This story comes from the KERA news desk.

Texas passed a million confirmed coronavirus cases this week — the most in the United States. Nowhere is the surge more acute than in El Paso. The West Texas city is being hammered by soaring cases and deaths.

At El Paso's Perches Funeral Homes, manager Jorge Ortiz wheeled a body into his chapel. But not for a funeral service.

Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope told Texas Tech Public Media Friday morning that the city is working to enforce the state's COVID-19 precautions. They're just limited in some of what they can do. 

State rules on business capacities, gatherings and masking have varied in the eight months since the coronavirus was first confirmed in Texas. In the spring, local governments were making decisions based on regional outbreaks. But Gov. Greg Abbott's executive orders have superseded local mandates since the summer. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations, and medical tents, go up

Nov 13, 2020
Kaysie Ellingson/Texas Tech Public Media

Kaysie Ellingson contributed to this story.

Emergency medical tents provided by the state will alleviate some stress on Lubbock’s hospital capacity. At least medical experts hope so.


On Thursday morning, a team of workers installed copper piping throughout one tent on the Covenant Health campus in Central Lubbock. It’ll be ready for patients early next week. A tent was also issued to University Medical Center. 

They’ll be able to treat 60 COVID-19 patients a day at the Covenant location.

Seven more COVID-19 deaths in Lubbock

Nov 12, 2020

The City of Lubbock has confirmed 414 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths as of 4:00 p.m.

More COVID-19 cases, deaths

Nov 11, 2020

The City of Lubbock has confirmed 446 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths as of 4:00 p.m.