El Paso alert to variable delta

Although the delta variant was not detected in the region, local authorities have revealed an increase in positive cases of Covid-19, in a trend showing that unvaccinated people account for the majority of infections.

This was stated at a joint press conference held by Oscar Lesser, Mayor of El Paso, and Ricardo Samaniego, El Paso County Judge.

On the issue of the delta variant, which has unleashed a spike in infections on the country’s west coast, Lesser emphasized that so far there are no cases of the virus mutating.

“Today we have no cases of a delta variant in El Paso,” the mayor said.

The two officials urged residents to be vigilant about a spike in infections in the border region, but stressed the fact that the proportion of residents already vaccinated in El Paso exceeds even the state average.

Figures from local authorities revealed that 68.09 percent of El Paso residents over the age of 12 have already received full doses of the vaccine that fights the virus.

“We cannot stress enough the great importance of vaccination,” said El Paso’s mayor.

Lesser stated that it is essential that at least 75 percent of the population be fully vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

“I think we can do that if we make the last push to vaccinate our citizens,” he said.

Numbers in the summary

At the press conference, data was revealed covering the week of July 7 to 14, during which 251 new cases of Covid-19 were reported, nearly 80 percent of which were recorded among people who had not been vaccinated.

Highlighted was the fact that among the positive cases, 31 percent were reported who had traveled outside the city, of which 10 percent required hospital treatment.

According to the local government, over the past week, 320 new positive cases were recorded, and 13 deaths due to Covid-19.

Despite the precautions required by the pandemic, an El Paso County judge was optimistic but cautioned about the way the region has gone from struggling with serious cases and hospitalizations to being a leader in vaccination statewide.

Data from the State Department of Health Services confirmed that the vaccination rate in Texas is only 59.54 percent.

“Knowing that 76 percent of (positive) cases have not been vaccinated is a strong message,” said Samaniego, who urged local residents to get vaccinated and continue to use protective face masks.

Laboratory tests

When testing to confirm cases of Covid-19, the city was reported to have moved its lab equipment from the county medical examiner’s office to a facility it acquired last year.

The new lab is located northeast of El Paso, across from the 911 emergency center.

It was reported that the purchase of said property was backed by federal funds from the Sponsorship Act, and that the new laboratory would be operational during the first week of August.

So far, samples to detect cases of Covid-19 are being sent to a laboratory in Lubbock, Texas, but that situation is about to change in the short term.

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