Thursday's COVID-19 positive cases were 717. Friday's numbers were even worse at 838. Those continually rising numbers are what prompted El Paso officials to announce new COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday. The test results come in from state-run and privately-run testing sites. They could also be a couple of weeks old depending on when the tests were administered and how long it took for the results to be reported to the Department of Public Health.

Here is a rundown of the new restrictions that were put into place this morning by City and County health officials as of midnight Friday:

Restaurants will be limited occupancy back to 50%, as with all non-essential businesses. After 9 p.m. restaurants will only be able to do take out and drive-thru only.
Bars remain closed.
Gatherings in parks are restricted to fewer than 10 people or less.
There will be no indoor sports and outdoor sports will not be allowed to have spectators. UTEP and the Locomotive will be allowed to have games and can have spectators if they choose.
No outdoor gatherings going forward will be approved.
Nursing home visits are now put on hold.

El Paso officials are also looking at four zip codes as hot spots. They are:

Central El Paso - 79903
East El Paso - 79936, 79928
near Horizon - 79938

City officials will be sending the education task force out to those zip codes to make sure people in those areas understand what they should and should not be doing to help keep the COVID-19 numbers down. The hot spot zip codes will also get increased access to testing.

City officials say you can be fined if you aren't following COVID-19 restrictions. If they are serious about fines and consequences, I'm all for it, but they need to stop hiding behind words and take action. The numbers are terrifying and if we want to stop seeing our families and friends getting sick, it's going to take not only people following the rules but also the City and County stepping up and following through with their restrictions.

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