FORT BLISS, Texas (KTSM) — Officials at Fort Bliss say the Public Health Emergency issued on Nov. 6 is officially extended an additional 30 days due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency in El Paso and surrounding communities.
The Installation Commander has the authority to declare a public health emergency in 30-day incremental periods. Saturday’s declaration will last through Jan. 6 to allow the post to assist William Beaumont Army Medical Center in supporting a potential surge in COVID-19 patients.
Since the initial Nov. 6 declaration, WBAMC has received more than 100 eligible transfer patients from El Paso hospitals. The majority of those patients are beneficiary patients of the Veterans Administration. The post has also assisted the community by operating several COVID-19 testing sites and facilitating the delivery of the test results.
In March, the Department of Justice issued directives to military installations restricting the release of data for active COVID-19 cases. At the time of the directives, Fort Bliss had reported just seven cases. It’s unknown how many additional cases are on Fort Bliss in addition to the El Paso County COVID-19 cases. The number of hospitalizations at WBAMC are also not included in the city’s daily hospitalization data.