First COVID-19 related death reported in El Paso; 33 new cases reported on Thursday

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The first death related to COVID-19 has been reported by the City of El Paso.

The El Paso Department of Public Health said the person was a man in his 80s who had preexisting medical conditions. Health officials said the case is still under investigation.

Officials also reported new cases in El Paso that now has the city surpassing more than 200 cases. Dr. Hector Ocaranza with the Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that there have now been 225 cases reported in El Paso County.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in cases and these clusters are an example of how easy the virus spreads by being in close contact with an infected individual that in some cases can be asymptomatic,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “Our community should understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the Stay at Home Order and we need to follow all the preventative measures such as handwashing, social distancing and everyone wearing face masks to prevent the situation from worsening.”

City officials continued to stress that people remain in their houses as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also on Thursday, Mayor Dee Margo urged people not to celebrate in large groups during Easter and to continue practicing social distancing.

City leaders said people can still bike and exercise outside, but while maintaining a safe distance from others.

Mayor Dee Margo also urged people to wear a cloth face cover when going out in public such as going to the grocery store.

The City of El Paso posted tips on how to make a mask on Twitter.

“If we as a community do not do something to stop the trend, the numbers will continue to rise,” said El Paso Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino. “Everyone must take individual responsibility and do their part to save lives by following the Stay Home, Work Safe Order.” 

The 21-COVID hotline is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For referral, services contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

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