State Watch

El Paso restricting activities amid spike in coronavirus cases

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The city of El Paso, Texas, will be imposing new coronavirus restrictions on Friday after reporting a record number of new cases, Mayor Dee Margo (R) announced in a press conference. 

The city on Thursday reported an all-time high of 717 new COVID-19 cases and 20 delayed testing results. There are now 6,887 active cases and 30,624 cumulative cases. There have been 554 deaths so far. 

“We did not want to take a step back, but this unprecedented amount of new cases has left us with no option but to implement these new restrictions,” the mayor said

Starting Friday, the city will be limiting occupancies of non-essential businesses 50 percent, down from the current 75 percent occupancy limit. 

Restaurants will be limited to drive-thru and takeout services after 9 p.m., and bars will remain closed. Gatherings in parks are limited to groups of 10 people or less. 

All indoor sports are paused, and no spectators are allowed at outdoor sporting events. Those restrictions do not apply to professional or collegiate sports. 

Home gatherings are banned, and there will be no visitors to homes that care for the elderly. Waivers for outdoor events such as weddings and farmers markets are also suspended. However, outdoor events that were previously approved will still continue. 

Dargo said the new orders do not impact early voting, which has already begun in Texas, “or your ability to cast your vote.” 

El Paso Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino said the city’s enforcement task force would issue citations to those who fail to follow new restrictions.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported a cumulative total of 805,082 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and 16,717 fatalities.

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus restrictions COVID-19 El Paso Texas Texas

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