Border cities combine for 25 additional COVID-19 fatalities


Spike comes as Juarez was hoping to reopen economy and U.S., Mexico extend travel restrictions to minimize cross-border transmission of coronavirus

A woman walks past a coronavirus-related mural painted by artist Mick Martinez in Ciudad Juarez, state of Chihuahua, Mexico, on May 19, 2020. (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The El Paso-Juarez border region woke up to 25 additional COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday.

El Paso reported seven new deaths to bring its total to 109 since the pandemic began. Juarez, Mexico recorded 18 fatalities but cautioned some may have died days earlier and are only now known to have perished from COVID-19.

“We send our sincere condolences to the loved ones of our latest COVID-19 victims. We also urge El Pasoans to do their part to protect themselves and to protect our must vulnerable,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, El Paso City-County health authority.

Six of the seven El Paso fatalities involved patients with underlying health conditions. The one exception was a woman in her 60s. The other victims were four men in their 60s, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 70s.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now up to 3,948 in El Paso County, with 1,044 of those being active cases.

In Juarez, the COVID-19 death count rose from 388 to 406 from Monday to Tuesday. Most of the dead had diabetes, hypertension or obesity, said Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, head of the Chihuahua state Health Department in Juarez.

He emphasized that results from PRC tests take several days to be verified in Chihuahua, hence, not all of the fatalities reported on Tuesday corresponded to the previous 24 hours.

Juarez had seen a marked decrease in COVID-19 cases in the past week, and city officials expressed confidence in being able to reopen their economy by next Monday.

In El Paso, many businesses are now operating at between 50% and 75% capacity, but merchants in Downtown are hurting because of a lack of Mexican shoppers. That has to do with travel restrictions put in place by the U.S. and Mexican federal government that have prevented Mexican visa holders from coming over to shop.

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf on Tuesday announced that those restrictions will be extended one more month, through July 21.

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