EL PASO – Corona virus patients fill a terrace bed. And then two. Later, the University Medical Center, a teaching hospital in El Paso, set up tents in the parking lot to care for patients. A city convention center became a field hospital. To free up even more space, the government began transporting dozens of intensive care patients by air to other cities.
Local leaders clashed over what to do to alleviate the spiral corona virus crisis. The High District Officer issued a locking and curfew order. But the mayor did not accept this and police said they would not enforce it. Then the state attorney general weighed in – he said a lock was unnecessary and illegal.
Patients kept coming.
“We will discharge one patient, and two more are coming,” said Wanda Helgen, local managing director. Council on Emergency and Disaster Preparation.
El Paso, a 680,000 border town, now has more people hospitalized with Covit-19 than most states – 1,076 as of Tuesday – and is more than four to 10, rather than doubling the distribution of its mobile morks.
As it moves with the deadly third wave of epidemics, the strain on the city is reflected across the country. The number of people admitted to Covit-19 Hospital in the United States reached a record 61,964 on Tuesday, surpassing the dreaded early days of spring in New York and the southern and western summers.
More than double the number of people admitted to the hospital since September Govt Monitoring Project, Surpassed the previous peak of 59,940 patients admitted to the hospital in mid-April. Public health experts fear that even if the previous spikes subside, the pace of new hospital admissions with new infections will continue to rise, averaging 111,000 a day across the country, and they show no signs of declining.
States that seemed to control the spread, such as New Jersey and New York, are re-emerging. At the same time, rural hospitals in North Dakota and Idaho are looking for physicians, nurses and technicians to cope with the rapidly growing number of patients.
Risk factors that public health officials have long warned of could spread the virus and strain to hospitals in the fall and winter – as well as indoor activities, the start of the flu season and meetings during the winter holidays – that have just begun.
“Things are not only bad, there is no end in sight,” said Dr Ashish Jah, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “If we stop all exchanges today, it will not be possible for us. We see a month more potential in many communities in the United States.”
Texas recently had more than one million patients infected with the virus, and 19,000 died. Of the 6,100 patients admitted to hospitals across the state, one in every six is in El Paso. El Paso County Chief Medical Examiner Dr Mario Rascon said Tuesday there were 154 bodies in his office. “It’s tiring,” he said.
The city has brought in more than 1,400 health workers from across the state, and has arrived in three teams of about 60 over the weekend. Sent by Department of Defense. But new patients have also struggled with that extra evidence. Half of all patient beds in the city are now occupied by Govt-19 holders.
“Things are not going well,” Mayor De Marco said. But he said he was also concerned about the impact of the new strikes on families struggling to survive. “I’m trying to walk that tight path.”
The situation reflects the broad difficulty of trying to combat a national crisis in the absence of a national strategy. On the urban island of El Paso in western Texas, far between the borders with Mexico and New Mexico, that lack is acutely felt.
An epidemic philosophy that began with the Trump administration and focused on local control and personal responsibility, reinforced by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, has at times paralyzed local leaders on how to deal with a series of explosions.
After closing in the spring, Mr. Abbott began to reopen the Texas economy. In the summer, as the virus increased once more, he Paused to reopen, Then Clashed with local leaders in Houston and other cities He wanted to reduce the measures, but by his orders prevented them from doing so. He Told Texans to wear masks. In October, he And relaxed business restrictions.
By then, in El Paso, hospitals were already in trouble.
High District Officer, Ricardo A. சமனிகோ, Issued an order to stay at home Oct. Strict new limits for businesses on the 29th. But Mayor Marco Mr. Samaniko did not believe he had the authority to do so and initially opposed it. When local county constables tried to enforce the lockout, the largest El Paso police said it would not do so.
Laura Raybourne, who owns the spa and other local businesses, said: “Big, big mess. “The mayor went on the radio and TV and said ‘stay open.’ Mrs. Raybourne decided to do so.
Despite the order to stop everything except takeout and delivery, the restaurants continued to serve. “We decided to do what we had to do,” Aaron Means said Owns a restaurant Near the University of Texas campus in El Paso.
Some went to court against the lockout, and Conservative State Attorney General Ken Paxton joined them, describing the county’s action as “repressive” and promising to end it. One week back and forth in three sessions of the Texas government, a state court ruled Friday in favor of new restrictions on businesses. Mr. Paxton appeals.
At the time, frustration and confusion were widespread, with business closures and immediate benefits from mitigation ensuring that a long shutdown was necessary.
David Jerome, chairman of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce, said: “Something worse than being shut down is confusing about whether you are shut down.” I’m a big fan of 50 trials in democracy, but not when it comes to an epidemic. “
The county’s two-week lockout order, which expired Wednesday, had no effect on hospitalization, officials said. “We don’t seem to have reached our peak,” Ms. Helgen said.
As of Tuesday, the city had an average of 1,800 new corona virus cases per day, more than double that of the state’s most populous county, Dallas. The next hard hit.
County Administrator Mr. Samaniko, I would like to extend the shutdown order, perhaps by thanks. He was concerned that very few people were following this and that the holiday would bring new risks.
“We never used a real shelter,” Mr. Samaniko said. “We never saw the full impact.”
Mr. The governor’s office said the focus for Samaniko and other local authorities should be on enforcing restaurant capacity limits and existing regulations. Mask requirements, Not closures. “That strategy was effective in slowing down the spread in the summer and having Covit-19, while at the same time allowing businesses to operate safely,” said Rene Ease, the governor’s spokesman.
Like the country as a whole, El Paso is now entering a period of uncertainty. Authorities believe enough people are now following the locking order to slow the spread of infections. Police have started non-compliant ticket businesses.
On Monday, city officials can be seen riding in thick tired vehicles and patrol cars, often traveling in the empty shopping district and visiting businesses near the border with the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.
Some officials and residents have blamed trips to Jurassic for the spread of the disease in El Paso, saying cross-border travel is almost entirely restricted to U.S. citizens. Both cities have long been a trading center in the mountainous desert, and Americans living in Mexico often go to El Paso and use hospitals with its best resources.
It continues during epidemics, officials say, as Jurஸ்s has seen his hospital’s infrastructure hook under its own serious explosion. The purpose of the epidemic in Jurassic is unknown due to insufficient testing, but so is the mayor She has been hospitalized with the virus.
The majority of infections in El Paso come from health officials who live together often in local community outlets, especially within diverse families, or often come together or shop.
“We usually see many family members coming on different days,” said Dr. Edward Michelson, head of emergency medicine at the University Medical Center and professor at the Center for Health Sciences at the University of Texas Institute of Technology.
Hector Balderrama, 55, a medical supply salesman, saw his immediate family infected with the virus in mid-October: first his aged son. Then his wife. Then his eldest daughter.
“It completely shut us down,” he said. His wife was admitted to the hospital and his son, who was suffering from diabetes, spent days in an intensive care unit. Eventually they recovered. Mr. Balderrama never liked it. “Thank God, we’re here, well, but we’re not 100 percent.”
Vast areas of the city are empty, and indoor shopping malls are surrounded by dilapidated parking lots. Leaning down the deserted downtown streets in the afternoon, a spaghetti west dumped plastic bags like Dumbledore with some cast.
Adriana Salas, 48, kept her small clothing store open despite a small number of customers and new restrictions. “I’m too late to rent,” he said. “I came to open because I need money.”
You can find out what activities are going on in the city at the big box stores on Interstate 10, at drive-through restaurants, on the sneaking lines of cars, or by people trying to find some places to stay outside, mostly in the quiet outdoor mall.
Xavier Gonzalez, 45, told of his wife and his 6-year-old son, who at the time were running on artificial turf with the family dog.
Mr. Gonzalez, a singer who has been mostly out of work since March, said it was too bad – “I can’t get up anymore” – and emergency room doctors said he had viral pneumonia. But since he could breathe on his own, he was sent home to heal to accommodate other, much worse patients.
He did not see Mexico as some Texans as the source of El Paso’s epidemics. “I think it’s an excuse for people who want to criticize someone; it’s not us, it’s them,” he said. “But it’s us. It’s not us following the rules.”
Neil McFurker Contribution report from New York, and Mike Baker From Seattle.