COVID-Infected Migrant-Camp Mom Delivers Baby at Texas Border Hospital

A local ambulance crew loads a woman from the Del Rio migrant camp into an ambulance. (File Photo: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)
File Photo: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas

DEL RIO, Texas — A pregnant migrant woman being detained in the migrant camp in Del Rio, Texas, had to be rushed to the hospital to deliver a baby. The mother later tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Val Verde Regional Medical Center (VVRMC) in Del Rio is treating a steady stream of migrants picked up by ambulance from the outdoor camp constructed near the Del Rio International Bridge. A young expectant mother was one of several migrants transported to the hospital on Saturday. The mother gave birth at the hospital and later tested positive for COVID-19 while being treated.

Breitbart Texas spoke to Valverde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez who says the mother tested positive but is unaware of any health issues with the newborn. Sheriff Martinez says the worry over health issues and communicable diseases from the camp’s residents is a matter of great concern.

“It’s not only COVID-19 but also active tuberculosis, HIV, and the potential for other diseases that may be encountered at the camp that worries me,” Sheriff Martinez says.

Thus far, there have been no efforts to test the migrants for COVID-19 or any other illnesses due to the volume of migrants at the camp. There are no vaccination efforts underway either according to Martinez. The latest population count shows the current total is nearly 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants.

VVRMC is the only hospital available in the 60-mile radius to treat the residents of Del Rio and the migrants from the camp. The hospital, like others, is dealing with local COVID-19 cases. Many of the migrants transported to the hospital are suffering from heat-related illnesses, but some have involved pregnancies and a variety of other illnesses including chickenpox, the sheriff explained.

Sheriff Martinez says the flow of migrants has stopped for now after Texas Highway Patrol troopers deployed by Governor Greg Abbott blocked access to a weir dam that spans the Rio Grande. Migrants used the dam as a gateway to the camp from Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico. Troopers blocked access to the camp from Mexico late Saturday.

Sheriff Martinez says conditions are improving as more resources sent by the federal government arrived. He added that there are plenty of supplies to care for the migrants including food, water, and hygiene items. Martinez says a neighboring county is also helping his department to patrol highways and provide services as his staff helps cope with the migrant camp situation.

“The Kinney County Sheriff called me to offer support and has sent a few deputies to deal with routine matters while we focus on this situation,” Sheriff Martinez said. “The help is much needed and appreciated,”

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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