A temporary focus

KFOXTV, El Paso, Texas:

Reports emerged over the weekend that El Paso County inmates were being used to handle bodies of COVID-19 patients at the county medical examiner’s office.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the use of inmates was a last resort, but after seeing the community’s reaction, he felt El Paso needed to move in a different direction.

“It was just a temporary focus, and we’re waiting for the Texas National Guard to help us out with that,” Judge Samaniego said.

Judge Samaniego said the county has asked the Texas National Guard to take over at the morgue, but the military hasn’t committed yet out of concern over the sheer number of bodies coming in.

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