COVID-19 binational health to prepare for more pandemics
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Borderland hard.
More than 7,800 people have died in El Paso and Juárez.
Anthony Jackson, El Paso Times
As COVID-19 cases continue to fall in El Paso County, a new subvariant from the Omicron variant has emerged in the Borderland.
City of El Paso spokeswoman Laura Cruz-Acosta said the health officials have only detected one subvariant case so far, which was in February.
While the subvariant, BA.2, is not a new variant with significant mutations that increase lethality, the subvariant is reported to be up to 60% more transmissible, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert.
In New York City, the new subvariant makes up roughly 10% of cases a week.
"When you look at the cases, they do not appear to be any more severe and they do not appear to evade immune responses either from vaccines or prior infection," Fauci said during ABC's This Week on March 20.
"So, the bottom line is we likely will see an uptick in cases as we've seen in the European countries, particularly the U.K., where they've had the same situation as we've had now."
BA.2 symptoms to look for
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
City close COVID mega testing, convention center and infusion sites
Lack of demand for monoclonal infusions, COVID-19 testing, and vaccines, is driving the city of El Paso's decision to close the Regional Infusion Center Friday, 9431 Alameda Ave., March 25, and the COVID-19 Mega Testing and Convention Center sites on Thursday, March 31.
Members of the public will still be able to schedule a COVID-19 test or vaccine beginning April 1 at any of the city clinics, according to a city news release.
Individuals will only be asked for insurance information at the mega testing sites and convention center.
Individuals who do not have insurance will not be turned away and will still be able to be seen.
The Hospitals of Providence infusion center will continue its current operation. For information or registration for treatment, visit the following website: tinyurl.com/3wbkbbjp.
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COVID testing in El Paso
Appointments are required for testing and can be made by calling the COVID Hotline at 915-212-6843 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; or online at the following website: tinyurl.com/4bhvyshk.
Individuals can also get tested by any of the city’s testing partners listed at EPStrong.org.
COVID vaccines and boosters in El Paso
El Paso city officials said Appointments are not required for vaccines or boosters; however, they are recommended to help reduce potential wait times.
Appointments can be made by calling the COVID Hotline at 915-212-6843 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or online at EPCovidVaccine.com.
Individuals can also obtain a vaccine or booster from any of the city’s vaccine partners listed on the city’s website.
COVID-19 clinics in El Paso
COVID-19 services will continue to be provided at the following times, dates, and locations listed below from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday:
- 220 S. Stanton St. (Vaccines only)
- 7380 Remcon Circle (Testing and vaccines)
- 9566 Railroad Drive (Testing and vaccines)
- 110 Candelaria St. (Testing and vaccines)
El Paso County COVID data
On Thursday, 22 new COVID-19 cases were reported, raising the total to 239,836. Four new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 3,381 deaths. There were 889 active cases, with 235,366 people having recovered.
Officials said 52 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 16 in intensive care and 12 on ventilators.
Officials said there have been 40,273 breakthrough cases, including 1,168 patients who have required hospitalization, 264 placed in intensive care, and 117 on ventilators.
Health officials urge continued vaccinations, social distancing and frequent hand-washing.
The database on EPStrong.org continues to be updated daily.