SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — On Tuesday, Acting Homeland Security Secretary, Chad Wolf, will be in San Diego County to tour the San Ysidro Port of Entry and southwest border. The visit comes amidst a growing number of cross border cases of COVID-19 showing up in San Diego County.
Health officials say hospitals in Chula Vista continue to see many COVID-19 cases due to legal crossings from Tijuana.
As of Tuesday, of the non-resident cases recently diagnosed at two Chula Vista hospitals, at least half reported travel across the border within the previous two weeks of their onset of symptoms.
Currently, the border between the United States and Mexico is closed to non-essential travel. This means most of these cases include workers in high contact jobs such as grocery stores, driving delivery vans, and working in personal care positions.
In order to address the issue, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced they would be forming a bi-national regional group to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and cross border travel. He also revealed that the city donated 1,000 3D printed face shields and five ventilators for use in Tijuana's hospitals.
Mayor Faulconer stressed unity between Tijuana and San Diego in order to address the surge in cross border cases.
News 8 asked why is action only being taken now?
The Chief of the City’s Emergency Operations Center for San Diego responded, “It’s basically our job to look at any hazards, for instance, the cruise ship terminals. Whatever it may be. The nursing homes, the border, and find out what we need to do to make sure that we are planning appropriately.”
In a letter obtained by News 8, executives at Sharp and Scripps wrote to federal officials asking for "urgent action on behalf of health care providers on the United States and Mexico border." Including temperature checks and a mandatory quarantine for anyone entering—who's suspected of being infected.