Border Report

Top stories: Musk responds, ICE detainee honored, Curfew leads to cars seizures, testing expands


Elon Musk tweet-responds local leaders inviting Tesla to relocate to South Texas

After Elon Musk tweeted Saturday that he was relocating his Tesla Motors facilities from California to Texas or Nevada — to restart production quicker during this pandemic — the Hidalgo County judge this morning reached out to the multi-millionaire entrepreneur via Twitter invite him to start up an electric car plant in South Texas. And to his surprise, Musk responded right away. Musk tweeted back: “Note is much appreciated.” Musk already runs his SpaceX rocket launch pad from South Texas on the Gulf Coast in Cameron County. Hidalgo County is the next county west and touts many maquiladoras industries, which Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said could benefit Tesla’s production. Read Sandra Sanchez’s full report.

Vigil honors man who died of COVID-19 while in ICE custody in California 

On Saturday night, about two dozen people turned out with flowers, candles and signs for a vigil in honor of a man they had never met before. Carlos Ernesto Escobar arrived at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in January. The facility is located about 30 miles southeast of Downtown San Diego. While in detention, the 57-year old Escobar caught COVID-19 and had to be hospitalized in late April when he was placed on a ventilator. About 10 days later, he was pronounced dead. Read Salvador Rivera’s full report.

Juarez seizes cars from drivers ignoring latest stay-at-home order

Juarez officials have seized 148 vehicles during the first two days of a virtual curfew meant to crack down on widespread disregard of a stay-at-home order to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Armando Cabada ordered people to remain in their homes for 10 days starting last Friday. Officials initially said it would be a night-time curfew, but the mayor a day later said the order applied day and night. Only those who are going to work, supermarkets, pharmacies, the doctor or a hospital are allowed to drive on city streets until May 18, per the order. Read Julian Resendiz’s full report.

Border officials race to increase coronavirus testing 

El Paso plans to expand COVID-19 testing by June 1, with the goal of testing 5% of the population by the end of the month.

El Paso City-County Health has recorded 1,340 COVID-19 cases and 33 fatalities as of Sunday. The health department this week plans to open 10 new test sites and is working with partners like CVS pharmacies and area school districts to open additional sites later. The city previously established a testing partnership with Walmart. Read Julian Resendiz’s full report.

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Current status of COVID-19 testing in San Angelo