EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego announced in a joint press conference on Monday afternoon that El Paso had reached herd immunity against COVID-19.
Mayor Leeser said El Paso reached a vaccination rate of 75.1 percent and the city’s goal for herd immunity was set at 75 percent by the local health authority.
Judge Samaniego said despite the numbers, the local mask mandate is still in effect, which applies to individuals in indoor settings and schools.
Local officials continue encouraging the community to get vaccinated if they have not yet and said there’s been a decline in hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients, however, health officials said the majority of those that are hospitalized with the virus are unvaccinated.
As the Delta variant continues spreading across the country, officials were asked if this would set a new threshold for what is considered herd immunity.
Leeser and Samaniego said there have only been 18 reported positive cases of the Delta variant in El Paso and they attributed the city’s vaccination rate along with the mask mandate for those low numbers.