Public Health Officials Urge Community Become Actively Involved in Reducing Cases
EL PASO, Texas (November 4—, 2020) Today the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting eight (8) deaths and 3,100 new COVID-19 positive cases.
All eight patients had underlying health conditions. They include:
•1 male in his 40s
•1 male in his 50s
•2 males in their 60s
•1 male in his 70s
•2 males in their 80s
•1 male in his 90s
As a reminder the deaths did not occur on the same day, but rather between the second week of October and the first week of November.
“We are saddened by the ongoing loss of lives due to this pandemic,” said City-County Local Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “Hospitalizations continue to rise sharply and unfortunately more people we know will continue to succumb to the complications of this disease. What we have been asking is for all of us to take an active role in prevention and to take this pandemic seriously. Our hospitals are near breaking point, we need everyone to do their part to stop this virus.”
The cumulative number of positive cases now stands at 56,355, of which 33,543 have recovered. There are currently 21,902 active cases. The state also reported 438 additional cases which are part of the cases from CDC Weeks 34, 41, 42, 43 and 44. We are currently in CDC Week 45.
The community is reminded that this virus is highly transmissible and can be easily spread through inhaling infected droplets from individuals around us through talking, coughing, sneezing and singing. The virus can also be introduced into our system by touching our face after touching commonly used surfaces and areas such as doorknobs, countertops, or sharing pens, etc.
COVID-19 can be fatal, particularly for persons who don’t have an immune system strong enough to fight the virus, including persons 65 years of age and older and persons of any age with existing medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and other. These are common medical conditions affecting many members of our community, therefore making El Paso highly vulnerable.
Additionally, it is estimated that about 14 percent of the total positive cases are asymptomatic, meaning the COVID-19 positive individuals showed no symptoms and, if they did not follow preventive measures, they may have infected many around them.
Community members can play a key role in bringing the spread of the virus down by simply following local orders and other simple protective guidelines such as:
• If you know or suspect you were near an infected person for more than 15 minutes and closer than 6 feet of distance, test 7 days after your exposure and immediately self-quarantine;
•After testing, continue to self-quarantine until you receive negative laboratory results to resume normal activities;
•If you test positive and receive results directly from your laboratory, self-isolate for 10 days; if you do not receive a call from a public health official 24 hours after you receive your test results, contact the COVID Positive Assistance Line at (915) 212-6520 or online by going to epstrong.org and filling out the self-reporting form to report your test results and be assigned a contact tracer;
• While waiting for a contact tracer to call, fill out the investigation survey to report places you visited prior to infection and people you were near and might have exposed, located at epstrong.org under the Residents Page under Contact Tracing and submit to the assigned contact tracer;
• Practice Preventive Measures:
– Social Distance – Do not gather with family or friends or visit crowded places;
– Physical Distance – Stay 6 feet or more away from others not from the same household;
– ALWAYS wear your face covering when in public (exceptions: when driving alone or with members of the same household, or when medically unable); and
– Wash or disinfect your hands often and after touching common surfaces.
Health officials urge residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, to remain isolated at home and for all in the same household to remain in quarantine; stating that is the only way we, together will be able to slow down the spread of the disease and protect our vulnerable loved ones.
For more COVID-19 information to include testing, data and prevention, visit www.epstrong.org or call 21COVID (212-6843).