Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to how personal responsibility and social distancing is the key to ending the spread of the coronavirus.
EL PASO, Texas – The El Paso civic center will be converted into a medical care site and some patients will be flown to other cities as local hospitals are being inundated with COVID-19 patients.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Sunday evening issued a stay-at-home order with a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless going to work or going to an essential service. Violation of the order is punishable by a $500 fine.
“We are in a crisis stage,” Samaniego said, adding that hospitals and intensive care units were filling to capacity.
The curfew is intended to help slow the spread of the virus by reducing the number of people out in public.
As of Sunday morning, a record 786 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 in El Paso, an increase of 71 patients from the day before, and the number of known active cases was a new record with 11,321, according to city-county health data.
El Paso County saw a new record high in coronavirus cases: 1,443 new cases were reported Monday morning, and one new death.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday that the Texas Division of Emergency Management will set up an emergency care site with hospital beds, equipment and medical personnel at the civic center this week.
The civic center site will have a capacity of 50 beds and can expand to 100 beds, if needed, the office of the governor said.
Coronavirus updates: In one-week span, US reports highest number of cases since pandemic began; states struggle to contain COVID spread
‘Please stay home’
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is deploying two 35-member disaster medical assistance teams and a trauma critical care team to El Paso, Abbott said. The teams will arrive this week.
El Paso public health officials on Sunday again issued a plea for residents to stay home for two weeks to help curb coronavirus infections.
“In less than three weeks we’ve spiked from 259 to 786 COVID-related hospitalizations – a 300% increase. If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire healthcare system,” El Paso Public Health Director Angela Mora said in a statement.
“For the sake of those hospitalized and the frontline healthcare workers working tirelessly each day to care for them, we ask you to please stay home for two weeks and eliminate your interactions with those outside your household until we can flatten the curve,” she said.
The increase in COVID-19 patients means there are fewer
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego issued the curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Sunday night for the next two weeks to help curb the rising rates.
The county — which includes the city of El Paso and sits in the southwest border of Texas above Juarez, Mexico — has seen a 160% increase in positivity rate since October 1 and a 300% increase in hospitalizations, the judge said.
“We’ve had significant spikes to the point that our hospital capacity is really tapped. We’re probably at the end of our rope there,” Mayor Dee Margo told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Newsroom Sunday night. “It’s not good here at all.”
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) resources will arrive in Texas this week, including two 35-person Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and a Trauma Critical Car Team, according to a statement from Governor Greg Abbott’s office.
Curfew imposed to slow spread
“The curfew is enough to limit the economic consequences on local businesses by allowing the stores to stay open. We carefully thought about the economic impact if we were to impose a full stay at home order like we did at the beginning of this process,” Samaniego explained.
“We know the impact it would have for you not to be able to go to work. So we’re going to do everything possible to continue moving towards the balancing of the economy and making sure that we adhere to public health and everything that is required for us to continue our battle against this very insidious virus,” he added.
Those who don’t comply with orders could face a fine of $250 for not wearing a mask and $500 for not following the order, Samaniego said.
Mayor Margo said that while there hasn’t been one cause identified for the recent surge, many cases have been attributed to community spread and people letting their guard down.
“We did an analysis for two weeks on 2,404 cases from October 6 through October 20 and what we found is that 37% of our positives were from visiting large big-box stores, 22.5% were restaurants, and 19% were travel to Mexico,” Margo explained, adding that 10% were attributed to parties and reunions, 7.5% were due to gyms and only 4% were due to large gatherings.
The mayor urged people to
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Sunday that the state will establish an alternate care site to expand care in El Paso as the region deals with surging COVID-19 cases. El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Sunday issued a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., saying all El Paso hospitals are filling to capacity.
“We are at a crisis stage,” Samaniego said.
El Paso officials said Sunday there were 517 new cases, as well as 55 delayed testing results reported by the state, for a total of 11,321 active cases in the area. Three additional deaths were reported.
“In less than three weeks we’ve spiked from 259 to 786 COVID-related hospitalizations — a 300% increase. If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire healthcare system,” said El Paso public health director Angela Mora in a statement on Sunday.
The new alternate care site will open this week at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center with 50 beds and the ability to expand to 100 beds if needed.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services will also be deploying two 35-person disaster teams, Abbott said. The state has already deployed 900 additional medical personnel to El Paso, some of which will staff the auxiliary care site.
“The alternate care site and auxiliary medical units will reduce the strain on hospitals in El Paso as we contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region,” Abbott said.
A report by UT-Austin released Thursday said “the El Paso region has the most threatening projections, with an estimated 85% probability that COVID-19 cases will exceed local hospital capacity by November 8th, 2020.”
According to the same report, five other regions have a more than 25% chance of hospitals being overwhelmed with in 3 weeks: Amarillo (28%), Lubbock (29%), Wichita Falls (30%), San Angelo (29%) and Galveston (33%).
Abbott announced on Saturday that he had requested the use of a medical center at Fort Bliss for non-COVID-19 patients. Officials with the University Medical Center of El Paso said Saturday they are working to coordinate airlifting patients requiring critical care to other hospitals in the state. This will be a strictly voluntary decision by the patients and arrangements will be made to bring all patients home to El Paso, CBS El Paso affiliate KDBC reported.
COVID-19 cases have been on the rise both throughout Texas and nationwide. On Friday,than any other single day since the pandemic began.
PARIS — The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is to last at least four weeks.
The measure was announced this week by French President Emmanuel Macron to curb the resurgent coronavirus as new daily infections peaked last week to over 30,000. Macron said the curfews were needed to stop hospitals from becoming overrun.
Many restaurant owners are up in arms about the move that is forcing them to close early, something that they say will devastate the industry.
In France, nearly 20 million people are covered by the curfew and eerily deserted scenes were observed in Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse as well. The curfew runs until 6 a.m. daily.
France has seen over 33,300 confirmed deaths in the pandemic, the fourth-highest death toll in Europe.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— New infections and deaths are hitting records in Russia, but Vladimir Putin’s government appears determined to avoid unpopular restrictions.
— Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge
— Trump plays down virus as he steps up pitch for second term
— Chancellor Angela Merkel urges Germans to unite against the virus like they did in the spring, says what Christmas and the winter looks like depends on people’s actions now.
— Iran’s virus death toll passes 30,000, the worst outbreak in the Mideast.
— Europe’s economy was just catching its breath from the sharpest recession in modern history but a resurgence in coronavirus cases will likely lead to a lean winter of job losses and bankruptcies.
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
JERUSALEM — Dozens of ultra-Orthodox elementary schools and religious schools known as yeshivas opened in Israel on Sunday in violation of a government lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Israeli government only permitted nurseries and kindergartens to reopen in person on Sunday as part of country’s first phase of easing restrictions following a month-long lockdown, but schools, learning centers and universities are to conduct classes remotely.
On Saturday, a leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi — who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month — called for religious grade schools and yeshivas to reopen, despite government regulations. Police said officers were dispatched to a number of reopened schools in ultra-Orthodox towns, ordered them to send students home and issued fines.
Israel has recorded over 300,000 cases, including nearly 2,200 deaths. The country’s ultra-Orthodox community, many of whom live in densely populated neighborhoods with large families, has been disproportionately affected. Some members of the community have flouted the rules, holding weddings and mass prayers inside synagogues in conditions that help spread the disease.
MILAN — The Italian government has approved 40 billion euros ($47 billion) in new spending to counter the pandemic’s economic blow.
The stimulus package announced Sunday includes an additional 1 billion euros to the national health care system, plus funds to
A small victory in Miami on Friday could shift the power in favor of businesses who are fighting against local COVID-19 restrictions in South Florida.
Tootsie’s strip club in Miami Gardens won in a civil lawsuit against Miami-Dade County, and will be able to stay open past the county’s coronavirus curfew, which the judge called “illegal.”
The curfew has been in place nearly three months to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms at midnight, which is when clubs typically open. In a number of cases, establishments such as Tootsie’s that stayed open were fined and forced to shut down at midnight.
The situation has been similar in Broward. Earlier this month, nightclub owners demanded answers from Broward Mayor Dale Holness, who said businesses would still have to shut down at 11 p.m. even after Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed South Florida into a Phase 2 reopening.
In Miami-Dade, Judge Beatrice Butchko ruled that Tootsie’s can operate all night because of DeSantis’ statewide decree, which effectively snatched power from local governments to enforce COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.
DeSantis’ order allowed counties and cities to set capacity limits for restaurants, but kept local governments from issuing rules that kept people from working.
“The Miami-Dade curfew orders conflict with [DeSantis’ executive order] because they prohibit Tootsie’s from operating; they prohibit employees and contractors from working; and they reduce capacity to zero for the entire time subject to the curfew,” Butchko wrote in the ruling.
Sports radio host Andy Slater broke the news that Tootsie’s won the suit.
Miami-Dade and Broward imposed the curfews in July to crack down on late-night parties in bars, streets and in private homes. The curfews also affected restaurants that had to close their dining rooms early.
Sun Sentinel staff writer Rafael Olmeda contributed to this report.
Brooke Baitinger can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-422-0857 or Twitter: @bybbaitinger
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BRUSSELS (AP) — Faced with a resurgence of coronavirus cases, the Belgian government on Friday announced new restrictions to try to hold the disease in check, including a night-time curfew and the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants for a month.
The measures are set to enter force from Monday. The curfew will be enforced from midnight until 5:00 a.m. Alcohol sales will be banned after 8:00 p.m. The number of people that Belgians should see socially outside family members will be reduced from three to a maximum of just one — all month.Read More