EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas National Guard has sent a 36-member team to El Paso to assist morgues in the border region with patients who have died from COVID-19.
“The Texas Military will provide us with the critical personnel to carry out our fatality management plan and we are very grateful to them for their ongoing support,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said in late Friday when the deployment was announced.READ MORE: Dallas SWAT Team, Dozens Of Officers Respond To Barricaded Person Near Fair Park
The pandemic is blamed for more 300 deaths in El Paso County since October, 853 total since the pandemic began.
Jail inmates are already being paid to move bodies and county leaders are offering $27 an hour for morgue workers.
County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, in a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott asking for support for a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in the county, said mortuaries are being overwhelmed.READ MORE: 'It Happens To Boys Too', First Male Sex-Trafficking Shelter To Open In Denton
“As of (Friday), our Medical Examiner’s Office is reporting that 234 fatalities are being held at our main morgue and at our nine mobile morgues,” Samaniego wrote.
Statewide, the Texas health department on Friday reported more than 1 million virus cases, more than 20,000 dead and more than 8,100 virus patients hospitalized.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: 'These Vaccines Are A Gift From God': First Baptist Dallas Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine, Hosting Clinic
MORE FROM CBSDFW
- Suspect Jeremy Harris, Described As Alleged ‘Serial Killer’ By Police, Accused In 3 Dallas Murders Including SMU Student Jaden Urrea
- With COVID-19 Cases Spiking, Fort Worth And Tarrant County Issue ‘Urgent Stay-At-Home Requests’
- Surveillance Images Released Of Suspect, Vehicle In Murder Of Dallas Rapper Mo3