The frightening numbers of COVID-19 infections in El Paso has spurred the Texas Governor to announce the formation of an auxiliary hospital in downtown El Paso. The El Paso Convention Center will undergo a conversion to an auxiliary hospital and house up to 100 beds to deal with the massive surge in COVID-19 patients who are in need of medical care.

In a Sunday statement, the governor said the Texas Department of Emergency Management will take the lead in the conversion of the Convention Center. The auxiliary hospital will hold hospital beds, medical equipment, and have medical personnel to help with the local COVID-19 response. The hospital will have 50 beds initially but can expand up to 100 beds.

Last week Abbott sent 900 doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to El Paso because of the surge in COVID-19 cases. The Convention Center hospital will use some of that staff to care for patients. The formation of an auxiliary hospital comes on the heels this past week of the announcement that hospitals in El Paso would be making airlifting patients to other hospitals in Texas available to help ease the strain on local hospitals. The governor also asked the federal government, at the request of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, to use William Beaumont Army Medical Center for non-COVID-19 patients so as to ease the flow of patients to local hospitals. That request has not yet been granted.

Please wear your masks, wash your hands, and stay at home if possible.