Virus cases in border counties are surging, and the government hasn’t told us how many migrants are sick

Daniel Horowitz


It’s the zip code with the most COVID-19 cases in the state of Arizona. It’s not in the population center of Phoenix, but in Yuma, right at the Mexican border. It is also the home of Yuma Regional Medical Center, which has likely received cases from across the border. As the New York Times reported in June, “Border towns in Arizona are experiencing an increase in infections that health officials believe is tied to people coming in from Sonora state.”

As of July 13, there were 3,131 cases in that Yuma zip code, more cases than in the states of Alaska and Vermont combined.  Every other Yuma zip code is also full of cases. 85336, which is right at the southern border, has 310 cases, even though the entire population of the zip code is 714.

In recent weeks, I’ve chronicled how Mexicans coming over the border for treatment and dual citizens traveling back and forth have caused a reimportation of the most serious cases from Mexico over the southwest border. You can read the series hereherehere, and here. The latest data show an unmistakable correlation between border areas and the rise of this latest wave of serious cases, while most of the rest of the country is experiencing a milder second wave.

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