Governor Abbott Holds Briefing In El Paso With Local Leaders, Visits Grand Candela Memorial

August 13, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Following his visit to Lubbock, Governor Abbott traveled to El Paso to meet with state representatives and local leaders to discuss the community's response to COVID-19. Following the briefing, the Governor held a press conference where he gave an update on the briefing and discussed El Paso's ongoing efforts to combat the spread of the virus. Upon the conclusion of the press conference, Governor Abbott visited the Grand Candela memorial to honor the 23 victims of the Cielo Vista Walmart shooting.

During the briefing, the Governor and leaders discussed El Paso's collective efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The leaders talked about the strategies in place to protect communities most at risk for contracting the virus, including the Hispanic community and those with underlying health conditions. The leaders also discussed El Paso County's strategy to reduce the spread of coronavirus among the homeless population, as well as the establishment of the Cluster Management Task Force and virus mitigation teams. Governor Abbott and leaders highlighted ongoing future needs that may arise at local hospitals, including certain nursing capacities and requirements, due to the confluence of COVID-19 and flu season.

In the press conference, Governor Abbott commended the people of El Paso for embracing the use of masks and face coverings which has helped decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The Governor also emphasized that there are more than enough testing sites and equipment available in El Paso, and encouraged Texans to continue to seek testing for COVID-19 if needed. Additionally, the Governor called on El Pasoans and Texans across the state to remain vigilant, follow safe health practices, and avoid large gatherings as the Labor Day weekend approaches. 

"El Pasoans have proved time and again that we can overcome any challenge by working together," said Governor Abbott. "I thank the state and local leaders who work tirelessly to ensure the El Paso community is safe as we respond to this virus. By wearing a mask, practicing social-distancing, and washing your hands, Texas will defeat COVID-19 together.”

Governor Abbott has secured a variety of resources for El Paso County, including more than 3 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE). Of this amount, the Texas Division of Emergency Management has distributed 1,300,420 pieces of PPE to local independent school districts, which includes 1,272,900 masks and 13,836 gallons of hand sanitizer. The Texas Department of State Health Services has distributed several cases of remdesivir to hospitals across El Paso County. Additionally, the Governor facilitated testing for residents and staff at 38 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities, provided 10 disinfection missions at nursing home facilities, and secured resources to help meet health care staffing needs within the county. The state has also assisted with testing capacity in El Paso by collecting 71,383 test samples in 24 locations.