UPDATE (3/30/20): The El Paso Department of Public Health confirmed both the 40th positive case and community spread.

UPDATE (3/28/20): The number in El Paso County now stands at 35, according to the El Paso Department of Public Health.

A third University of Texas at El Paso employee tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the latest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in El Paso County to 25.

Health officials reported a total of four new positive cases Thursday (3/26), one of those a UTEP employee who traveled to the same out-of-town event the two others who earlier this week tested positive attended.

The number of positive cases in El Paso County has more than doubled since Monday, March 23.

The huge jump in such a short time is due to results that have returned from commercial labs conducting tests outside of the Department of Health. Dr. Hector Ocaranza, head of the El Paso City/County Health Authority, fully expects the number of positive cases to continue to increase as testing accelerates.

Ocaranza also anticipates community spread to eventually happen. As of now, all reported cases have been travel-related.