Tijuana and San Diego join forces to battle COVID-19

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Border Report) — Leaders from Tijuana and San Diego have formed a cross-border working group as a way to keep track of COVID-19 cases and the virus’ impact in the region.

A relationship was already in place, but now their plan is to “strengthen that cooperation.”

With COVID-19 cases in San Diego showing signs of stabilizing, the same can’t be said for the city of Tijuana. It’s one of the hardest hit areas in Mexico with 1,359 cases that have resulted in 311 deaths.

The fear is that while San Diego is making progress, it won’t fully recover unless Tijuana comes out of it as well.

Last month, more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies formed a regional group to disseminate the impacts of U.S. citizens crossing into the United States from Mexico after seeking medical care.

The state of Baja California and city of Tijuana have agreed to collaborate with the group by sharing information, data and resources.

In the coming weeks, Tijuana and the rest of Mexico are expecting an increased demand for medical attention, potentially leading to an increased demand on hospitals and emergency resources in San Diego County, a spokesperson for the San Diego mayor’s office said.

COVID-19 MORE LETHAL IN TIJUANA THAN IN SISTER CITY SAN DIEGO

The cross-border group will share data report and a response plan from a multi-agency partnership that includes the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and police and fire departments from throughout San Diego County.

“San Diego and Tijuana’s longstanding binational relationship has (been) and continues to be a strength even amid one of the largest pandemics we’ve faced in a century,” Faulconer said in a statement. “COVID-19 knows no boundaries, so our border region is closely monitoring the impacts to healthcare systems on both sides of the border.”

On Tuesday, 1,000 3D-printed face shields were delivered from San Diego to the city of Tijuana for use in public hospitals. Additionally, the group was able to donate five ventilators through an agency known as CalDart.

“This donation strengthens the ties of collaboration between the sister cities of Tijuana and San Diego, reiterating the solidarity of the families that make up the mega region,” said Tijuana Mayor Arturo González in a statement.

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