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An ambulance crosses the San Ysidro sentry box border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo: Francisco Vega/Getty Images

Small community hospitals in Southern California have been overwhelmed with U.S. citizens and residents crossing the border from Mexico back into the states for COVID-19 treatment, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Many retirees, dual citizens and Americans working or visiting family in Mexico have continued to cross the border despite both countries' attempts to limit travel. And a special pandemic protocol to bring ill patients between the two countries has caused coronavirus cases to surge in bordering counties.

What's happening: Mexico's health care system has become overcrowded. Nearly half of the COVID-19 patients in a collection of California border hospitals, including El Centro Regional Medical Center, are recent arrivals from Mexico.

  • Imperial County, Calif., has been bombarded with a much higher concentration of coronavirus cases — 760 per 100,000 residents — more than any other county in the state.

The bottom line per the Post: "About 1.5 million Americans live in Mexico, and more than 250,000 of them live in the cities just south of California. Those cities have been hit harder by the coronavirus than almost anywhere else in Mexico."

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Sep 4, 2020 - Health

"Mask up": Governors urge caution ahead of Labor Day weekend

Beach-goers in San Clemente, California on Sept. 2 ahead of Labor Day weekend. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican governors on Friday urged residents to adhere to basic coronavirus mitigation strategies, like washing hands and wearing a mask, during the Labor Day weekend.

Why it matters: 18 states saw rising coronavirus caseloads over the last week, including seven where daily infections were up by more than 50%, per a weekly Axios tracker.

Hotel crisis hits new milestone

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Labor Day weekend traffic might be a touch lighter this year, with hotel bookings down 65% compared to last year.

Why it matters: America's hotels are on life support as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and some 2 million jobs at stake.

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