11 COVID-19 Cases in San Elizario. New Countywide Rules.

SAN ELIZARIO, TEXAS – To begin, San Elizario has additional cases of COVID-19. We are now at eleven (11) positive cases.

There are new rules going into effect, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

The City and County of El Paso are now requiring you to wear a facemask or covering when you leave your home. Because the order is signed by County Judge Samaniego, this means we must wear a facemask in San Elizario as well.

You are also able to utilize hiking trails and bike trails if you do not go as a group. Playgrounds, parks and all their equipment remain closed and off limits. Again, this includes San Elizario.

I’m also concerned about testing rates. The Mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, says that there have been 7,078 tests conducted countywide. That’s 8.4 people tested per 1,000. This number is well below the national level.

Testing numbers must be increased in order for us all to have a better picture of how COVID-19 is spreading in El Paso.

A correction provided to me by Bob Moore of El Paso Matters, Dr Ocaranza has finally admitted that there are COVID-19 cases within nursing homes. The number provided two days ago, the 42 people, are connected to the El Paso Psychiatric Center.

Dr Ocaranza did not provide the number of people infected in nursing homes. Failure of the City of El Paso to report numbers is a common theme throughout COVID-19 related issues and press conferences. We still cannot find out why the City of El Paso is not tracking recovery numbers outside of the City of El Paso.

Read What’s the Big Secret and “There are no documents to answer your question.”

In today’s press conference Dr Ocaranza indicated that the City of El Paso does place COVID patients in isolation. He said when they release those individuals from isolation, they continue to monitor them. According to what Dr O said, when they are released from isolation, they are considered cured. However, even though he says they are monitoring them, the City of El Paso did indicate they are not tracking the data to that depth.

Both Mayor Margo and Judge Samaniego indicated during the press conference that they have not spoken to the Governor since last week and basically have no idea of the Governor’s plans to reopen the State of Texas. However, the Governor has said he has been communicating with City and County leaders throughout the State.

On April 22, 2020, the Governor talked about opening up the State of Texas the beginning of May.

And again, questions from San Eli News to City of El Paso, as well as the County of El Paso, have gone unanswered.

The new numbers are reported below:

Today’s COVID-19 UPDATE:

11 Active Cases in San Elizario – we have new cases of COVID-19 in our city. Let’s be careful when we go out.

10 Deaths reported in El Paso County

645 total number of diagnosed cases

29 Newly diagnosed cases

121 total number of recovered cases

542 total active cases in El Paso County

1,372 total tests given by the Dept. of Public Health Lab.  72 tests administered in the last twenty-four hours.

COVID-19 is spread through coughing and sneezing, personal contact like shaking hands, and touching a surface with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. There are simple steps everyone can take to help prevent spreading them:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home, avoid large crowds, only go out for essential business/tasks.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

New Guidelines

Face Coverings

·         All individuals over the age of two (2), are to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while outside of their home or residence. A face covering may include face masks, cloth fabric coverings that fit snugly but comfortable against the side of the face and is secured with ties or ear loops, bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters.

·         Parents and guardians of children over the age of two (2) and under the age of ten (10) shall be responsible for appropriately masking children when outside their residence.

·         A face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not form the same household.

·         All non-residents in nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities shall wear a fabric face covering.

·         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.

Prohibited Activities

·         All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit are prohibited.

·         Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities are to minimize the movement of staff between facilities whenever possible and prohibit non-critical assistance visitors or providers, as determined through the guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

·         Any public of private gatherings at any recreational area, park, pool or recreational facility is prohibited.

o   This includes hike and bike trails, whether formally recognized by the City or not; including, but not limited to any golfing in public or private courses; any gathering in school recreation areas, tennis clubs, and any other private recreational club; the area near Socorro Independent School District Student Activities Complex (“SAC”) located near 1300 Joe Battle Boulevard; all to include the use of any type of recreational vehicle at any outdoor area.

·         Residents can walk and run along established walking paths that exist adjacent to streets, parks or within parks; but are prohibited from using trails and trailheads

·         Franklin Mountains State Park shall remain closed until further notice.

Retail-to-Go: Guidance for Employers, Employees and Customers

·         Requirements

o   All employees must be trained on environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

o   All employees must be screened before coming into the business for new or worsening cough; shortness of breath; sore throat; loss of taste or smell; feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit; or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID19. Any employee who meets any of these criteria should be sent home

o   Upon entering the business, employees must wash or sanitize hands

o   All employees must wear face coverings

o   Employees must maintain at least 6 feet separation from one another

How to Purchase Goods from Re-Opened Retail Businesses

·         Customers may purchase items from retail location for pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep but may not enter the premises.

·         Retail to go guidelines:

o   All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available

o   Purchased items should be delivered by the employee to the backseat or trunk of the customer’s vehicle whenever possible to minimize physical contact with the customer

o   Employees must wash or sanitize their hands after each interaction with a customer, and whenever possible. Must disinfect any item that came into contact with the customer

·         Retail delivery to customer’s doorstep:

o   All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact would be minimized if remote payment is not available

o   Purchased items should be delivered by an employee or third-party carrier and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The employee or third-party carrier may not enter the customer’s house or business

·         Retail delivery by mail:

o   All payments must be done over the phone or internet

o   Purchased items should be delivered by mail without customer contact

·         The customer should wash or sanitize their hands after the transaction.

The directive still allows the public to visit grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

The updated order with additional changes is available at www.EPStrong.org under “Health Orders.” Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance by calling 3-1-1.

The 21-COVID hotline is operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For referral to services, contact 2-1-1 and select option six (6). For more information, visit www.epstrong.org.

Texas Health and Human Services have issued COVID-19: Guidance for Employers, Employees, and Customers of Reopened Retail Services. You can download them here.

ReOpened Retail Guidance by San Eli News on Scribd