The border city of San Luis, Ariz. has been a concern for health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the crossings between the city and San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. But San Luis Police Lt. Marco Santana says people are complying with orders to slow the spread and numbers are less than in Yuma and Somerton.
Lt. Santana said his department has had to adapt but are committed to serving the community and doing so while keeping officers and residents healthy.
"We are obviously out in the field, dealing with people," Santana told KAWC. "First responders have to be precautious."
Some officers have tested positive for the coronavirus, even with taking the proper precautions, including the wearing of face masks.
The impact on San Luis police has been the new normal everyone is facing, Santana said. Officers are focused on U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
"We are taking this very seriously as the city officials have," he said.
Lt. Santana said there have not been any issues with enforcement on masks since the city issued a proclamation for their required use in San Luis. By doing so, the city appears to be the first in Arizona to have done so. Signs for wearing a mask a everywhere, in English and Spanish, those signs reminding people to wear a "cubreboca."
"You go out in San Luis and you pretty much see everyone complying," Santana said. "Our main focus with the proclamation was to educate the public. People have responded well. There have not been any arrests in our jurisdiction."
As of Thursday, 580 cases have been reported in the San Luis zip code of 85349, according to statistics from the Arizona Department of Health Services. By comparison, the Yuma zip code of 85364 has seen 3,989 cases and Somerton, in zip code 85350 and about middway between Yuma and San Luis, has 3,446 cases.