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1A Across America: Coronavirus At The Border

Children play at a refugee camp on the U.S. border in Matamoros, Mexico in July 2020.
Children play at a refugee camp on the U.S. border in Matamoros, Mexico in July 2020.

There are now at least 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

That count includes part of the U.S. border with Mexico. It’s a confluence of trade and migration, and it’s also home to millions of people. Containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 across this international boundary has created a unique set of challenges for officials and the people who live here.

Once largely spared by the pandemic, much of the border region in South Texas is experiencing  a massive surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. Health officials have called it a “ humanitarian catastrophe.”

Area hospitals are nearing capacity, with state and federal assistance on the way. The situation has become “desperate” for people living in a refugee camp in Matamoros, Mexico. That camp is just minutes from the border. Some migrants are forced to stay there due to the Trump administration’s “Remain In Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.

We talk with people in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas about how the coronavirus pandemic affects them.

1A Across America is funded through a grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 that is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.


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