El Paso residents under curfew after city runs out of ICU beds for virus patients

The Texas city urged people to stay home and quarantine after an uptick in COVID-19 cases

As coronavirus cases are rising across the United States, some cities are seeing shortages in available hospital beds for patients of the deadly disease.

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CBS News reported in El Paso, Texas, residents have been urged to remain indoors for two weeks as the cases of COVID-19 multiplied. The spike caused hospitals to run out of intensive care unit space and the state has dedicated part of the city’s civic center as space to care for seriously ill patients. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 50 hospital beds will be set up and another 50 beds could be added.

“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 according to CBS News.

El Paso coronavirus ICU thegrio.com

El Paso County health officials noted 772 new coronavirus cases Sunday, CBS News reported. This is just a day after a record-setting 1,216 new cases were reported. The 5,206 COVID-19 hospitalizations recorded statewide Sunday was the most since Aug. 22.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego signed off on a new stay-at-home order with a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Violators could face a $500 fine.

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

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The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) have prioritized additional medical personnel and equipment to El Paso according to a press release. DSHS is deploying over 460 medical personnel to the region and 48 patient monitors, 25 medical beds, and 30 oxygen concentrators to support area hospitals. 

“The medical personnel and supplies we are deploying to El Paso build upon the resources the state previously sent to the community and will provide much-needed support to area hospitals and first responders,” said Gov. Abbott in the statement. “The State of Texas will continue to work with local officials to protect public health and help the El Paso community mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Angela Mora, the city’s director of public health, warned of the dangers the surge is causing to the safety of the community.

“If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire health care system,” Mora said to NBC News. “For the sake of those hospitalized and the front line health care 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.”

As theGrio reported, positive cases and deaths due to coronavirus are rising. With Election Day only one week away, the average deaths per day across the country are up 10% over the past two weeks. Data reported cases are up from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.

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