EL PASO, Texas — Saturday morning’s news release from the El Paso Department of Public Health started the same way these announcements have every day for well over a month now: “Unfortunately, today we’re reporting (insert number of) deaths…”
The number was four on Saturday as El Paso County’s death toll from the coronavirus approached 400, currently standing at 390.
The latest victims included three women in their 40s, 70s and 80s, along with a man in his 70s.
In addition, health officials reported 115 new virus cases and 24 so-called “delayed cases” – positive results from state-coordinated testing that often date back weeks ago.
El Paso County has recorded more than 1,000 of these delayed positives from the state over the past couple of weeks, leading to questions about how accurate a sense the public has really had about the spread of the virus in the community.
That’s because positivity rates calculated at the time didn’t include these “delayed” results that local health leaders say they were unaware existed.
In Saturday’s news release, it was noted in bold type that 15,591 El Pasoans, or 81% of all cases, have resulted in recoveries.
While that is a positive trend, many experts would note this caveat not reflected in the release: Studies show there are people who may experience long-term health complications as a result of having been infected with the virus.
There are currently 3,335 active cases, which represents a decline from record numbers of active infections experienced earlier in the week.