El Paso offering $27 an hour to people willing to work in morgue overrun with COVID deaths

A low-level inmate from El Paso County detention facility prepare to load bodies wrapped in plastic into a refrigerated temporary morgue trailer in a parking lot of the El Paso County Medical Examiner's office on November 16, 2020 in El Paso, Texas.

The Texas National Guard has sent 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.

Statewide, the Texas health department on Saturday reported a one-day high of 12,597 new virus cases, nearly 20,500 dead since the pandemic began and more than 8,200 virus hospitalizations.

The pandemic is blamed for 853 deaths in El Paso County, including more than 300 since October.

Jail inmates are being paid to move bodies and county leaders are offering morgue workers $27 an hour.

With thousands of people traveling for Thanksgiving in spite of pleas from the CDC to stay home, things in Texas are expected to get worse over the next few weeks.