El Paso reports 27 additional COVID-19 cases; reviewing State’s plan to reopen Texas

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El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso has announced 27 additional positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 829. No new deaths were reported, keeping the number of deaths associated with the virus in El Paso at 12.

According to the City of El Paso Public Health Department 36 patients are hospitalized, 19 are in the ICU, and 12 of the ICU patients are currently on ventilators. Health officials also say 265 patients have recovered from COVID-19.

The City is reviewing Governor Abbott’s executive order allowing retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls to open this Friday, May 1. Facilities that reopen are required to limit capacity to 25 percent of their listed occupancy.

They say they’ve not made a decision on opening its facilities in El Paso this Friday in accordance with the Governor’s order. The City is allowing outdoor sports to resume in groups no larger than four, such as golf and tennis. The City and County of El Paso have opted to reopen golf courses with restrictions.

Under Governor Abbott’s orders, salons, gyms, massage parlors, bars, and clubs are to remain closed; and their status will be re-evaluated in mid-May. Libraries and non-interactive museums may open May 1 and operate at 25 percent of their listed occupancy.

“We are in the process of reviewing the executive orders issued by Governor Abbott today and how they apply to our community,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “Creating a pathway to rebuild our economy while addressing critical public health needs, and continuing to slow the spread of the virus, is the City’s ultimate goal.”

City officials will evaluate Governor Abbott’s order and move forward with El Paso’s plan with emphasis on the health and wellness of our community. Noting the severity of COVID-19, health officials advise that it is critical El Paso move forward with caution and due diligence.

“It is critically important that we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Governor has begun planning the reopening of Texas, and so we must be thoughtful in our approach as to how we reopen our community per the State’s orders while still taking into account our community’s health,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, with the City/County Health Authority.

“The first line of defense against COVID-19 is to stay home when you can. If you need to leave your home for essential activities, we ask that you wear a cloth face covering. The public must remember there is no vaccine for this disease; which is why we continue to stress that each person must take responsibility and care for each other.”

As previously reported, El Paso Health officials are releasing new information regarding those who are now seen as high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. They include:

People 65 years and olderPeople who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthmaPeople who have serious heart conditionsPeople who are immunocompromised; including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medicationsPeople with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)People with diabetesPeople with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysisPeople with liver disease

Health officials remind the public that face coverings are now mandatory in El Paso County.

The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If these symptoms appear and do not improve, the person should contact their healthcare provider or seek medical attention.

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 a referral to services contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

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