COVID-19 cases climb in San Luis R.C.

City workers spray disinfectant at the entrance of the General Hospital  in San Luis Rio Colorado, where numerous health care workers have been infected with COVID-19

SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. – In less that a month, this city has recorded more that 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, accounting for more than half of all cases in Sonora, the state health director said.

Nine new cases were confirmed Sunday, bringing to 124 the number of cases in the border city across from the Yuma County, according to the Sonora state health ministry.

Fifty-two of the cases were of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health care workers who presumably were attending to people previously infected with the virus, said Enrique Clausen, head of the health ministry.

Clausen previously announced last week that cases of the novel coronavirus had been confirmed among employees at the city’s General Hospital, where a contingent of medical workers from the state had arrived April 20 to bolster the ranks of the depleted hospital staff amid viral outbreak in the city.

On Sunday, in a new conference in Hermosillo, Clausen said 30 beds were freed up at General Hospital for COVID-19 cases by referring patients needing surgeries or gynecological, pediatric or internal medical care to private clinics in the city.

Throughout Sonora, there were 230 cases of COVID-19, according to the health ministry. After San Luis Rio Colorado, the city with the next highest number of cases was Hermosillo, with 44.

Meanwhile, the city continues enforcing a prohibition against residents driving around the city except for essential.

Crowds at El Golfo de Santa Clara, a popular tourist destination on the Sea of Cortez, were reported as practically non-existent, but San Luis Rio Colorado Mayor Santos Gozalez said some residents continue to ignore stay at home orders.

On Friday, Gonzalez and Marina del Pilar Avila, the mayor of Mexicali, Baja Calif., kicked off a program to curb the transmission of the coronavirus among the two cities. Among other things, the strategy calls for stopping and taking the temperatures of motorists traveling between the two.

As of Sunday, Mexicali had recorded 508 cases of coronavirus among its residents, while Tijuana, Baja Calif., had 737 cases.

In his news conference Sunday, Clausen continued to appeal to Sonora residents to practice social distancing to control the spread of COVID-19.

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