Messaging across the country remains unequivocal: stay at home. In order to beat the outbreak of coronavirus, social distancing measures prevent community spread. However, while messaging has been unambiguous, practical application and adherence have featured some questions.
In response to the evolving threat of covid-19, officials in El Paso intend to amend their previous order. Last week, the “stay home, work safe” order instructed residents to hunker down and avoid social gatherings and public spaces. Anyone with the means to work from home must, while those deemed essential continue to attend work while taking precautions.
The problem with stay at home orders rests with exceptions. For example, parks remain available to those seeking fresh air. While health experts tell us outdoor activity doesn’t have to end, when those out for walks begin doing so en masse issues arise.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego cited recreation and construction as two areas drawing concerns from city leaders. He and Mayor Dee Margo plan to hash out revisions to last week’s stay at home order to account for these problem areas. “The mayor and I are working very closely later today on having specifics.”
He also said he and the mayor plan on incorporating the suggestions of health experts. They defer to their judgement in matters of public health, and intend to make some hard decisions for the city of El Paso.
However, details remain uncertain. Though, in addition to recreation and construction, Samaniego suggested changes to the definition of essential business.
To “flatten the curve,” a reference to the charts displaying the rise in daily case count, officials must make strict orders. El Paso follows orders in other major cities where the outbreak blossoms. In New York state, now the worst hit area in the world, cases exceed 75,000. The original epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei province in China, saw less than 68,000.
With projections predicting the peak still 1 to 3 weeks away, officials hope to stem the spread with stringent stay at home orders for the public.