Sonora health officials seek tougher border restrictions with Arizona over COVID-19 spread

TUCSON — The top health official leading coronavirus response efforts in the Mexican state of Sonora will petition the federal government in Mexico City to implement stricter controls at the state’s shared border with Arizona over concerns about the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.

Both states are struggling to combat outbreaks of the virus and have become regional epicenters in their countries for the number of infections reported in the past few weeks.

Arizona has one of the highest infection rates in the United States and has continued to break daily records in the number of confirmed positive cases and hospitalizations. The state’s Department of Health Services had reported 84,092 COVID-19 cases and 1,720 deaths as of Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, Enrique Clausen, Sonora’s health minister, announced his intention to seek more restrictive, temporary controls for nonessential travel along his state’s 365-mile-long border with Arizona and New Mexico to better fight the new coronavirus within its borders, he said.

“It’s so important to implement the necessary measures to protect the health of Sonorans. And one of them, at this moment, has to be reducing the border crossings from the United States towards Mexico,” Clausen said Tuesday during his daily briefing.

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