One new death related to COVID-19 reported in El Paso; health officials urge community to continue wearing face coverings

Local

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso Public Health Department is reporting one additional COVID-19 death, bringing the total number of deaths to 22.

Health officials said the male patient was in his 60s with underlying health conditions.

City leaders are also reporting 37 new COVID-19 cases bringing the county’s total number to 961.

To-date 419 people have recovered from COVID-19; consequently, there are 520 active cases within the county. Positive cases in El Paso County include 505 females and 458 males.

Health officials said that there are now 58 patients who are hospitalized, and 30 of those hospitalized are currently in ICU.

“We are saddened to report another death due to the virus, and we send our deepest condolences to his family,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Health Authority. “As I have said over and over again, stay home! Please don’t go out if you don’t have to, don’t visit friends or families who don’t live under your same roof.”

Ocaranza said there is a strong correlation between the Easter break and the spike in positive cases, and he warns that the community will very likely see another spike in cases—or worse, a rise in deaths—due to social gathers expected to occur during the Mother’s Day weekend.

“If you absolutely must go out, wear a face-covering because anyone, even those without symptoms, can spread the virus. If you must go to the store or to the mall do so quickly and then go home,” Ocaranza added. “If you insist on going to a restaurant, only do so with family who live in the same household. Wear a mask when entering the restaurant and remove it when you are eating or drinking. It is about using common sense to protect your loved ones. Don’t put yourself or your family at risk.”

The Local Emergency Directive has been amended due to the ongoing upward trend in cases. City officials said El Pasoans must adhere to wearing a face covering when out conducting essential business or tasks.

The updated directive is available at www.epstrong.org under “Health Orders.”

The directive does not alter Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders as Texas cities are not prohibited from mandating the use of face coverings, but local governments are not allowed to fine or jail people for failing to do so.

The City and County of El Paso have also prohibited public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household.

This means visiting your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends who do not live in same household as you is prohibited as a preventative measure to stop COVID-19 from spreading, officials said in a news release.

Health officials said a face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual, not from the same household.

The Office of Emergency Management has been working with the Texas Department of Emergency Management to provide additional testing sites for the County’s rural communities.

The dates and locations are as follow, please note a correction by the State for the Fabens and

Horizon locations:
May 12

-Fabens: El Paso County ESD2 District Office, 16001 Socorro Rd., Fabens TX

-Montana Vista: Montana Vista Fire Station 2, 5411 Paso View Dr., El Paso, TX

May 13

-San Elizario: San Elizario Fire Station-1415 San Antonio Rd., San Elizario, TX

-Horizon: Horizon First Baptist Church; 17018 Darrington, Horizon, TX

-Vinton: West Valley Fire Department: 510 Vinton Rd, Anthony, TX

Residents are asked to make an appointment 24 hours prior to the testing date either online at TXCOVIDTEST.ORG or by calling 512-883-2400. Testing is open to all regardless of the location of residence.

The time of the testing will be from 9 am to 5 pm. If residents do not call or register for an appointment, they can still show up at the site and will be instructed to either register on their phone or call the number to schedule accordingly.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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