The mayor of El Paso, Texas blamed the city’s recent coronavirus outbreak on “COVID fatigue” and people shopping at big box stores.

In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Mayor Dee Margo said a “deep dive” into contact tracing data from Nov. 10 to 16 revealed that 55 percent of the positive results were tied to shopping at large retailers. 

“I think people just… the consensus is people just had COVID fatigue and they let down, as Dr. [Deborah] Birx said, you got to wear the mask and you’ve got to maintain the distancing and you’ve got to avoid the crowd,” the mayor said. 

Big box stores, Margo said, are considered essential under federal guidelines, so it’s hard to limit occupancy.

 “And we don’t really have — I don’t have any control over any limitations there,” he said. 

The city asked retailers like Walmart for “voluntary limitations” on occupancy, he added.

Amid the city’s surge, Texas National Guard troops arrived in the city on Saturday to help handle a backlog of dead bodies.

The county is also paying jail inmates $2 an hour to help move bodies.

And nearly a month ago, the city’s hospitals were at full capacity — though that problem is beginning to show signs of improvement, according to the mayor. 

“The latest numbers I have on our hospitalization is we are at 79 percent of our hospitalization capacity, which gives us 21 percent excess of which we didn’t have — we haven’t had in some time,” Margo said.

On Tuesday, the city of El Paso reported 319 new COVID-19 cases and 261 additional positive results from delayed state test reports — for a total of 86,752 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Nine more deaths were also reported, for a total of 933.



Source link