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Texas National Guard to help El Paso morgues with virus dead

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, foreground, addresses members of the National Guard during a visit to a...
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, foreground, addresses members of the National Guard during a visit to a Texas Division of Emergency Management Warehouse filled with Personal Protective Equipment, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)(Eric Gay | AP)
Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 5:46 PM CST
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EL PASO, Texas (AP) - The Texas National Guard will send a 36-member team to El Paso to assist morgues in the border region with the number of dead as a result of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The pandemic is blamed for more 300 deaths in El Paso County since October, 853 total since the pandemic began.

County officials are paying jail inmates to move bodies and are offering $27 an hour jobs for morgue workers.

County Judge Ricardo Samaniego says in a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott that there were 234 bodies being held in the county morgue and nine morgues as of Friday.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.