A nightly curfew has been issued for El Paso County in Texas, where COVID-19 infections have exploded in recent weeks.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego ordered all residents to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., starting Sunday night, for the next two weeks to help prevent further spread of infection. The curfew is not applicable for those traveling for work or essential services, only one person per household is allowed to access essential services at a time.
A fine of $250 will be handed down to those who aren’t wearing a mask and $500 for any other violations of the order, Samaniego said.
El Paso County has seen a 160% increase in COVID-19 positivity rates since Oct. 1, as well as a 300% jump in hospitalizations. As of Saturday night, all hospitals and intensive care units in the area had reached 100% capacity, according to Samaniego.
“The purpose of the curfew is to limit mobility in the community,” Samaniego said during a press conference Sunday night. “Currently, our hospitals are stretched to capacity.”