Texas AG sues to block COVID-19 shutdown in El Paso County

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A man wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks at a restaurant, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing El Paso County to block a county order shutting down all non-essential activities. The suit comes a day after El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego ordered the two-week shutdown amid a skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases he says was “overwhelming” the county’s hospitals. Paxton joined a number of restaurant owners whose in-person dining was among the non-essential activities targeted. The order also closed bars, gyms, tattoo parlors and nail and hair salons. Grocery and drug stores, funeral homes, health care services and government activities were among activities deemed essential, along with election-related activities.