Air Force medical teams sent to El Paso to assist three area hospitals with COVID-19 efforts

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A view of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez on October 24, 2020 taken from El Paso, Texas.(Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KXAN) — The U.S. Department of Defense has deployed three U.S. Air Force medical teams to help with El Paso’s COVID-19 response, according to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.

The teams consist of 20 military medical providers each, which will help out three hospitals in the city: the University Medical Center of El Paso, the Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus and the Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center, the governor’s office said.

“Our ongoing partnership with the federal government is crucial to our efforts in reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations in El Paso,” Abbott said in a news release. “I thank the Department of Defense for providing these resources to the El Paso community and for working alongside the Lone Star State to mitigate this virus.”

This comes after the El Paso county judge ordered a two-week shutdown of nonessential businesses following a surge of COVID-19 cases in the area, which put a strain on area hospitals. The judge made the decision even after additional resources were sent to the area by the state.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the judge’s order unlawful and is trying to dispute it in court. The mayor of El Paso also disagreed with the county judge, fearing the shutdown would hurt businesses and workers.

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