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An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site at Ascarate Park in El Paso. Photo:Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The Department of Defense has deployed three U.S Air force Medical Specialty Teams to El Paso to help officials cope with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

Why it matters: El Paso currently has 23,702 active COVID-19 cases, including 1,300 new cases reported on Friday, per the city's health department. At least 1,049 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, including 311 who are in the ICU.

  • In the coming days, Texas is poised to hit the 1-million-case milestone since the start of the pandemic, with more than 942,500 confirmed as of Friday evening. El Paso has confirmed 59,852 total cases, with 657 deaths.
  • To help officials respond to the virus, El Paso's county judge issued a stay-at-home order on Oct. 29. The order includes a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for all residents, except for those commuting to and from work or getting essential services, including groceries and health care. The order was expected to last for at least two weeks.
  • The state has also opened an alternative care site at the El Paso convention center, which can accommodate up to 100 beds.

Details: The DoD teams consists of 20 military medical providers each, according Abbott's office.

  • They will support three hospitals in El Paso, including the University Medical Center of El Paso, the Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus and the Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center.

What he's saying: "Our ongoing partnership with the federal government is crucial to our efforts in reducing COVID-19 hospitalizations in El Paso," Abbott said in a statement Friday.

Go deeper: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.