Coronavirus Patients Crossing U.S. Border for Treatment, Say California Hospitals

TIJUANA, MEXICO - APRIL 27: An ambulance crosses the San Ysidro sentry box border crossing on April 27, 2020 in Tijuana, Mexico. Baja California state remains as one of the worst-hit states of Mexico and its main city Tijuana has registered over 115 COVID-19 deaths. According to Health Authorities, Tijuana …
File Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

A Southern California hospital reports that Coronavirus patients are crossing the border from Mexico to seek treatment. The surge created a crisis in regional hospitals, prompting a patient transfer system across the state.

“They’ll literally come to the border and call an ambulance,” Van Gorder, president and CEO of Southern California’s Scripps Health system, told CNN. Officials cite increasing ambulance traffic from the border as an indication of the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. He and other health leaders claim most patients crossing the border are Americans.

“It’s an unprecedented surge across the border,” California Hospital Association President and CEO Carmela Coyle told CNN.

Dr. David Duncan with California’s emergency medical services authority expressed concern about the transfer of patients from Imperial County to hospitals across the state. “We’ve got this continual flow of Covid coming across the border in the form of U.S. citizens that carry and continue to escalate and fuel the Covid pressures that we see,” Duncan told CNN.

Breitbart Texas reached out to U.S. Border Patrol officials about the CNN story and information about possible COVID-19 patients being apprehended by Border Patrol. Officials said Border Patrol agents currently make about four trips per day, taking people in custody to hospitals or health care facilities — nationwide. These transports are not necessarily COVID-19-related patients, officials said. Nor does it mean those patients were admitted to said facilities.

Currently, Border Patrol agents are detaining about 100 people at any give time, officials told Breitbart. This is down from about 3,400 in early March before Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols were put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Title 42 allows Border Patrol agents to expel most migrants to Mexico without bringing them into contact with other migrants or CBP personnel.

“The order is working just as it was intended: to keep Americans safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Border Patrol officials said in a written statement to Breitbart Texas. “These policies must continue until the existing health crisis is no longer a threat to the American people.”

Imperial County has the highest per capita rate of Coronavirus cases in the state, CNN reported. Hospitals in the region transported more than 500 patients to other locations across the state in the last five weeks.

Dr. Duncan called the border crossings into Imperial County, “gas on the fire.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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