El Paso, Texas, Gets 4th Mobile Morgue As COVID-19 Deaths Rise

Automobiles wait in line at a coronavirus testing site at the University of Texas at El Paso Saturday. As El Paso reports record varieties of active coronavirus cases, the Texas chief law officer sued to obstruct regional shutdown orders.

Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

conceal caption

toggle caption

Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Cars and trucks wait in line at a coronavirus screening website at the University of Texas at El Paso Saturday. As El Paso reports record numbers of active coronavirus cases, the Texas attorney general of the United States taken legal action against to block local shutdown orders.

Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

This comes as Samaniego faces legal difficulties from state officials who say he has no authority to impose a countywide shelter-in-place order that shutters unnecessary services in El Paso and its surrounding locations.

As of Monday early morning, El Paso health authorities have reported 51,536 validated coronavirus cases and 605 virus-related deaths. Those figures include 978 individuals who are hospitalized and 273 who remain in intensive care units.

With brand-new coronavirus infections rising and area healthcare facilities already at capability, medical inspectors in El Paso, Texas, have actually received a fourth refrigerated morgue to temporarily save bodies, a county official states.

” Thus, his order takes over both the Texas Legislatures ability to control who works out legal authority and Governors Abbotts role as the designated person responsible for meeting disasters on a statewide level,” it adds.

” I believe youre visiting remarkable more deaths turning up in the next 2 to 3 days,” he said.

The County is currently working on producing more area at our Medical Examiners Office parking lot so that we can get a 3rd mobile morgue system. , if that does not put our situation into perspective I do not understand what will.. https://t.co/aSDHJfDx6S— County Judge Ricardo Samaniego (@EPCountyJudge) October 31, 2020

Companies considered important can stay open, including childcare centers, ballot sites and grocery shops, the order states.

It is a plain truth for a city where coronavirus patients have actually been catching COVID-19 at a rate faster than medical workers can examine their cases. El Paso sits along the U.S. southern border and is described as part of the Borderplex, along with Mexicos Ciudad Juárez.

The order, which went into impact just before midnight Friday, closes beauty parlors, fitness centers, tattoo parlors and in-person dining at dining establishments. It is set to end at the end of the day on Nov. 11.

” The County is currently dealing with developing more area at our Medical Examiners Office parking lot so that we can get a 3rd mobile morgue system,” Samaniego said via Twitter.

Abbott released an executive order last month allowing county judges in areas that meet certain coronavirus criteria to permit some establishments to run at 50% capacity.

” If that does not put our circumstance into viewpoint I do not know what will.”

The governors procedure also called for increasing “the tenancy levels for all company establishments aside from bars to 75%.”.

Since it goes beyond emergency orders currently put in location by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the claim asserts that Samaniegos order is invalid.

” Judge Samaniego did not have authority to provide emergency orders more restrictive than Governor Abbotts,” the court filing states.

As of Sunday, Samaniego said, the county had a backlog of 85 bodies that still needed a medical workers investigation, according to the station.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton signed up with numerous El Paso-area businesses in submitting a claim on Friday trying to obstruct Samaniegos order.

News of the extra morgue capacity emerged a day after Samaniego tweeted on Saturday that county authorities were “working on creating more space” in the parking lot of the medical examiners workplace.

” My understanding is that we just got our 4th one,” Samaniego confirmed to local TELEVISION station KVIA TV in El Paso Sunday afternoon, referring to the variety of mobile morgues in place.

” People that pass away are under investigation, to see if they died of COVID and to determine whether they had other illness. That holds back the procedure,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego informed local tv station KFOX-TV.

That relocation became part of the judges remarks about the news that the county was getting its third mobile morgue.