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Court Reverses El Paso Shutdown Order

The 8th Court of Appeals has halted El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego’s stay-at-home order. 

“While I am extremely disappointed in the ruling, I will honor the court’s decision,” said Samaniego in a statement. “Our family members, our friends, and our neighbors are dying, and our hospitals, funeral homes, and morgues are at capacity.”

Samaniego issued the order two weeks ago for all non-essential businesses. Earlier this week, he extended it until Dec. 6.

The court is allowing sections of Samaniego’s order that did not exceed Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 restrictions to remain in effect. As a result, bars in El Paso are closed, businesses are limited to 50% capacity, restaurants have to end dine-in service at 9 p.m. and can offer only take-out and drive thru service after 9 p.m., all public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people and masks are mandatory in public. 

El Paso has had 40,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last month, and 20,000 new cases since Halloween. This is 10,000 new positive COVID-19 cases per week. More than 50% of the city’s hospital beds are being used to treat COVID-19 patients. More than 700 people have died. 

“It is important that we do not shut down the economy ever again, & this decision allows small businesses to continue to operate & pay employees,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted in reaction to the appellate court decision. 

Paxton had joined a group of 10 El Paso business owners in challenging Samaniego’s order. 

The case is still pending, and the 8th Circuit has not yet issued its final order. 

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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