El Paso, Texas is seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 infections. Hospitalizations have increased by 200%, prompting the city to convert a convention center into a field hospital. Health officials are urging people to go into lockdown for two weeks.
“If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire health care system. 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,” Angela Mora, El Paso’s Director of Public Health said.
There are 14,359 cases of the virus in El Paso County. On Thursday, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego ordered a two-week shutdown for all non-essential services.
“I call on every single El Pasoan to stay home unless you are working in an essential job or accessing essential services, including exercising your right to vote,” Samaniego said in a news briefing.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management is responsible for setting up 100 beds at the field hospital in the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center.
“Our challenge is, as the number of individuals that require hospitalization grows, at some point, logically, we’re going to run out of capacity,” said Jacob Cintron, CEO of the University Medical Center in the city of El Paso.
Cintron said that behavior needs to change in order to see a drop in the number of infections.