Story at a glance

  • El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego issued the order as hospitals in the county are at capacity.
  • Since Oct. 1, the county has seen a 160 percent increase in COVID-19 positivity rates and a 300 percent jump in hospitalizations.
  • “We are at a crisis stage,” Samaniego said.

A daily curfew has been put in place in El Paso County, Texas, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus as hospitals in the region have been inundated with COVID-19 patients and filled to capacity. 

On Sunday, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego issued a two-week stay-at-home order that requires all residents to stay home unless going to work or an essential service. The order includes a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The purpose of the curfew is to limit mobility in the community. 


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Violation of the order could result in a $500 fine. 

Samaniego said law enforcement agencies will enforce the curfew along with the face mask requirement, which comes with a $250 fine, and other mandates. 

During a news conference announcing the order, Samaniego said he was left with no choice as hospitals in the county are at a point where they are “overwhelmed and exhausted.” 

“We are at a crisis stage,” Samaniego said. 

“Currently, our hospitals are stretched to capacity. As of October 24, 2020, all area hospitals have reached capacity. All intensive care units in El Paso hospitals are at 100 percent capacity,” he said. 

Since Oct. 1, the county has seen a 160 percent increase in COVID-19 positivity rates and a 300 percent jump in hospitalizations, Samaniego said during the news conference. Samaniego also said the county is currently working to find more morgue space while funeral homes are preparing for an influx of bodies. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Sunday the El Paso Convention Center will be converted into a makeshift hospital with a capacity of 50 beds that can expand to 100 beds if needed. 

According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, El Paso has the fifth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state with 40,887. 

Texas has confirmed more than 867,000 cases with more than 17,000 deaths. 

The situation comes as many states across the U.S. are experiencing rises in cases and hospitalizations. 


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Published on Oct 26, 2020