The virus surge in the El Paso metropolitan area has gotten so bad so fast that local officials are taking drastic action, imposing a two-week stay-at-home order and a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that took effect Sunday night.
The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in this region along the Mexico border is soaring, and officials are scrambling to make space for them by setting up overflow beds in a convention center and under tents in parking lots and by flying patients out to medical centers outside the area.
As a third surge has taken hold in the country, the El Paso metro area now ranks 11th in the nation in coronavirus cases relative to its population, according to a New York Times database. The only cities that rank higher in this fall wave are in hard-hit Idaho, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
The swell of cases comes as case numbers in the United States has reached alarming records in recent days as outbreaks continue to grow across the country. While daily numbers of deaths are still lower than they were in the spring, at least 339 new coronavirus deaths and 59,691 new cases were reported in the United States on Oct. 25.
Over the past week, there have been an average of 69,814 new cases reported each day, an increase of 32 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
In El Paso, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has more than tripled over the past three weeks, officials said. As of Monday morning, the total was 853, according to the University Medical Center of El Paso, where the coronavirus patient count has doubled in four days.
As of Sunday, one-third of all the patients in the region’s hospitals had Covid-19, according the county’s curfew order. The top elected executive in El Paso, County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego, wrote in the order that hospital intensive-care units were completely full.
Violations to the order would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Mr. Samaniego also “strongly encouraged” the suspension of all extracurricular activities in schools.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas announced on Sunday that the state would provide a 50-bed temporary hospital at a convention center in the area. He has also asked the federal government to make the military hospital at Fort Bliss available for civilian patients. And the state is sending three or four mobile hospital units, which will be set up in parking lots.
At least 44 new coronavirus deaths and 3,935 new cases were reported in Texas on Sunday. Over the past week, there have been an average of 5,864 new cases a day statewide, an increase of 37 percent from the daily average two weeks earlier, according to a New York Times database.
An earlier version of this item referred incorrectly to virus outbreaks at construction sites, landscaping companies, a fire station and an eye-care clinic. Those were reported in El Paso County, Colo., not El Paso County, Texas.
The United States and much of Europe barreled into the new week scrambling to confront surges in new cases that threaten to overwhelm hospitals, with just eight days until the American presidential election.
Stock and oil prices dropped Monday in response to a continued stalemate in the United States over additional virus aid and new restrictions to halt a third surge in cases.
The United States hit a record number of daily new cases on Friday, while the death toll surpassed 225,000. More than 41,000 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States, a 40 percent rise in the past month. And though daily death tolls have not risen so sharply, they are inching upward.
At least five members of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, but that’s not keeping him from the campaign trail: Mr. Pence was scheduled to travel to Minnesota for a rally on Monday afternoon.
Mr. Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative for the virus on Monday morning, his office said. His chief of staff, Marc Short, was among the aides who have tested positive for the virus in recent days.
It was unclear whether Mr. Pence would also attend the Senate vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court later in the evening. Mr. Trump, who was campaigning in Pennsylvania on Monday as the state set a single-day record for new cases, is likely to hold a swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Monday night, several officials said. The prospect of a crowded event may serve as a reminder of Judge Barrett’s nomination ceremony, which may have seeded the first White House virus outbreak.
A spokesman would not say whether the vice president was receiving some of the drugs Mr. Trump was given, including an experimental cocktail of antibodies by the pharmaceutical company…
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