You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Curfew ordered in El Paso as COVID-19 cases surge

ABC News logo ABC News 10/26/2020
a person walking on a city street: People wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic are pictured in downtown El Paso, Texas, Oct. 24, 2020. © Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images People wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic are pictured in downtown El Paso, Texas, Oct. 24, 2020.

A recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in El Paso, Texas, has caused city officials to order a curfew for residents.

The curfew has been imposed for 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to limit mobility in the community, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said at a press conference Sunday. For the next two weeks, citizens are required to stay home unless they are traveling to and from work or accessing essential services.

MORE: 42 states, territories in upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases: HHS memo

Only one person is permitted to access essential services at a time, and trick-or-treat activities on Halloween are not allowed, Samaniego said. Violators will be fined $250 for failing to wear a face mask and $500 for any other violations of the order.

chart, histogram: Texas’s Rising COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations © The COVID Tracking Project Texas’s Rising COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations MORE: In the face of rising infections, Texas funeral home directors prepare for the worst

El Paso County has had the fifth-highest number of positive cases in the state at more than 39,000, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Since Oct. 1, the county has seen a 160% increase in COVID-19 positivity rates and a 300% jump in hospitalizations.

Intensive care units at all area hospitals reached 100% capacity as of Saturday, Samaniego said. An overflow of ICU patients are being airlifted to other cities.

a busy street filled with lots of traffic: Cars line up for Covid-19 tests at the University of Texas El Paso on Oct. 23, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. The city has seen a surge in cases, reporting over 1,150 new cases on Oct. 22. © Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images Cars line up for Covid-19 tests at the University of Texas El Paso on Oct. 23, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. The city has seen a surge in cases, reporting over 1,150 new cases on Oct. 22. a man standing on a city street: People wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic are pictured in downtown El Paso, Texas, Oct. 24, 2020. © Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images People wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic are pictured in downtown El Paso, Texas, Oct. 24, 2020.

The county is working to find more morgue space, and funeral homes are prepping for an influx of bodies, Samaniego said.

The El Paso Convention And Performing Art Center is being turned into a hospital with 100 beds, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. The University Medical Center of El Paso is setting up tents outside to treat patients.

MORE: South Dakota seeing surge in COVID-19 transmission as cases rise in Midwest

More than 862,000 cases and 17,500 fatalities have been reported in the state of Texas, according to the state health department. On Sunday, the daily count of new cases had hit nearly 3,800 and 48 fatalities.

Forty-two states and territories in the U.S. are experiencing an upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, according to an internal memo by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services obtained by ABC News.

ABC News' Matt Gutman, Marilyn Heck and Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From ABC News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon