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El Paso coronavirus update: City reports 274 new COVID-19 cases, deaths rise to 310

El Paso Times logo El Paso Times 11 hrs ago Times staff report, El Paso Times
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Here is the latest news on the coronavirus in El Paso for Wednesday, Aug. 12.

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. You'll find El Paso County positive case numbers, along with numbers from Texas and New Mexico. Refresh for the most current news.

We are offering free access to our live blog as a public service. Please consider subscribing to support important local journalism like this. If you are a subscriber, we encourage you to sign up for El Paso Times breaking news alerts.

a group of people standing in a room: Staff at Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System exit a shipping container where they decontaminate used personal protection equipment from El Paso hospitals Friday, July 17, 2020. © Mark Lambie / El Paso Times Staff at Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System exit a shipping container where they decontaminate used personal protection equipment from El Paso hospitals Friday, July 17, 2020.

If you have a news tip or update, email it to borderland@elpasotimes.com. Stay safe, El Paso.

Positive coronavirus cases in El Paso

El Paso County has 17,210 cases and 310 deaths as of Wednesday

Texas is reporting 506,820 cases and 9,034 coronavirus deaths.

New Mexico has 22,816 cases and 695 deaths, with 2,554 cases and 31 deaths in Doña Ana County.

There are 5,035 cases and 706 deaths in Juárez.

This story has been made available for free as a public service. Please consider subscribing today to support important journalism like this.

Juárez's COVID-19 death toll surpasses 700

[11:30 a.m.] Chihuahua public health officials reported 25 new COVID-19 cases in Juárez Wednesday, raising the case total to 5,035.

Officials announced seven additional deaths from the virus. The city's death toll is 706.

There are 9,402 COVID-19 cases and 1,106 deaths in Chihuahua state.

El Paso reports 274 new COVID-19 cases, deaths rise to 310

El Paso health officials announced 274 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, raising the total count to 17,210. There are 4,349 known active cases in the county.

Three deaths were also reported, which include a man in his 40s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 80s, all of who had underlying health conditions. The death count is now 310.

As of Wednesday, 185 patients were hospitalized, down 13 from Tuesday. Sixty-seven patients were in intensive care, with 40 on ventilators.

Project Amistad launches utility assistance program

Project Amistad has launched a utility assistance program to help city of El Paso renters and homeowners struggling to pay utility bills due to lost income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The program is funded through federal coronavirus relief funds the city received and will provide a one-time grant of up to $500 to cover past due water, gas and electric bills.

It is only open to households at or below 80% of area median income. Additional eligibility requirements and information on how to apply can be found at projectamistad.org/amistadcares. For more information, call 915-298-7307 (select option 1 + option 1 + zip code).

Free, state-run COVID-19 test sites open in El Paso through Aug. 29

The state-run COVID-19 test sites will remain open in El Paso through Aug. 29.

"Mega drive-thru" sites are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at El Paso Community College Valle Verde campus, 919 Hunter Drive, and the Socorro Student Activities Complex, 1300 Joe Battle Blvd. A drive-thru/walk-up site at Nations Tobin Recreation Center, 8831 Railroad Drive, is also open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No appointments are needed for the nasal swab test, which is free and done regardless of symptoms.

Test results will be provided via email within two to three days. For assistance with test results, call 1-844-778-2455 or email Covid19Help@honumg.com.

Health officials urge recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma

El Paso health officials urge people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to help current patients.

Hospitals use convalescent plasma therapy to treat severely ill coronavirus patients, which involves giving them blood transfusions from a recovered patient.

El Pasoans can donate plasma at Vitalant blood donation centers. Donors must be symptom-free for at least 28 days. For more information, visit vitalant.org/covidFree or call 866-287-6762.

Masks required at food pantries

In order to comply with the statewide mask mandate, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank is requiring anyone receiving food assistance at its mega distribution sites or mobile pantries to wear a face mask and vinyl gloves. People receiving assistance will load their own food. 

For more information on distribution locations and hours, visit elpasoansfightinghunger.org or call 915-298-0353.

Gov. Greg Abbott issues statewide mask order

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide mask order July 2 requiring Texans to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose while in businesses or other public spaces in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases, like El Paso.

The order provides several exceptions, including people who have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing one. People who are eating or drinking or exercising outdoors are exempt from wearing a mask, as are those driving in a vehicle alone or with members of their household.

The governor's order exempts children younger than 10-years-old from the mask order, but El Paso, in amending its local directive in response to Abbott's, is requiring children 2 or older to wear masks.

A first-time violation of the state face mask order will result in a warning, while subsequent violations will result in a fine up to $250.

Workforce Solutions Borderplex opens two drive-thru centers

Workforce Solutions Borderplex is operating two drive-up locations to help job seekers and unemployed people get information about jobs and unemployment benefits.

The drive-up locations are outside two of the public employment agency's employment centers at 8825 N. Loop Drive in the Lower Valley, and at 8941 Dyer St., in Northeast El Paso. All of the agency's offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions.

The locations are open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call 915-887-2600.

Project Vida offers COVID-19 testing

Project Vida is offering free COVID-19 testing at its Naftzger Clinic, at 3612 Pera Ave., in partnership with the city of El Paso.

The clinic's drive-thru test site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. People are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 915-298-5044 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Testing is open to those with and without COVID-19 symptoms.

What are the coronavirus symptoms?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some people don't have any symptoms at all. The most common symptoms resemble the flu and include fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some people also develop aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

About one in six people become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing, according to the World Health Organization. If you experience fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your doctor.

Symptoms can appear anywhere between two to 14 days after exposure, with the average patient seeing onset at around five days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus update map

Each circle represents total numbers for one county — tap or hover over each one for more details.

CDC coronavirus safety tips

The CDC's website offers the following safety tips:

  • Wash hands often.
  • Avoid close contact with others by keeping at least 6 feet of distance.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Monitor your health.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: El Paso coronavirus update: City reports 274 new COVID-19 cases, deaths rise to 310

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