Texas National Guard deployed to help El Paso with morgue overflow


Texas Nationwide Guard troops have been deployed to El Paso, Texas, to assist with morgue operations as town and county grapple with a COVID-19 surge. The Texas Division of Emergency Administration stated in a statement that “after finishing an evaluation of the state of affairs on the bottom in El Paso County this week, the state has mobilized a group of 36 Texas Nationwide Guard personnel to supply mortuary affairs assist starting at 0900 tomorrow,” CBS’ El Paso affiliate reported Friday. 


Town’s mayor, Dee Margo, stated on Twitter Friday {that a} “fast improve in instances and hospitalizations” has introduced on a “spike in deaths.” The Texas Navy will now present “the essential personnel” to hold out town’s “fatality administration plan.”

El Paso metropolis and county have secured a “central morgue location to additional assist the Medical Examiner’s Workplace, funeral houses and mortuaries with extra capability,” he stated.

Our bodies wrapped in plastic line the partitions inside a refrigerated trailer used as a cellular morgue by the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s workplace in El Paso, Texas on November 13, 2020.

JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP through Getty Photographs

There at the moment are greater than 300 individuals in an intensive care unit throughout El Paso County resulting from COVID-19. Earlier this month, officials said they have been bringing in 10 short-term morgue trailers. 

So many have died that the county has posted job openings for morgue attendants. 

El Paso County was paying prison inmates $2 an hour to move the bodies of deceased COVID victims. Jail labor is not uncommon, however movies of inmates carrying striped jumpsuits loading plastic-wrapped our bodies onto refrigerated vehicles sparked considerations about their remedy through the surge in virus instances, particularly as outbreaks of COVID-19 in prisons have been a recurring issue throughout the pandemic.    

El Paso is only one space being hit onerous amid a nationwide virus surge. The U.S. recorded 195,000 new virus cases on Friday, the ninth time this month a report has been set for brand new confirmed infections in a single day, in line with knowledge from Johns Hopkins College. There have been 1,300 deaths a day since Sunday, and hospitalizations topped 82,000 on Friday. 

El Paso well being officers reported almost 1,074 new COVID-19 instances and eight deaths on Saturday, bringing the totals to 80,291 instances and 853 fatalities, in line with town and county COVID-19 dashboard.

Intensive care models throughout town and county are so overwhelmed with COVID sufferers that they are flying the contaminated to different Texas cities with a purpose to save lives, CBS Information correspondent Omar Villafranca reported earlier this week. 

Brock Miller, a spokesperson for ambulance airline AirMed Worldwide, stated 50% of the corporate’s flights at the moment are associated to COVID-19. 

Miller informed Villafranca he is by no means seen something prefer it earlier than. “We have had SARS, H1N1, however nothing compares to COVID,” he stated.

In keeping with the Texas Emergency Job Power, not less than 84 sufferers have used an air ambulance because the pandemic started — all of them from El Paso throughout the final month. 

Different cities within the state presently have the bodily capability to tackle El Paso’s overflow, however Austin Mayor Steve Adler informed Villafranca on Wednesday that if the numbers of COVID-19 sufferers proceed to rise there’s concern about having sufficient healthcare employees to look after them. 

“We’ve bodily area, however as we discovered in June/July, the true menace to us is having individuals in order that our employees’s (not) overwhelmed,” he stated.

Adler, nonetheless, warned on Friday that town will even “quickly run out of hospital beds” if individuals don’t put on face masks, social distance, and keep away from teams and non-essential bodily contact. “We’ve the ability to remain below our 200-bed hospital capability and keep away from Stage 5- Crimson,” he wrote on Twitter. “We’ve finished it earlier than – we will do that once more, collectively.”

Greater than 250,000 individuals have died from virus within the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has urged people not to travel for Thanksgiving

“Gatherings with household and buddies who don’t reside with you may improve the probabilities of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu,” the CDC says. “Journey could improve your probability of getting and spreading COVID-19. Suspending journey and staying house is one of the simplest ways to guard your self and others this 12 months.”

Nonetheless, an estimated 50 million People are anticipated to journey over the vacation, rising the nation’s danger of extra exponential development in instances, and deaths, heading into winter. 

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