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    As our community faces challenges in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, I will be sharing the latest information and resources that are available to me to help you through these unprecedented times. Please follow me on my social media page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to receive up to date information from the city, state, and federal government and as always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (915) 629-9522 for further questions. 
     
    Stay Informed
     
    Governor Abbott Executive Order Expanding Openings of Certain Businesses and Activities
     
    On May 5th, Governor Abbott announced that Texas will be opening cosmetology salons, tanning salons, and swimming pools effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020. He also announced the opening of gyms, exercise facilities and classes that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the gym or facility effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020. All of these businesses must adhere to the directives included in the executive order in regards to social distancing.
     
    For more information on the executive order and its directive regarding how businesses can operate, click on the link below.
     
    El Paso City/County Emergency Directive
     
    Mayor Dee Margo and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, issued new emergency orders that make face coverings mandatory once again and also "prohibit all public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a single household or dwelling unit." All individuals over the age of two (2), are required to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while outside of their home or residence. A face covering may include cloth masks such as bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters that fit snugly but comfortable against the face secured with ties or ear loops.
     
    The new emergency directive also includes:
    -All social gatherings, of any number, are prohibited.
    -Retail services may be provided through pick-up, delivery by mail, or delivery to customer's doorstep.
    -Shopping malls, dine-in restaurants and movie theaters may operate at 25% capacity.
    -Golf courses and private tennis courts will be open and fishing will be allowed
    with safety protocols in place.
    -Tennis courts at private facilities may be utilized following the Local Health
    Authority’s Order or guidance.
    -City of El Paso parks will remain closed except for walking on designated
    walking paths.
    -Public park playgrounds, tennis courts and basketball courts will remain closed.
     
    For more information on Health Authority Orders click on the link below.
     
    If you feel you meet the requirements for COVID-19 testing, the City of El Paso is asking El Pasoans to call (915) 212-6843 for public testing information.
     
    DIY Face Coverings
     
    Going out in public? The City of El Paso is recommending that if you are going out in public you should consider wearing a face covering. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. If you don’t own one here is an easy way to make your own.
    Fact Friday - How to Make Your Own Face Covering
     
    El Paso County Runoff Election Update
     
    El Paso County Elections Department is working on strategies and solutions to protect voters, poll workers, and staff in the July 2020 runoff elections which were delayed by Governor Abbott due to COVID-19.
     
    The strategies include:
    -Working with political parties to ensure that the minimum requirement of 3 poll workers at each site is met or consolidate polling locations.
    -Utilizing fewer machines at each location in order to ensure the required six feet for social distancing.
    -Purchasing supplies and equipment such as gloves, wipes for machines, masks, sanitizer, shield and disposable stylus.
     
    If you qualify to vote by mail (65 or older, disabled defined by the Secretary of State, will be out of the county during early voting or Election Day, or confined in jail but otherwise eligible), I encourage you to request a mail-in ballot today. 
     
    Graduation Ceremony Guidance from TEA
     
    The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released guidance for the 2020 end-of-year ceremonies. While schools remain closed for instruction, school districts seek to fulfill traditions of graduations and end-of-year ceremonies.
     
    TEA has issued guidance on four different types of ceremonies:
    -Virtual: Through a live stream on a computer.
    -Hybrid: Students will receive a diploma in-person, school districts can record the ceremony to then be distributed to families through a complete video ceremony.
    -Vehicle: Student and families will participate in ceremony in a "drive-through" setting where all activities are done outdoors. Permitted to take place effective May 15.
    -Outdoor in-person: An outdoor ceremony may take place in any county on or after June 1.
     
    ALL ceremonies must adhere to social distancing guidelines and participants must be screened by school system employees.
     
    For more detailed guidance click the link below.
     
    Together, Fearless, We Count
    2020 Census
     
    Have you filled out the Census?
    Here are the most recent 2020 Census self-response rates for El Paso County and the City of El Paso. We rank 24th out of 254 counties and 275 out of 1,211. Now more than ever, it is so important that we count everyone during this census. When you are checking in on your loved ones this week, make sure to ask whether they have been counted in the 2020 Census.
     
    For the first time, you can choose to complete the U.S. Census online. It's the perfect way to contribute while practicing social distancing. Once you receive the unique census ID self-response invitation, head to the 2020 Census website and fill out the Census!
     
    Office Information
     
    Rep. Art Fierro | 1760 Lee Trevino, Suite B, El Paso, TX 79936
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