Holiday season activity COVID-19 risk chart

On Tuesday, the Texas Medical Association released a chart ranking the risks of various holiday activities from low risk to high risk.

As a second wave of coronavirus infections continues to sweep over the El Paso region, the city says it is working “with various big-box stores” to limit capacity.

Big-box retail stores, the city says, are among the locations where the coronavirus is spreading in the community. Those that sell groceries have been able to stay open at full capacity even as other businesses considered nonessential have been ordered to reduce capacity or close.

In a news release, the city says Walmart has voluntarily agreed to implement metering to limit the number of customers inside a single store at one time.

“Because the city cannot restrict capacity at essential businesses, my office has contacted several big box retailers,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said in a statement. “Voluntarily limiting capacity is an example of businesses working with the city to help slow the spread of COVID-19. I am appreciative of Walmart setting this example, and I urge other retailers to also limit the number of in-store customers.”

The city has asked El Pasoans to limit the number of shopping trips they take, and, when possible, for households to select only one person to go to the grocery store.

On Tuesday, the El Paso health department reported 13 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 782. It also reported 994 new COVID-19 cases. About 1,120 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in El Paso County.

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On Tuesday, the Texas Medical Association released a chart ranking the risks of various holiday activities from low risk to high risk. Member physicians rated the activities from 1 to 10, assuming that participants would wear masks when practical, stay at least six feet apart from people who are not household members and wash their hands frequently.

“People are asking, ‘How social can I be during the holidays? What is safe or not safe?’” said El Paso infectious disease specialist and TMA COVID-19 Task Force member Dr. Ogechika Alozie. “So the task force really wanted to be diligent about calling out certain activities and give people a compass to guide their behavior.”


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