas. And, 92 percent of all individuals 65-years-old and up are fully vaccinated and 99 percent partially vaccinated.

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