AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday, Oct. 30 joined a coalition of businesses suing El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego for “imposing restrictions on local public health orders that are inconsistent with Governor Greg Abbott’s disaster orders.”

Judge Samaniego’s orders include shutting down all non-essential services for a two-week period, including in-person dining, gyms and salons.

Attorney General Paxton issued a warning letter to Judge Samaniego Thursday evening.

“El Paso County Judge Samaniego has no authority to shut down businesses in El Paso County. This is a direct violation of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Recommendations must not be confused with requirements, especially those that unlawfully burden private citizens and businesses.”

READ THE LETTER HERE

El Paso and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, with a combined metropolitan population of 3 million people, represent a hotspot in the deadly comeback of the virus across the entire U.S.

Health officials are blaming the spike on family gatherings, multiple generations living in the same household and younger people going out to shop or conduct business.

Ten of the 115 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday were reported in El Paso County alone, raising the county’s death toll to 595 for the outbreak that’s ravaged Texas since early March.

The county also reported 1,348 new cases, almost 23% of the state’s 5,933 new cases.

The county had 15.5% of the state’s 100,991 active cases, the first time

Texas had topped 100,000 active cases since Aug. 27.

READ THE FILING HERE

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