The scary COVID-19 numbers that have been dominating the news for the past two weeks in El Paso are now causing the Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Management to ask the public to not only follow health and safety guidelines like washing your hands and wearing a face mask, officials are now asking the public to stay home for next two weeks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in El Paso.

Hospital beds are filling up and officials say there is a huge strain on our local health services. Because hospitals are having to deal with a huge influx of COVID-19 patients, that means patiens who have non-COVID medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes or are in a car accident might have trouble being cared for. The state has sent medical personnel and equipment to El Paso but because of the 300 percent increase in COVID-19 patients in less that a few weeks, even that is being used up.

City and County officials have put in place additional restrictions and they say they will enforce these local health orders:

· Wearing a face covering while out in public
· Social gathering inside or outdoors with non-household members or with groups of more than ten
people
· Businesses that don't comply with monitoring customers and employees for things like face
covering while in their business, social distancing and not making sanitizer available

Officials are asking that if you don't have to leave your home, don't. They say that if you can go shopping alone and leave your family members at home safely to please do so. They also are asking that you wear your mask correctly, which is over your nose and mouth.
Below are helpful numbers:

If you want to report someone not following health guidelines you can call the Police Department Non-Emergency number at 915-832-4400. If you need to self-report a positive COVID-19 test result, call the Epi Triage Line at 915-212-6520. This number is for positive results by the Department of Public Health Laboratory only, not for private testing facilities.

For complete COVID-19 information including where testing is available, data and prevention, go to www.epstrong.org.