EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego on Friday said a legal ruling affirming his shutdown order was a “moral victory.”

Samaniego said the ruling is most beneficial for the area’s health care workers, who are taking the brunt of this pandemic.

“I really believe that today we had a moral victory,” he said, thanking health care workers.

In announcing his order last week, Samaniego said he was confident in the County’s legal standing in ordering a shutdown, as well as having confidence in the backing of the medical community.

District Judge William Moody, of the 34th District Court, ruled earlier Friday that the order stands, which clears any confusion for the community, Samaniego said.

“Now the County’s stay-at-home order remains in full force and effect,” he said.

Samaniego said that he was did take the business in consideration before enacting the order, adding that a careful balance must be reached between community health and the economy.

“Today I am leaning more in this balance that public health is more important and, if we do this side of the formula properly, eventually our economy will become stronger,” he said. “It’s better to face things now and correct them than to see the collapse of our health care system.

“It’s come to the point that very few of us are not experiencing the devastating effects of this virus,” continued Samaniego. “I want everyone to be conscientious of the impact it’s had in our community without feeling that we don’t understand the economy — we all do, we all need it and it’s important. Sometimes (other) things take priority.”

He emphasized the importance of the community’s cooperation in the next few weeks, especially around the holidays. “We’re headed for a perfect storm, unless we refrain from gathering,” he said.

The order expires on Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m., unless it is extended. The behavior of the community will determine if an extension of the order is necessary, he said.

You can watch the conference in full in the player below.

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