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Total coronavirus cases at 46, stricter rules incoming, mayor says

Ocaranza, health authority with the El Paso Department of Public Health, called on residents to obey stay-at-home orders in order to slow the spread of the virus. Of those infected in El Paso, 75% are young adults, he added. Those first diagnosed with the virus have recovered and are out of isolation.

Ocaranza said with the amount of testing he's not ready to say El Paso News flattened the curve and expects to see a peak in cases in the next four to six weeks.

On a positive note, the first residents found to be infected by the virus two weeks ago are out of isolation and recovering. There have been no fatalities from the virus, he added.


El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and mayor Dee Margo reiterated they were looking at stricter rules beyond the Stay Home, Work Safe order. Margo expressed frustration with those not taking it seriously, seeing people who ignore six feet of social distancing and people traveling in large groups.  

"This really ought to be voluntary compliance," Margo said. People need to understand we're up to 46 cases, it is community spread and we've got to make darn sure we don't have a death. This is serious."

Margo said the city has in place penalties for residents who do not adhere to the order. In Washington, the fine is $5,000, and in El Paso, they are considering raising from $1,000 to $1,500, he added.


Samaniego and Margo said they would be clarifying what is considered "essential business" as concerns grow over construction crews continuing to work on projects, and how residents are handling stay-at-home orders. 
On Monday night, leaders shared plans to alleviate the Press Release Distribution Services In EL Paso impact of the novel coronavirus on local businesses and update the community on its spread during a news conference. 

On Monday morning, the City Council and County Commissioners Court approved measures to provide relief to small businesses impacted by the pandemic by entering into an agreement with LiftFund, a nonprofit. The organization provides credit and technical assistance services to small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources.

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