The Thanksgiving weekend has El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego thinking about what he says could be El Paso’s worst post-holiday COVID-19 spike yet. Samaniego is also thinking about a possible full curfew for El Paso County and dropping business capacity down from 50% to 25%.

Samaniego spoke to a local news station and said that he’s worried about a post-Thanksgiving spike because of the types of gatherings like that at Red Sands over the holiday weekend. On Friday, hundreds of people were seen at Red Sands for an annual toy run offroading event held by Max Tire auto shop. The auto shop tried to cancel the event but that didn't stop hundreds of El Pasoans from turning up in the desert anyway.

On Sunday, El Paso reported zero COVID-19 deaths for the first time since October 19, and new cases have been trending downward for the past week. On Monday, one death and 461 new COVID-19 cases were reported by the El Paso Public Health department which sounds good, but Samaniego said hospitals are still overcapacity and the low numbers shouldn’t make you drop your guard, calling the lower numbers the "calm before the storm."

Samaniego said if his stay at home order had been in place, he could have stopped the gathering at Red Sands. As it is, he said that if there is a Thanksgiving spike he is planning on asking Texas Governor Greg Abbott to put a full curfew in place for El Paso County and bring business capacity down from 50% to 25%, which would mean a lot of either online or curbside pick up holiday shopping in our future. Samaniego said he might make the decision on asking Abbott for a full curfew and reduced business capacity as early as Thursday.

We'll keep you updated on that possible development.

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