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Central El Paso 79903 ZIP code emerges as COVID-19 hot spot


The number of confirmed COVID-19 in Central El Paso’s 79903 ZIP code doubled in the past week, giving the area the second highest infection rate in the county, an El Paso Matters analysis shows.

The area around Loretto Academy, Chelmont and Five Points had 18 cases on April 22 and that had increased to 35 on Wednesday, according to El Paso Department of Public Health records.

The 79903 ZIP code has an infection rate of 19.6 cases per 10,000 residents. That’s second only to 31.4 cases per 10,000 in Tornillo in the rural Lower Valley. El Paso Matters has previously reported on the Tornillo outbreak.

79905, which is adjacent to 79903 in Central El Paso, has the third-highest infection rate in the county at 18.8 cases per 10,000 residents, the analysis shows.

Hover over a ZIP code on this map for more details on number of cases and infection rates.

Cover photo: Loretto Chapel is a landmark in Central El Paso’s 79903 ZIP code. (Photo by George Barnett)

Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. He spent most of his career at the El Paso Times, serving in a variety of leadership roles. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Burl Osborne award for editorial leadership, the James Madison Award from the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation, the Jack Douglas Award from Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership from the Texas Press Association. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Association. As a freelance journalist, Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on the border by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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