El Paso reaching COVID-19 milestone; Juarez sees spikes on heels of US holidays

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Juarez official says extending border travel restrictions would be 'favorable' to reducing rate of infection

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — El Paso is quickly approaching the 10,000-mark in COVID-19 infections, as the pandemic rages on both sides of the border.

El Paso County reported five additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total to 157 during the pandemic. It also recorded 237 new cases for a cumulative count of 9,953, with 3,716 of them reported as active.

The number of patients under intensive care also reached a new peak, with 98. A total of 283 people are hospitalized, 40 on ventilators.

Chihuahua State Health Department Preventive Services Coordinator Dr. Leticia Ruiz

Across the border, Juarez, Mexico reported its first large spike since last week, with 134 new cases and nine additional deaths. Juarez has now recorded 2,255 cases and 575 deaths.

Mexican officials say they’ve now seen spikes during two consecutive U.S. holidays — Father’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Chihuahua State Health Department Preventive Services Coordinator Dr. Leticia Ruiz said mobility remains high on the border. And Health Department Director Arturo Valenzuela said extending international travel restrictions, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented on March 21 and renewed through July 21, would be “favorable.”

“The higher the mobility in a community where the infection is present, there is a higher transmission by infected people. Is it favorable to limit border traffic? Definitely. It is favorable to reducing the number of infections,” he said.

Both countries are restricting non-essential international travel, which includes U.S. residents not visiting Mexico for leisure and most Mexicans not being allowed into the United States on visas.

Coronavirus infections in “California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are on the rise. Our perspective, and that of the Ministry of Health, is that it wouldn’t be prudent now to reopen because then we’re going to provoke a (spike)” in COVID-19 cases, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told Mexican media late last week.

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