California Hospitals See Surge in Cross-Border CCP Virus Cases

June 6, 2020 Updated: June 7, 2020

Some California hospitals on the border with Mexico are seeing a surge in CCP virus cases, and they link the increase in infections to cross-border lifestyles.

The Mexican health care system has been hard-hit by the CCP virus pandemic, and retirees and Americans who have fallen sick are increasingly arriving at small community hospitals in Southern California, the Washington Post reported.

El Centro Regional Medical Center in Imperial County and Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista in San Diego County have noted a spike in infection numbers because U.S. citizens and legal residents living in Mexico are crossing the border from Tijuana and Mexicali for treatment, Kaiser Health News (KHN) reported.

“We are now transferring COVID-19 patients out of Chula Vista to other Scripps hospitals farther north on a fairly regular basis—21 over the last week—to help decompress our hospital here,” Dr. Juan Tovar, an emergency physician and chief operations executive for Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, told KHN.

Tovar said 48 percent of the CCP virus patients who visited their hospital’s emergency room from May 24 to May 30 had recently traveled to Mexico, and this number increased to 60 percent from May 31 to June 2.

Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista is about 10 miles from the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere, according to the U.S. General Services Administration. Every day, 20,000 northbound pedestrians and 70,000 northbound vehicles cross it.

Epoch Times Photo
An ambulance crosses the San Ysidro sentry box border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on April 27, 2020. (Francisco Vega/Getty Images)

Another facility, El Centro Regional Medical Center, was so overwhelmed by the spike in infections that it had to transfer patients to other facilities in San Diego and National City.

“We know that our community has family on both sides of the border, so we’re relating the uptick to Mother’s Day weekend,” said Suzanne Martinez, an assistant chief nursing officer at the medical facility. “That means more risk as people travel back and forth over the border.”

The Mexican state of Baja California is one of the worst-hit areas of Mexico. Tijuana, which is right at the border, has a high number of deaths from COVID-19.

The San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego is the busiest ambulance pickup on the border.

As the pandemic struck the cross-border communities, Imperial County, where El Centro is located, turned out to have the highest hospitalization rate in California, at 44.5 people per 100,000, as of June 7.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya