April 22, 2020

Sonoran coronavirus cases concentrated in border town San Luis Rio Colorado

The high number of cases is likely related to the town’s proximity to both Arizona and neighboring Baja California.

Of the 156 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, on Tuesday, 74 of them were in the town of San Luis Rio Colorado, just south of the border from Yuma. And 32 of those infected were doctors and nurses.

"Only the municipality of San Luis Rio Colorado is in Phase 3," said Sonora Health Department spokesman Gerardo Alvarez, meaning health experts expect to see a rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations in the city.

The Sonoran government is sending additional health care workers and resources to San Luis Rio Colorado and further enforcing restrictions on movement, including closing the city's port of entry with Arizona from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The high number of cases is likely related to the town’s proximity to both Arizona and neighboring Baja California, which have substantially higher levels of coronavirus infection. Many residents of San Luis Rio Colorado are agricultural workers who cross the border daily to work in fields in Arizona and California.

However, Alvarez was emphatic that while San Luis Rio Colorado is currently the only Sonoran city considered to be in Phase 3 of coronavirus transmission now; other Sonoran cities could see similarly high levels of transmission if residents don’t follow the state’s strict stay-at-home guidelines.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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