Right on the border with Mexico, El Paso in Texas is known for its desert landscape, military complexes and plentiful sunshine. Now, it’s making a name as one of the worst hit regions in the nation. Covid-19 patients account for more than half of all hospital admissions in the county of El Paso, and the case count continues to trend upwards.
With cases going up by more than a thousand every day in El Paso, some 76,000 people have now been infected. That’s about the same number of confirmed cases as in the whole of Greece or Libya.
Ten mobile morgues
As hospitals grapple with too many patients, El Paso’s morgue has been unable to keep up with the county’s rising death toll. As a result, officials are turning to refrigerated trailers. Ten of these mobile morgues have been requested in recent weeks.
Inmates moving bodies
The city continues to face a shortage of staff, and officials have faced criticism for turning to local prisons for help.
Six months, six family members
In the last six months, one El Paso woman has lost six of her family members to the virus as the outbreak worsens.
No shutdown for El Paso (State leaders want more people to die)
Despite the worries of many El Pasoans, there’s no lockdown in sight for the west Texas county.
On Friday, a state appeals court overturned a stay-at-home order after local restaurant owners and the state attorney general sued Judge Samaniego for shutting down the city.
A panel of judges ruled 2-1 that the order to close nonessential businesses until December went against the Texas governor’s 7 October reopening guidance. Some businesses resumed operations almost immediately, local media reported.
Attorney General Ken Paxton called Judge Samaniego a “tyrant” over the mandate. The county judge responded that it was “unfortunate” that the attorney general sought “to gloat instead of coming to El Paso to walk along side me by the mobile morgues”.
Judge Samaniego added he was disappointed by the decision, but noted that El Pasoans must still adhere to certain restrictions on masks, businesses and gatherings.