KTEP - El Paso, Texas

COVID-19

Social gatherings
Angela Kocherga / KTEP News

EL PASO -- The governor of Texas is helping El Paso set up a field hospital at the convention center and the county judge has imposed a nightly curfew from 10pm to 5am to keep more people at home and stop rampant community spread.

But the night before the curfew took effect as officials urged El Paso residents to stay home amid a record-breaking surge in COVID-19 cases and hosptializations, social gatherings continued.

Border Shutdown Paso del Norte Bridge
Angela Kocherga / KTEP News

CIUDAD JUAREZ --It’s been more than six months since the U.S. and Mexico border closed to all but essential travel to slow the spread of COVID-19. The disruption of lives and livelihoods has been widespread on both sides during the pandemic. 

Marco Antonio Corral, 60, has watched it all unfold from the middle of the Paso del Norte Bridge where just over the borderline on the Mexican side he peddles potato chips and cold water to drivers and passengers stuck in idling cars calling out “Papitas! Agua!”  

EL PASO -- A class-action lawsuit aims to end the Trump administration's expulsion of migrant children who arrive at the border alone seeking refuge. Many of the kids have been held in hotels in Texas border cities including El Paso and McAllen before being removed from the country.

 

The ACLU is spearheading the lawsuit filed in Washington D.C.  along with the Texas Civil Rights Project and Oxfam America seeking to block border officials from suspending legal safeguards for children who arrive at the border alone.

 

Ringside Seat to a Revolution by David Romo
David Romo / Cinco Puntos Press

KTEP's Angela Kocherga and guest co-host Alfredo Corchado, Mexico border correspondent for The Dallas Morning News  based in El Paso continue their series of COVID-19 conversations with authors, historians and researchers. Borderland historian and author of Ringside Seat to the Revolution David Romo discusses the health, economic and political implications of pandemics then and now and lessons as El Paso and the region copes with COVID-19.

 

Polling Place Vote Here Sign
Angela Kocherga / KTEP News

EL PASO -- El Paso County election administrators have precautions in place at polling places to protect voters health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Every election has its own challenges,” Wise said. “This has definitely been probably the most challenging on the logistical side of just making sure that we have enough supplies on things we normally wouldn’t supply,”said Lisa Wise,  El Paso elections administrator.

Carmen Lugo and her dog Bunny in the courtyard of the apartment complex where they live.
Angela Kocherga / KTEP

El Paso -- Carmen Lugo cannot imagine being cooped up during the COVID-19 quarantine without her best friend. 

“She’s turned out to be the best little dog. She does everything but talk,” Lugo said. 

Bunny was a “ball of fluff” puppy when she arrived Easter morning 2013. Lugo and her white poodle terrier mix have been inseparable ever since.

“Don’t ever underestimate the power of a pet. They make you think. They make you move. They give you a lot of love,” said the 75-year-old retired hairdresser. 

People walking across Paso del Norte
Angela Kocherga / KTEP

As testing increases in El Paso, contact tracing is the next critical step to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On the border, those close contacts can include relatives, friends and coworkers in two countries.  

“This morning I contacted the health authorities in Juarez to refer them individuals that were exposed to cases that are in El Paso,” said Fernando Gonzalez, lead epidemiologist for the El Paso Department of Public Health.