Coronavirus El Paso update: COVID-19 confirmed cases, prevention

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The city issued a Stay Home, Work Safe order which went into effect Tuesday at midnight leaving much of El Paso looking like a ghost town.

El Paso Times

Here is the latest news on coronavirus in El Paso for Wednesday, April 29.

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. You’ll find El Paso County positive case numbers, along with numbers from Texas and New Mexico. Refresh for the latest news.

We are allowing free unlimited access to our coronavirus coverage on our digital platforms throughout this crisis. If you are a subscriber, we encourage you to sign up for breaking news alerts from the El Paso Times.

If you have a news tip or update, email it to us at borderland@elpasotimes.com. Stay safe, El Paso.

Presumptive positive coronavirus cases in El Paso

There are 887 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 confirmed deaths in El Paso County as of Wednesday evening. 

There are 259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Juárez and 64 deaths.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting 27,054 cases and 732 coronavirus deaths in the state.

There are 3,213 cases in New Mexico, including 130 in Doña Ana County. There are 112 coronavirus deaths in the state.

El Paso reports four coronavirus deaths, 30 new cases

[7 p.m.] El Paso health officials reported the deaths of four coronavirus patients Wednesday night, bringing the local death toll to 18. Three of the patients had underlying health conditions while one did not, officials said.

The city also announced 30 new positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday, for a total 887 cases. Of those, 334 people have recovered from the virus.

Fifty-two patients were hospitalized Wednesday, and 27 were in intensive care.

We regret to report 4 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 18. The patients include 2 males (50s & 60s) and 2 females (60s).

The county’s total number of COVID-19 cases now stands at 887.

Read more: https://t.co/fVmctsi6HDpic.twitter.com/C1bXmbFLXU

— City of El Paso (@ElPasoTXGov) April 30, 2020Fab Lab El Paso creates face shields and masks for health care workers

The non-profit Fab Lab El Paso and an alliance of local fabricators and private producers have been working together to create affordable Personal Protective Equipment with 3D printers, specifically face shields and facemasks.

The face shields ($2 each with minimum of 10) and masks ($1 each with minimum of 10) are available for health care and frontline organizations and businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To purchase a facemask, go to: https://ppeorders.square.site/.

ICE reports seven COVID-19 cases among detainees

In U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, there are seven cases of COVID-19 among those detained at the El Paso Processing Center. Three detainees at Otero County Processing Center have contracted the virus.

Nationally, there are 425 cases of the novel coronavirus among ICE detainees.

Juárez reports five new COVID-19 cases, one death

Chihuahua public health officials reported five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ciudad Juárez Wednesday, bringing the city total to 259 cases. They also announced an additional coronavirus death, bringing the city’s death toll to 64 patients.

There are 398 COVID-19 cases in the state of Chihuahua and 75 deaths statewide.

Costco to require face masks for shoppers

Effective May 4, Costco stores will require all members, guests and employees to wear a face covering while in the store, according to the store Website. The requirement does not apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition.

The store in El Paso only allows one person to enter the store per membership card and continues social distancing efforts.

Major El Paso coronavirus news from Tuesday, April 28

Health officials announced the deaths of two more COVID-19 patients Tuesday evening, bringing the local death toll to 14. New cases grew by 28, for a total of 857 cases.

Cases in Juárez grew by 17 Tuesday, and health officials announced 11 new deaths in the city.

Local golf courses were allowed to reopen Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, school districts began to announce rescheduled graduation ceremony dates.

EPISD, SISD, Canutillo ISD and Clint ISD set new graduation ceremony dates

The El Paso, Socorro, Canutillo and Clint Independent School Districts announced Tuesday new dates for the Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies, which had been postponed due to coronavirus.

Ceremonies are scheduled to begin in late June and run through July, but districts cautioned that the ceremonies will be contingent upon the city and county lifting the current ban on large gatherings.

The new dates can be found here.

Second Logan Elementary School employee tests positive for COVID-19

A second food service employee at Logan Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, the El Paso Independent School District said in a news release Tuesday.

EPISD closed the meal distribution site at Logan Elementary, and meals for that area are being served at Powell Elementary School until further notice.

The district has asked all employees who worked with these staff members to self-quarantine for 14 days. It is also asking families who picked up meals at Logan Elementary to monitor their health and contact their primary care physician if they develop symptoms.

El Paso sports teams to turn on stadium lights

The region’s three professional sports teams – El Paso Chihuahuas, El Paso Locomotive FC and FC Juarez Bravos – announced Tuesday a plan to turn on their respective stadium lights at the same time.

The lights and videoboards will display messages of courage and unity to the border community from 8 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and again on May 6. The same messages will be broadcast live on each teams’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites.

“Sports has a unique way of bringing people from different backgrounds together under one banner to cheer for their team,” said MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford. “In this case, and in our roles as the symbolic town squares for El Paso and Juárez, we are proud to use our status and work with the Bravos to provide this gesture of support during a challenging and unique time in our history.”

In addition, fans are encouraged to donate to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank. The Foster Family Foundation & Hunt Family Foundation, via the MountainStar Sports Group Foundation, will match each dollar donated up to $1 million.

El Paso golf courses to reopen Tuesday

Golf courses will be allowed to reopen Tuesday, the city said in a news release. Golfers will need to abide by the following restrictions, which include:

Groups of more than four golfers are not allowed. Only golfers are allowed on the course.Golfers maintaining the required six feet of social distancing are not required to wear face coverings during play.Tee times will be in 15-minute intervals. Players are not allowed to arrive at the course more than ten minutes before their tee time and must leave the course immediately when their round finishes.Players are responsible for handling their golf bags and clubs.

Play at private golf courses in the city will be limited to members only, the city said.

TTUHSC El Paso announces virtual commencement ceremony dates

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso announced Tuesday the dates of the virtual spring commencement ceremonies for the Foster School of Medicine, Hunt School of Nursing and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The ceremonies will be streamed via Facebook Live, the university said in a news release.

The ceremonies will be on the following days:

Hunt School of Nursing – May 9 at 10 a.m.Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences – May 9 at 2 p.m.Foster School of Medicine – May 22 at 6 p.m.Major El Paso coronavirus news from Monday, April 27

Health officials reported 27 new COVID-19 cases in El Paso County Monday, bringing the case total to 829. Chihuahua public health officials reported 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Juárez Monday, bringing that city’s total to 237 cases.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he will let a previous order instructing Texans to stay home except for essential activities expire April 30 as scheduled. Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen starting May 1.

Gov. Greg Abbott will let statewide stay-at-home order lapse 

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he will let a previous order instructing Texans to stay home except for essential activities expire April 30 as scheduled. 

Come May 1, retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen, Abbott announced. Occupancy must be limited to 25% in counties with more than five confirmed COVID-19 cases, like El Paso County. In counties with five or fewer cases, the occupancy limit is 50%.

“This order allows businesses to reopen. It does not require them to do so,” Abbott said.  The state order supersedes local ones, he added.

Libraries and museums can also reopen under the same 25% capacity guideline, but interactive portions of museums must remain closed.

City expands COVID-19 testing to anyone with symptoms

The city of El Paso has expanded its drive-thru COVID-19 testing to anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms, the city said in a news release.

“We are moving into the third phase of our testing and are now able to test the general community who are showing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the local health authority.

The expanded testing will allow health officials to identify and isolate more positive cases to reduce the spread of the virus, Ocaranza said.

Testing is free and does not require a physician’s order or insurance, the city said. People who qualify for testing are asked not to take fever-reducing medication prior to the appointment at the test site.

To make an appointment, call 915-212-0783 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

El Pasoans asked to ‘unite with light’

The city of El Paso is asking residents to show support for local medical professionals and first responders by lighting their home’s porch, balcony or windows at 7:30 p.m. every Friday as part of the “Unite with Light” campaign.

In support of our medical professionals and 1st responders working to aid our residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage residents to light their porch, apartment windows and balcony with candles, flashlights or any kind of light at 7:30PM every Friday #UniteWithLightEPpic.twitter.com/RqmbCERIoT

— elpasotxgov (@ElPasoTXGov) April 7, 2020What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some people don’t have any symptoms at all. The most common symptoms resemble the flu and include fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some people also develop aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

About one in six people become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing, according to the World Health Organization. If you experience fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your doctor.

Symptoms can appear anywhere between two to 14 days after exposure, with the average patient seeing onset at around five days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus update map

The map is updated automatically and shows a closeup of each state. Or, zoom out to see numbers from around the nation and world.

CDC coronavirus safety tips

The CDC’s website offers the following safety tips:

Clean hands often.Avoid close contact with non-household members.Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when out in public.Cover coughs and sneezes.Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

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