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Commentary Coronavirus Featured

COVID-19 to El Pasoans: I’m not gone yet

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This past week proved that El Paso has not escaped the COVID-19 crisis.

The number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths increased over the past week, even as more El Pasoans were vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Almost a third of eligible El Pasoans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and for the second consecutive week, the state is sending more than 30,000 first doses of vaccine to El Paso.

Here’s our weekly COVID-19 data report.

New cases

The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases hit a four-week high in El Paso.

The New York Times COVID-19 tracker continues to classify El Paso as being at “very high risk” of COVID-19 exposure, the second highest level on its scale. 

Even as more El Pasoans get vaccinated, health officials continue to advise people to wear face masks in public, avoid large groups and practice social distancing.

Hospitals

The number of El Pasoans with COVID-19 requiring treatment in hospitals leveled off last week after several weeks of decline. That isn’t a surprise, since the number of new infections rose the week prior.

The number of El Pasoans treated in intensive care units for COVID-19 continued to decline. But that number could go up in coming days based on infection trends over the past two weeks.

Deaths

The estimated number of El Pasoans dying of COVID-19 jumped to the highest level in almost two months.

El Paso averaged one COVID-19 death every five hours in the past week.

Vaccines

More than 105,000 El Pasoans had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday. In the coming days, more than a third of El Pasoans age 16 and older will be fully vaccinated. That is one of the highest rates among Texas’ most populous counties.

El Paso will receive more than 32,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the coming week.

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Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist and the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award. Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on border issues by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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