The Latest: Texas National Guard team helps El Paso morgues

By The Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas — The Texas National Guard has sent a 36-member team to El Paso to assist morgues in the border region with the number of dead as a result of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Statewide, the Texas health department on Saturday reported a one-day high of 12,597 new virus cases, nearly 20,500 dead since the pandemic began and more than 8,200 virus hospitalizations.

“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 late Friday when the deployment was announced.

The pandemic is blamed for 853 deaths in El Paso County, including more than 300 since October. Jail inmates are 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.-5 a.m. curfew in the county, said mortuaries are being overwhelmed. He wrote that the local medical examiner’s office reported that 234 bodies were being held at the main morgue and nine mobile morgues.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US reaches 12 million total coronavirus cases

— Italy hits nearly 35,000 new daily virus cases

— Calif Gov. Newsom’s child in 14-day quarantine

— Donald Trump Jr. doing ‘very well’ after coronavirus diagnosis this week.

— U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson says he’s ‘out of the woods’ after battling COVID-19.

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— Los Angeles County businesses trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic face new restrictions and the prospect of a shutdown on the horizon.

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WILMINGTON, Delaware — President-elect Joe Biden says all Americans should be able to attend religious services during the pandemic — as long as they do so safely.

Biden made the statement in response to a reporter’s shouted question as he was walking out of church Saturday evening in Delaware.

Specifically, Biden was asked whether all Americans should be able to attend religious services during the pandemic.

He responded, “Yes, safely.”

He did not answer a follow up question about whether indoor services should be allowed.

Some in-person church services across America have been closed as state leaders grapple with social distancing safeguards as the pandemic surges.

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon has reported a record number of coronavirus cases for the second day in a row.

On Saturday, the Oregon Health Authority said there were 1,509 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, spread across all but four of the state’s 36 counties, with the majority in the Portland metro area.

Among the seven new deaths being reported Saturday, all were in their 70s or 80s, and either had or were suspected of having underlying health conditions.

The state’s total is now 63,668 confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 deaths.

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BALTIMORE — More than 12 million people in the U.S have contracted the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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The nation’s total number of confirmed cases reached 12.01 million on …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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