JUAREZ, Mex. (KTSM) — The number of deaths associated with the COVID-19 virus grew to 45 in Juárez Saturday. The new total represents three additional deaths from the virus overnight, as the city hopes to control the rapid spread of COVID-19.
Chihuahua State Health officials released new data Saturday morning, showing a total of 204 positive novel coronavirus patients and 45 total deaths. In one week, Juárez’s confirmed cases exploded from 88 positive cases, and 22 deaths reported just last Saturday.
The three new deaths recorded Saturday follow the largest single-day spike in deaths recorded Friday, which was eight.
Mexican health officials acknowledged the worst is yet to come for Juárez. “We know there will be an increased number of cases in the next weeks,” said Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, head of the Chihuahua state Health Department in Juarez on Friday.
The latest case total comes as KTSM learned Friday the hospital capacity in Juárez is already at 75-percent, so local leaders are working to create temporary medical treatment facilities for the expected overflow.
Some of those “secondary” facilities include mobile hospitals set up in the parking lot of hospitals and government buildings like Juárez City Hall.
Juárez’s death toll is by far the highest in the Borderplex region. The ratio of deaths to confirmed cases is 22-percent, indicating a lack of testing in the area. Saturday, Chihuahua State Health Officials announced 295 positive COVID-19 cases for the entire state, 204 of those being from Juárez. They also said 53 deaths were attributed to the virus, 45 of those from Juárez.
Meanwhile, El Paso has seen a steady increase in the number of positive COVID-19 patients, but the death toll has not been as severe as our Sister City to the south. As of Saturday, ten official deaths have been recorded by the City of El Paso, although there are additional cases that aren’t being counted toward the city total. These cases include a nurse from The Hospitals of Providence who was diagnosed with the virus, but health officials have yet to determine if it’s what caused her death. The second known omission is a maquiladora worker who tested positive for the virus in Juárez before his daughter transferred him to El Paso for care where he later died.
Doña Ana County, in New Mexico, which includes border communities Sunland Park and Santa Teresa, has 94 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday morning and only one death.
This story contains additional reporting from Julian Resendiz, Roberto Delgado and Andra Litton.