Texas National Guard Deployed to El Paso to Help Morgues Move Bodies Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Cemetery workers decked out head to toe in PPE perform a Covid-19 burial at Panteon Sueños Eternos in south Juarez. The cemetery is taking extra precautions when burying those who died from Covid-19. The caskets are entombed in concrete and then covered with several feet of sand. MARK LAMBIE / EL PASO TIMES

The Texas National Guard will be providing help to El Paso morgues as the region continues to be slammed by COVID-19 deaths.

“After completing an assessment of the situation on the ground in El Paso County this week, the state has mobilized a team of 36 Texas National Guard personnel to provide mortuary affairs support beginning at 9 o’clock tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” Seth Christensen, spokesperson for the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said.

After the announcement El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego requested additional aid from Gov. Greg Abbott in the form of leeway to impose some restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Samaniego said in a letter to the governor’s office that his previous order that was ended by an appellate court was done so erroneously and the order was not inconsistent with Abbott’s statewide restrictions.

“The curfew I intend to impose will be limited in nature and is designed to stem recreational and international traffic after 10 p.m.,” Samaniego said in the letter. “I have reached out to the business community and have been requested to seek this clarification and, if permissible, issue an order temporarily imposing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The proposed curfew will not interfere with persons seeking to access essential or nonessential services.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, El Paso Times