Largest one-day surge in COVID-19 cases reported in El Paso

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 hit an all-time high Tuesday in El Paso, as city health officials confirmed 71 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.

El Paso Public Health Department reports 51 additional positive COVID-19 cases Tuesday, marking the largest surge in cases since April 25. The total number of positive virus cases in El Paso now stands at 1,080. No additional deaths were reported, leaving the total number of fatalities at 22.

There are currently 71 people hospitalized, 40 of whom are in ICU, and 17 of those patients are on ventilators. The number of active cases is still slightly larger than inactive cases, showing 514 recovered and 544 active in the county.

For the first time, El Paso leaders say they’re working with private laboratories to obtain the number of tests they’ve performed. To date, health officials have only tracked tests conducted by the Department of Public Health lab, which is 1,830 as of Tuesday.

New data indicates the total number of COVID-19 tests performed in El Paso County is estimated at 10,200.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued directives Tuesday for local salons, barbershops, and other select businesses to open Friday. City and county leaders said they’re reviewing the directives in El Paso’s emergency order to best align with the Governor’s new amendments.

“We can only continue to re-open our economy if the community does their part to social distance, wear face coverings and not gather,” Mayor Dee Margo said. “It is critical everyone, businesses and residents, follow these guidelines so we do not jeopardize our public health.”

“If you love your mom, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, any mother figure in your life show them your love them by not visiting them in person this Mother’s Day. Give them the gift of health and life, and keep them safe from COVID-19,” Ocaranza said.

“Stop making excuses on why it is OK to visit family members and friends who do not live in your immediate household. Social gatherings are simply not allowed. Meaning social gatherings consist of anyone who does not live in your immediate household, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. are prohibited. We need everyone to please take this serious and take care of each other and not risk losing a loved one.”

The public is reminded again that face coverings are locally mandated, but they are 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. Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

It is recommended that face coverings be cleaned daily. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their face covering and wash their hands before and after removing the covering.

Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling the police department non-emergency at (915) 832-4400. Anyone with questions about the local directive can call 3-1-1.

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