November 19, 2020
Media Contact:
Nicole Ruiz
Senior Policy Advisor
El Paso County Judge Holds Virtual Roundtables with Business Owners to Help Combat COVID-19
During the Holiday Season

El Paso, Texas- During this week alone, the El Paso Health Department reported 67 additional deaths. El Paso is currently at 50% of Covid-19 hospitalizations, and we are still at STAGE 1 on El Paso’s COVID-19 Community Scorecard. Stage 1 is the worst rating on the scorecard. 

Although, the El Paso Health Department reported a decline of cases today with 672 new cases, we must remember that we are still undergoing many challenges in our healthcare system, and the trends we are seeing shows that we are absolutely nowhere close to being out of the woods.  Today, I attended the weekly Fatality Management meeting with the Office of Emergency Management, Medical Examiner’s Office, BorderRAC, and our Funeral Home Directors as we are working on a plan to establish an effective logistics strategy to further prepare for the number of deaths we are expected to see in the next few months. As of today, our Medical Examiner’s Office is reporting that 247 fatalities are being held at our main morgue and at our nine mobile morgues. My sense of urgency is to continue to do everything possible to maintain the integrity and dignity of our fellow El Pasoans who have been lost to this virus.

As the Thanksgiving Holiday and Black Friday approaches, I will continue to be explicit with our consistent message of not letting our guard down. During the past two weeks, I’ve been holding virtual roundtables with many business owners and civic organizations to ensure the safe opening of their businesses. I had the opportunity to meet with John Rulli, Chief Administrative Officer of Simon Properties who shared the protocols they have issued at all of their properties such as Cielo Vista Mall, as well as other properties located throughout the United States and in Europe. They have learned quite a bit since the start of this pandemic. I invited him to attend and meet with many of our local business owners to discuss enforcement of wearing masks and social distancing, as well as share the many innovative options they could safely offer their employees and customers.  

The El Paso Hispanic Chamber, the El Paso Chamber, the Hotel Motel Association, Horizon Properties, along with several other business owners joined me during this meeting. I am hopeful that by combining our resources and knowledge we can minimize the COVID-19 impact on our businesses. 

In all frankness, we are still dealing with some of the spikes that took place in previous holidays.  My message to the community is that we learn from our mistakes and take more precaution. Hard decisions are still ahead and I appreciate our local business leaders working together so that we may become stronger as a community. I will continue to work with our County Attorney’s Office, to issue an amended Stay Home, Work Safe Order that will provide a certain balance between the health of our community and our economy.

As a reminder to the community, the El Paso County Community Services Department has funds available to assist families that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The funds available can assist with rent, mortgage, purchase of groceries, medicine and may also be able to assist with other forms of cash assistance.

If you live outside the City limits of El Paso and need assistance please contact the County’s Community Service Department at 915-546-8150 or apply online at

If you live inside the City of El Paso, you can go to for assistance information.

500 E. San Antonio, Suite 301, El Paso, TX 79901
Phone: 915-546-2098 · Fax: 915-543-3888 ·