‘It is not known what will come with Omicron’

The Omicron version represents more than 90 percent of the Covid-19 cases in the region, El Paso’s mayor, Oscar Leiser, and county judge, Ricardo Samaniego, announced on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of infections and hospitalizations.

Samnigo was vehemently pointing out that El Paso is “at a point where it is not known what will come.”

“You can’t know the trajectory and it’s going to go well or badly. But we are short of jobs and we are short of people because they are infected,” he explained.

“We know that Omicron is more contagious and spreads faster,” Leiser said.

He said that, given the lack of hospitalizations and care workers, it is important to follow health recommendations; He called for taking “personal responsibility”.

“In hospitals it is not a question of space, but that there are no personnel,” Samnigo continued.

“We have vaccines and tests, but the staff is very few. We have to take better care of ourselves now as the virus is transmitted more,” he said.

“This causes a lot of problems for us because we are talking about sacking employees for 10 days. We don’t want to choose who we serve and who we don’t,” he said.

The pandemic has not only reached homes in El Paso, but has also begun to spread to the police (EPPD), fire departments (EPFD) and emergency services in the region, Leiser and Samnigo stressed.

Last week, the city of El Paso said 20 percent of workers at Covid-19 testing mega-sites were sick, leading to increased lines and delays for those seeking evidence.

“Police, firefighters, response workers, first responders with COVID-19 numbers, their numbers are even higher and they can’t work from home,” Samnigo explained.

The two most important elected officials in the region said that, as of Wednesday, the hospitalization rate stood at 26.47, while there were 11,544 active cases and 553 hospitalized patients. Also, more than 700 cases were registered on that day alone.

police and firefighters fight

EPFD spokesman Enrique Dueas said among his colleagues the number of people with disabilities from the pandemic fluctuates, but it affects their daily activities.

“Around 60 cases of Covid-19 including administrative staff exposed people and people waiting for results. We have a total of around 1,400 employees in the department for reference,” he confirmed.

“The fire department is continuing with all precautions to protect our members and the public from this pandemic. As part of these efforts, we are closely monitoring the health status of our employees and quarantine and testing is being implemented for those who have been exposed or tested positive,” the spokesperson said. .

“Despite the temporary casualties due to this outbreak, the fire department has several contingencies to keep all stations and units ready to respond,” he said.

Duenas explained that these strategies include shifts and overtime, which other firefighters are taking to cover those who are awaiting results or recovering.

For its part, the El Paso Police Department had 133 sick workers as of Tuesday.

“Like all public and private sectors, the department has also been affected. Till today (Tuesday) there are many employees who are in quarantine. It affects individual resources but we take it for granted so that public safety is compromised,” said EPPD spokesman Enrique Carrillo.

no mandate will be imposed

Mayor Leiser noted that the city of El Paso cannot impose mask mandates or close businesses because of state orders.

“We can’t talk about closing the business, because there is a vaccine now and there was no vaccine before and so we shut down,” he said.

“The governor has taken away the mandate from the mandate. All this should be part of the family and is a very personal responsibility”, he concluded.

Officials said the situation in El Paso represents an impact on the economy and will be reflected in business and personnel.

“It’s hard to talk about, but Omicron is more communicable and affects the economy. We haven’t talked about closing deals because there’s a vaccine now … and as much co-exist with the virus as possible.” -existence,” said Samaniego.

“However, we are more aware that the businesses that care about their employees are the ones that are going to be the most successful,” he said.