EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — With new COVID-19 cases on the rise, the El Paso City Council on Monday extended a disaster declaration and emergency measures for another 30 days.
These include restrictions on non-essential activities, public and private gatherings, social distancing and hygiene standards for businesses allowed to operate — from grocery stores to restaurants. It also provides protection from evictions for apartment dwellers and from disconnection of utility services for all residents.
The emergency measures date back to March 17 and were set to expire on Wednesday. Monday’s unanimous vote by the council keep them in place through the first week of August. You can read the full list here.
At the urging of City Reps. Peter Svarzbein and Alexsandra Annello, the council made a change to allow city boards and commissions to start meeting again. The meetings will be online but a start date is pending.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in El Paso County, with 248 new cases reported on Monday. This brings the city’s total to 7,461 confirmed coronavirus infections to date and 135 deaths. A day-by-day chart of new infections shows El Paso remains at the peak of the pandemic.
El Paso County is promoting COVID-19 testing but recommends people make appointments 24 hours in advance.