Juarez mayor comes down with COVID-19 for the second time


Mexican border official urges community to not let up on wearing masks, social distancing amid major spike in infections

Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada returned to his office at City Hall on Wednesday, after having been diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 6. (photo courtesy City of Juarez)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The mayor of Juárez, Mexico last May isolated himself for several days after tests confirmed he had contracted COVID-19. On Sunday, Cabada said he had contracted the coronavirus for a second time and would again be doing business from home.

In a Facebook post, Cabada said he and his family — wife Alejandra and daughter Regina — have tested positive for the virus.

“As I have been saying for the past few days, the levels of (COVID-19) infection and re-infection in our city are really worrisome. I have to tell you that I have again tested positive in my most recent test, and not just myself, but also my daughter Regina and mi wife Alejandra,” the mayor announced on Facebook.

Both Juarez and El Paso, Texas are going though a major spike in coronavirus cases. El Paso has recorded 32,758 cases — including 555 new infections on Monday — and 557 deaths. Juarez has had 987 fatalities but only 9,732 confirmed cases.

Officials on both sides of the border attribute the recent spike to COVID-19 fatigue — people getting tired of not going out or gathering with friends and family and not wearing masks or observing social distancing. They also say Juarez probably has had three to four times the number of COVID-19 cases compared to what it reports, and this is because of much more limited community testing.

On Monday morning, Border Report observed large numbers of people walking through Downtown Juarez without wearing masks and many others not observing social distancing.

Chihuahua state officials last week said they had empowered cities like Juarez to fine and even arrest for up to 36 hours people who knowingly refuse to wear masks or observe social distancing. However, as of Monday morning, there was no word on anyone being fined or arrested.

“I urge you again to follow the basic recommendations to avoid infecting ourselves or infecting others, such as wearing masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing,” Cabada said in his post.

(Juarez freelance photojournalist Roberto Delgado contributed to this report.)

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