Comcaac Community In Sonora Faces COVID-19 Outbreak Amid Water Shortage

By Kendal Blust
Published: Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 1:38pm
Updated: Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 12:56pm

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Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

Punta Chueca
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
The Comcaac town of Punta Chueca, Sonora, is experiencing a new outbreak of COVID-19 cases, exacerbated by an ongoing water shortage in the community.

An Indigenous community in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the midst of a water shortage.

At least 15 people have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the town of Punta Chueca, one of two Comcaac communities on the coast of the Sea of Cortez.

The outbreak comes as the town has also been struggling for weeks for access to potable water.

"There is a great need for protective materials to prevent the spread of the disease," said Alberto Mellado, a representative for the community, who has also tested positive for coronavirus.

He said they are trying to get face masks, soap and hand sanitizer to keep the virus from spreading, but emphasized that addressing the water shortage is essential to helping residents of the 600-person community protect themselves.

Recent donations of water and medical supplies have gone to the small community health clinic for the sickest patients. Though Mellado says it's unclear how long those will last.

Vaccinations have been administered in Punta Chueca for people 30 and older.

The outbreak comes as the state is seeing cases spike to similar levels seen during the first and second wave of the pandemic in Sonora. Though deaths remain lower than during earlier spikes, hospitalizations are rising.