Saturday, November 21, 2020 5:23 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Texas National Guard has sent a 36-member team to El Paso to assist morgues handle the number of dead as a result of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Statewide, the Texas health department on Saturday reported a one-day high of 12,597 new cases, nearly 20,500 dead and more than 8,200 hospitalizations. In El Paso County, the virus is blamed for more 300 deaths since October, 853 total since the pandemic began. Jail inmates are being paid to move bodies and $27 an hour jobs for morgue workers are being offered. County Judge Ricardo Samaniego says 234 bodies were held in the county morgue and nine mobile morgues as of Friday.