EL PASO, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott has announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has deployed three U.S. Air Force Medical Specialty Teams to assist the state's efforts to combat COVID-19 in El Paso.
The teams consist of 20 military medical providers each and will support three El Paso city hospitals: the University Medical Center of El Paso, the Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus, and the Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center.
"Our ongoing partnership with the federal government is crucial to our efforts in reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations in El Paso," said Governor Abbott. "I thank the Department of Defense for providing these resources to the El Paso community and for working alongside the Lone Star State to mitigate this virus."
The Associated Press spoke to chief of media and communications for the Texas Department of Emergency Management Seth Christensen who says the teams are expected to arrive in El Paso by the weekend.
Christensen says El Paso joins a list of 10 other cities, including Houston, San Antonio, and multiple cities in the Rio Grande Valley region to get aid from the DOD at the request of Texas officials.
El Paso has a total of 23,702 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday (11/6) and the city's spike in coronavirus infections has contributed to the upward trend in COVID-19 cases statewide.
Late last week, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego ordered a two-week shutdown of nonessential activities to help stop the spread. The Texas Attorney General's Office and a group of restaurant operators have asked a judge for a temporary injunction to stop the restrictions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.