El Paso County

El Paso County Welcome to the El Paso County Government page. This dynamic international community combines the advantages of a major metropolitan center with the ambiance and neighborly charm of a modern western town.

El Paso County was created from Bexar District in 1849, organized in 1850, and incorporated in 1871. Parts of El Paso County were taken to form Culberson County in 1911 and Hudspeth County in 1915. El Paso County is one of the 254 counties in the state of Texas. The county was named in the early days for being a well-known Pass ("Paso") through the Rocky Mountains.It is the most western county in Texas, and is about equidistant from Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, California and Denver, Colorado. Also, bordered on the east side by Hudspeth County, El Paso County is just to the North of the International Boundary between the United States of America and the Republic of Mexico, and touches Dona Ana County in New Mexico. The county is a strategic crossroads for continental north-south and east-west traffic and spans a geographic area of about 1,013 square miles.

Mission: To direct the varied operations of County government through visionary policies and accessible, responsive, and effective services to enrich the lives of El Paso County residents.

Operating as usual

Please join us in congratulating our El Paso County Employees who were promoted in the 2020 Fiscal Year. #epcounty #ElPa...
12/29/2020

Please join us in congratulating our El Paso County Employees who were promoted in the 2020 Fiscal Year. #epcounty #ElPasoCounty

TEMPORARY WAIVER OF VEHICLE TITLE & REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS ENDS APRIL 14, 2021. El Paso Citizens have to complete ove...
12/22/2020
Texas.gov | The Official Website of the State of Texas

TEMPORARY WAIVER OF VEHICLE TITLE & REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS ENDS APRIL 14, 2021.

El Paso Citizens have to complete overdue transactions by April 14, 2021.
The temporary waiver of certain vehicle title and registration requirements, announced by Governor Greg Abbott on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will end on April 14, 2021.
If you have not renewed your expired vehicle registration, make plans to renew by that date. It is not necessary to wait until the deadline.
Three ways to renew your vehicle registration:
1. In Person: Visit the office El Paso County Tax Assessor-Collector offices at Ascarate, Ysleta, Northeast, andEastside Annexes.
2 .Mail: Return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, personal check, and other requiredinformation to your county tax assessor-collector.
3. Online: Visit www.TxDMV.gov/register [lnks.gd] or www.Texas.gov [lnks.gd]. Online renewal is availableup to nine months past your registration expiration date.
Reminder: Before renewing your registration, you will need to obtain a passing vehicle inspection at the state vehicle inspection station of your choice, unless your vehicle is exempt from inspection requirements.
The expiring temporary waiver covers the following services:
•Initial vehicle registration.
•Vehicle registration renewal.
•Vehicle titling.
•Renewal of permanent disabled parking placards.
•30-day temporary permits.

For more information, please contact the Tax Office at 771-2305 or email: [email protected]

Access official, secure online government services and information for the State of Texas. Take it online, Texas!

12/15/2020
www.epcounty.com

EL PASO COUNTY NEEDS ALL APPLICANTS WHO PREVIOUSLY APPLIED FOR THE EL PASO COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION TO REAPPLY.

El Paso, TX – In September and October the El Paso County Commissioners Court asked for qualified applicants who wanted to serve on the El Paso County Historical Commission for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021 to apply.

The County received more than two dozen applications. However, because of a software upgrade to the County’s computer system in November all of those applications were lost and cannot be retrieved.

At this time, the Commissioners Court is asking everyone who applied in September, October, November and early December to reapply.
Those interested should submit an application form and resume to the El Paso County Administration Department by no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020.

To apply online click on the link below:
http://www.epcounty.com/boards/documents/Tailored%20-%20Historical%20Commission%20Application.pdf
Applications may also be emailed, mailed or sent via facsimile
Email applications to: [email protected]
Mail: County Administration Department, 500 E. San Antonio, Suite 302A, El Paso, Texas 79901
Fax: (915) 546-2217

BOARD MEETINGS:
• Meetings are generally held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m.
• Members are asked to participate in at least two committees as part of their participation in Commission programming.

For questions related to the Historical Commission please contact Claudia Murguia at 915-546-2215.

Updated #FEMA flood maps now show current risks in #ElPaso County. Join us for a Virtual Open House on December 16, at 1...
12/15/2020
El Paso Virtual Flood Risk Open House

Updated #FEMA flood maps now show current risks in #ElPaso County. Join us for a Virtual Open House on December 16, at 10 a.m. & 6 p.m.; or December 17, at 6 p.m.
Join by clicking on the Zoom link: https://bit.ly/EPCountyOH. Passcode: MAPS.
More details can be found here https://www.epcountyplanning.com/2020/11/fema-flood-zone-information.html?fbclid=IwAR2vIgMVD51d-7gQ4XrZqzEmkapXYNUALIi6e5lEP4lUzzom-FZvSTpgiaY

#ElPasoOH

Welcome to the El Paso Virtual Flood Risk Open House. Flood risks in El Paso change over time because of new building and development, weath...

Hazard Mitigation Plan Public Meeting on December 10, 2020El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management will hold a...
12/10/2020
El Paso County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Hazard Mitigation Plan Public Meeting on December 10, 2020

El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management will hold a public meeting via webinar on Thursday, December 10th at 5:30 pm to gather public input for updating their Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Plan includes El Paso County, the cities of El Paso, San Elizario, and Socorro, and the towns of Anthony, Clint, Horizon City, and Vinton. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meeting. Please register at the link below to participate in the webinar.

http://h2o.adobeconnect.com/mitigation_elpaso_publicmtg_12102020/event/registration.html

CALL-IN NUMBER: 800-832-0736, CODE: 2435805

The purpose of the public meeting is to provide a project overview from H2O Partners, Inc., consultant to the project, and solicit information from citizens. Public input will help the project team to analyze potential hazards affecting residents and recommend possible actions to reduce their impact. Hazards included are flood, dam failure, tornado, thunderstorm wind, drought, hail, wildfire, winter storm, earthquake, lightning, and extreme heat.

A public participation survey is available at: https://h2o.surveysparrow.com/s/elpaso-county-hazard-mitigation-plan/tt-19f9e9

The goal of the Hazard Mitigation Plan is to minimize or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from known hazards by identifying and implementing cost-effective mitigation actions. Mitigation is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as sustained actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.

Questions about the Hazard Mitigation Plan should be addressed to H2O Partners, Inc., planning consultants for El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management; Attn: Heather Ferrara, Project Manager by email at [email protected].

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FREE COVID-19 Testing available throughout El Paso County.  The following testing sites offer free saliva testing for an...
12/09/2020

FREE COVID-19 Testing available throughout El Paso County. The following testing sites offer free saliva testing for anyone with or without symptoms.
• Memorial Park; 1701 N. Copia
• ESD 2 Fire Station; 11440 N. Loop in Socorro
Registration is required and can be done at https://secure.dentrustocs.com/docs/tdemscreening or at (267)362-5207; but can also be done onsite. Results will be send via email or text.
#COVID19 #ElPaso #Socorro #ElPasoStrong

Save the date! New flood maps have been released for El Paso County, and our flood risks are changing. You’re invited to...
12/08/2020
El Paso Virtual Flood Risk Open House

Save the date! New flood maps have been released for El Paso County, and our flood risks are changing. You’re invited to attend a live virtual open house on December 16, at 10 a.m. & 6 p.m.; and on December 17, at 6 p.m. A recording of the meeting will be made in English and Spanish, then posted on your community’s website. To see how your risk has changed, type your address into the El Paso Flood Map Viewer at http://bit.ly/EP_ChangeViewer. To attend the live virtual open house, click the following Zoom link to join: https://bit.ly/EPCountyOH, Passcode: MAPS

https://www.epcountyplanning.com/2020/11/fema-flood-zone-information.html

Welcome to the El Paso Virtual Flood Risk Open House. Flood risks in El Paso change over time because of new building and development, weath...

¡Reserva la fecha! El riesgo de inundación en El Condado de El Paso está cambiando. Participa en una de las reuniones vi...
12/08/2020
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¡Reserva la fecha! El riesgo de inundación en El Condado de El Paso está cambiando. Participa en una de las reuniones virtuales el 16 de diciembre a las 10:00 a.m. o a las 6:00 p.m., o el 17 de Diciembre a las 6:00 p.m. Mas detalles aquí: https://www.epcountyplanning.com/2020/11/fema-flood-zone-information.html
En caso de que no pueda atender, una grabación de las reuniones estará disponible en inglés y español en la pagina web de su comunidad. Para ver como su riesgo ha cambiado, busque su dirección en el Visualizador de Mapas del Condado de El Paso: http://bit.ly/EP_ChangeViewer. Para participar en la reunión virtual, oprima el siguiente enlace de Zoom: https://bit.ly/EPCountyOH, Contraseña: MAPS.

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11/25/2020

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego
Issues Stay Home Order No. 15

El Paso County is in STAGE 1 on our community’s Covid-19 Scorecard (Stage 1 is the worst). On Tuesday, the Health Department reported 1,257 new Covid-19 cases which brings us to a total of 82,809 cases. We presently have 41% of Covid-19 hospitalizations in El Paso and are sadly reporting 15 new deaths which brings us to a total of 877. We have an estimated 1,500 medical personnel that have been sent to El Paso by the State to help with the spike in hospitalizations. El Paso County, the City, the Office of Emergency Management, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and BorderRAC have been working side by side on the logistics of a Decedent Holding Facility to help with fatality management. This is the current reality our community finds itself in.

This past weekend, El Paso County Judge received approval from Governor Greg Abbott's Office to move forward with issuing a curfew. Today, the County Judge amended the County’s Stay Home Order to include a curfew throughout the County from the hours of 10:00 P.M.-5:00A.M which will go into effect Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 12:01 A.M.

• Curfew applies to social activities.
• Curfew does not apply when out for essential or non-essential business.
• Shopping is not affected by the curfew in order to allow stores to remain open for extended hours and minimize the number of shoppers crowded into a store at any single point during the day.
• Shoppers are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to utilize curbside-to-go, drive-through, home delivery, and online services to avoid large crowds.
• This curfew will end on Monday, November 30th at 5:00 P.M., unless extended.

Given the circumstances El Paso County finds itself in, the Department of Public Health released additional guidelines that include recommendations for activities related to Holiday shopping and Holiday gatherings. Some of those guidelines include:

• Consideration for not gathering with individuals not in the same household.
• Consideration for avoiding travel anywhere.
• Celebrating virtually.
• Shopping online as much as possible.
• Avoid shopping at peak hours.
• At-risk loved ones should remain at home and not venture out to shop.
• Do not gather outside of stores before opening hours.

As a reminder the following measures are currently still in place:

• Residents are strongly urged to shelter at home.
• If leaving your home to obtain essential or non-essential services, this Order strongly recommends that only one person per family participate in obtaining goods and services.
• No gatherings over 10 people.
• Restaurants are allowed to open at 50% capacity and must stop service at 9:00 p.m. Take out and curbside allowed after that time.
• Bars remain closed.
• Face Coverings are required.

The only two testing sites that will be open on Thanksgiving Day will be the testing sites at Memorial Park, 1701 N. Cop...
11/24/2020

The only two testing sites that will be open on Thanksgiving Day will be the testing sites at Memorial Park, 1701 N. Copia St. and Eastwood Park (Album Park) 3110 Parkwood St. They will remain open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.

All State testing sites will resume regular hours on Friday, November 27th.

#covid19 #elpaso #elpasostrong

Several COVID-19 testing sites will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, in observation of the Thanksgiving holiday, but will resume their regular schedule on Friday, November 27, 2020.

The following two City testing sites will remain open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26:

• Memorial Park, 1701 N. Copia St.
• Eastwood Park (Album Park), 3110 Parkwood St.

The City will close the Eastside testing site, 301 George Perry Blvd., and the Westside testing site, 7400 High Ridge Dr., on Thursday, Nov. 26.

The two sites will resume their regular hours of operation on Friday, November 27. Appointments are required for the City testing sites and can be made by scheduling online.

All State testing sites will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, and will resume regular hours on Friday, November 27. The state sites, regularly open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday, are listed below:

• Ascarate Park, 6800 Delta
• EPCC Valle Verde Campus, 919 Hunter Dr.
• Nation Tobin Recreation Center, 8831 Railroad Dr.
• SISD Student Activities Complex, 1300 Joe Battle Blvd.
• UTEP Schuster 1 Parking Lot
• Eastside Sports Complex, 14380 Montwood
• Region 19 Kenworthy Complex, 9776 Kenworthy

All State Rural testing sites will also be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, and will resume regular hours on Friday, Nov. 27. The State Rural sites, regularly open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, are listed below:

• West Valley Fire St., 510 Vinton Rd.
• ESD #2 HQ, 16001 Socorro Rd.

Health officials strongly advise the public to stay home this Thanksgiving and not gather with loved ones who don’t live in the same household.
Infected persons with little to no symptoms can still spread the virus to others and the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if the person is one of our most vulnerable residents such as our seniors, people with underlying health conditions and those who are immunocompromised.

For more COVID-19 information to include testing, data and prevention, visit EPStrong.org

El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office Has Several Immediate Job Openings The El Paso County Commissioners Court on Th...
11/20/2020

El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office Has Several Immediate Job Openings

The El Paso County Commissioners Court on Thursday authorized the immediate hiring of several Morgue Attendants who will work at the Medical Examiner’s Office. The new hires are needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone interested in one of these temporary positions, should apply for a Morgue Attendant at jobs.epcounty.com . A detailed job description along with a list of requirements can be found at jobs.epcounty.com .

The application process is now open and will close as soon as all the positions are full.

The Morgue Attendants will be provided maximum PPE, and will receive a COVID test prior to starting. All Morgue Attendants will be tasked with physically moving decedents. All applicants must be able to lift between 100 to 400 lbs., with assistance. Not only is this assignment physically taxing, but it may be emotionally taxing as well.

The County is seeking to hire enough staff to rotate assignments and shifts throughout the week and weekend as the County is bracing for an increase in COVID deaths.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING SITES ! Beginning today, Monday Nov. 16, 2020, FREE Covid-19 testing will take place in both #Vint...
11/16/2020

FREE COVID-19 TESTING SITES !

Beginning today, Monday Nov. 16, 2020, FREE Covid-19 testing will take place in both #Vinton and #Fabens Monday-Friday. Testing will take place every Wednesday in #Horizon .
#ELPASO #Texas #COVID19

City of El Paso, Texas - Municipal Government
11/06/2020

City of El Paso, Texas - Municipal Government

The 34th District Court today denied the State of Texas’ request for a temporary injunction and ruled that County Order No. 13 is in force. County Order No. 13 orders all persons living within the County, to include the City of El Paso, to temporarily stay at home unless traveling for essential/emergency activities. Additionally, all persons shall stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless traveling for essential/emergency activities.

The El Paso Police Department, all City code and emergency personnel will enforce County Order 13 effective immediately.

ABOUT THE ORDER

The Order requires all non-essential businesses to close immediately; to include, but not limited to, tattoo parlors, hair salons, nail salons, gyms and massage businesses. Additionally, restaurants are able to continue providing to-go and curbside services; however, restaurants cannot conduct in-person dining per County Order No. 13.

Essential businesses that may remain open include but are not limited to polling sites, schools that provide meal services, childcare facilities, grocery stores, funeral services, all healthcare offices and facilities, pharmacies, government operations, post offices, and retail-to-go services. The public is reminded that the City continues to enforce the countywide curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless performing or obtaining essential or emergency services. Violations of the curfew are enforceable with fines of up to $500. To view County Order No. 13 visit EPStrong.org and click on County Orders under the Orders tab.

CONFLICTING ORDERS

On Oct. 26, 2020, the City Council discussed several items including: calling for the closure of all non-essential indoor businesses; additional masks mandates while indoors; and face-to-face instruction for secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. No action was taken on these agenda items, as the Council did not reach a majority consensus. Therefore, City staff were governed by the existing City and County Orders in effect.

On Oct. 29, 2020, the County of El Paso issued Order No. 13 without Governor Greg Abbott’s approval. On the same day, the Texas Attorney General issued written guidance to Mayor Dee Margo stating that the County Judge’s Order goes beyond what is allowed by the Governor’s Executive Order, and was “unlawful and unenforceable.”

On Oct. 30, 2020, a lawsuit was filed by several business owners and the State of Texas also joined the lawsuit. On the same day, the County Attorney issued an opinion stating that the Texas Disaster Act authorizes the County Judge to issue emergency orders during a declaration of disaster.

All City employees are government officials who have a duty to comply with the laws of the State and local laws. That means they are required to enforce both State and local laws. With the issuance of County Order No. 13, the City faced two conflicting orders and two opposing attorney opinions. Today’s Court ruling clarifies the conflicting orders and allows the City to enforce County Order No. 13.

Image: Law Enforcement Enforcing County Order Beginning Today

Address

500 E San Antonio Ave, Rm 301
El Paso, TX
79901

General information

COUNTY-WIDE PRIORITIES �Public safety �Health and welfare �Community and individual development �Customer service �Justice �Transportation and infrastructure LONG TERM NON-FINANCIAL COUNTY-WIDE INITIATIVES �Maintain the necessary resources to address public safety within El Paso County. �Improve the quality of health care for the residents of El Paso County. �Improve quality of life activities for County residents. �Improve the way the County does business in the eyes of its constituents and its employees. �To ensure that County departments meet public needs effectively and efficiently. �To administer justice in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(915) 546-2000

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Hi, my name is Caylynn Lee. I am a disabled civilian. I have a service dog. A service dog is medical equipment that is task trained to mitigate a medical disability. A medical disability could be something as serious as fainting, seizures, PTSD, severeanxiety, severe depression, blindness, loss of limb(s), etc. Service dogs are trained to be in public places and are protected by the ADA. Service dogs in training, or SDITs, are protected by the state IF the SDIT is being trained and is accompanied by a trainer. ADA allows owner trainers. However, if the dog is being disruptive or aggressive they can be removed. The only 2, TWO, questions any business is allowed to ask is, is the dog a service dog? And, what tasks is the dog trained to perform? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CERTIFICATION OR REGISTRATION. Such things are not valuable under the federal or state law. No businesses or persons are allowed to ask for documentation of disability or proof that the animal is trained. Sadly not a lot of business ask the questions and are not informed which presents a problem to the disabled. Emotional support animals, ESAs, are not covered under the ADA. They can not go to public places and have little to no obedience training. Any animal can be an emotional support animal. THESE ARE NOT SERVICE DOGS. Their presence provides emotional support. These also do not have any proof besides a doctor letter which only allows them into housing and at airports. There is a large difference between ESAs and Service Dogs. In the state of Texas, it is illegal to pose an animal as a service dog when it is not and is not trained as such. § 121.006. Penalties for Improper Use of Assistance Animals It is also illegal to harass, harm, and distract a Service Dog. § 121.003. Discrimination Prohibited There are multiple veterans and disabled people in El Paso, Tx. My question is why are the police, that are supposed to protect the disabled, uninformed of the laws that are meant to protect us? I have been harassed, bullied, my service dog has been distracted, and people impersonating service dogs are everywhere. Most of the disabled do not go out because they are not safe. Some people can die if their service dog is not focused on them. So why are the disabled having so many issues in El Paso, Tx? On Sep. 27, I was in the mall getting one item. There was an untrained dog with a service dog vest on. The mall had a no pet policy, the owners did not obedience train the dog and they showed me an ESA ID, which was from a scam website. I called the non emergency police line. I was informed that impersonating a medical equipment is a civil matter and officers would not come to my aid. My disability is not as severe as fainting or seizures but if it was and my SD did not alert, I would feel frightening to leave my house. I was not given help, people don’t think about others unless they know they are the center of a very important problem. Why was I not helped? Why does this happen everyday with no consequence? Please protect the disabled, because not all of us can protect ourselves.
Hi, Leading & asking in Jesus name binding all evil so that God KJV Holy Spirit Bible truth be told. In Matthew 22 Jesus refers to the book of Enoch thus validating it. Itself a full explanation of all things told to Enoch, now in Enoch 9 Enoch is shocked when in heaven he sees outside heaven underneath in 4 smooth hollow places the souls crying out to God to make suite for their injustice. Enoch identifies Able from Genesis 4:8 which establishes that their does exist in Hell Innocent blood! All ABORTION & MISSCARRIAGE is s satanic sacrifice unto the Jewish god who is satan since in TRUTH satan says ‘I want what was freely given me.’ As far as arguing for innocences Able IS INOCENNT, just like all the babies. Get saved Now! https://youtu.be/Sj3TvlcVUzo Abortion= demonic and satanic spirits come from hell bent on getting you to go the same. Now understand generational curses Exodus20:5 God visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children unto 3rd&4th generations them who hate JesusChrist. Fornication means no sexual loyalty Proverbs 6:26 For by means of a whoreish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread and the ADULTERESS WILL HUNT for the percious life. Thus sayeth the Lord your partner is cheating on you, if not who Lies Jesus in name forward life and death of babies.
Hello everyone!! 🤠🙋‍♀️ Did you know that we in Serbia (Europe) on the other side of the world have a theme park called El Paso City!? 😁🥰 Take a look at what it looks like and share it for people to see, I think it's very interesting.... cowboy city and indian village 🥰 Greetings from Serbia, from the other side of the world 🙋‍♀️🤠
EL PASO, Texas -- As space at El Paso hospitals gets tighter, ABC-7 has learned patients infected with coronavirus are being sent to two local nursing homes: Mountain View Health and Rehabilitation and St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation. Those facilities have set up special Covid units while at the same time, dealing with outbreaks of their own. Sending infected patients to nursing homes for recovery is a practice once used in New York, but was reversed after critics say it contributed to a higher death toll within those facilities. In an internal memo obtained by ABC-7, an administrator from St. Giles notified employees that the facility “will be accepting COVID patients from the hospital,” which an employee said went into effect on July 7. Del Sol Medical Center is one of the local hospitals relying on these so-called “covid units” at nursing homes. “We work with the health department, we have an infection preventionist, myself, I work with Dr. Ocaranza and his team at the health department specifically to ask them, is there an outbreak,” said Dr. Ogechika Alozie, the Chief Medical Officer at Las Palmas Del Sol hospital. “If a facility has an outbreak, probably not the facility that we want to send people. You wouldn’t want your loved one there, I wouldn’t want my loved one there until that facility has its outbreak under control.” In a statement provided to ABC-7 by a spokeswoman for the Hospitals of Providence, the network of campuses confirmed they also speak with the city before using any facility, adding, “Throughout each day, we coordinate our actions and plans with other hospital systems, the public health department and our elected leaders.” However, the county judge brought up concerns about transparency within the city’s reporting of coronavirus cases. But Del Sol’s Dr. Alozie says they have to trust the data provided by the Department of Public Health. “I make an assumption that our partners at the health department are transparent with us the same way we’ve been transparent with them,” he said. ABC-7 obtained the information those facilities submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As of July 12, it shows 25 cases and 17 deaths at Mountain View, and 70 cases and 12 deaths at St. Giles. But a St. Giles employee who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation tells ABC-7 as of last week, there have been at least 16 deaths there. A public relations firm hired to represent Creative Solutions in Healthcare would not provide ABC-7 with current numbers on those outbreaks, citing the federal privacy law HIPAA. ABC-7 asked Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the city and county health authority, if the number of deaths or cases is being communicated to the hospitals. “It’s up to that nursing home to communicate that kind of information,” Ocaranza said in an online video interview for this story. When ABC-7 asked if families were being notified of these outbreaks before their loved one is transferred to a facility like Mountain View or St. Giles, Dr. Ocaranza said that communication is up to hospital employees. “They have their case managers, social workers that are in communication with family members when a transfer is going to be done,” he said. “They always keep that communication so family members know what’s the plan for that particular patient.” Dr. Ocaranza said the Department of Public Health has always been concerned with at-risk groups, like those living in nursing homes, but didn’t comment on the concern directly related to the use of “Covid units.” “That is why we deplore our education taskforce to those places, that’s why we started planning ahead of time because we need to be preventive and we need to be proactive,” he added. Both facilities, Mountain View and St. Giles, as well as three others in the El Paso area, are owned by Creative Solutions in Healthcare. The Fort Worth-based company confirmed the policy outlined in the internal memo and provided ABC-7 with the following statement: “Of the Creative Solutions in Healthcare facilities in El Paso, Mountain View Health and Rehabilitation Center and St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center are designated as cohort facilities that serve the area by accepting and treating COVID-19 positive patients. As such, these facilities are the only options in the El Paso area for referring hospitals or any facility with a COVID-positive patient requiring a skilled-nursing level of care. As previously stated, due to privacy laws and our responsibility to meet the expectations of those we serve, we must defer to local, state and federal authorities for the distribution of specific information regarding the numbers of COVID-19 cases at these facilities. "While the majority of our COVID-19 positive patients recover and are released from our care, due to the current community surge in COVID-19 cases, we continue to receive referrals from other nursing facilities and hospitals across El Paso County. All patients admitted to either Mountain View or St. Giles and their families receive full disclosure of the facilities' cohort status and its protocols for managing infection control. Please see the attached document for an overview of these protocols. "We are grateful for the trust of our patients and their families and as always, it is their health and well being that is our utmost priority. We are also deeply grateful for the ongoing commitment of our dedicated staff which continues to serve the needs of our community around the clock while balancing the ever present needs of their own in these challenging and unprecedented times.”