Asylum seekers are being tested for COVID-19 in Yuma

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – The Regional Center for Border Health (RCBH) announced that it has now worked with more than 700 asylum seekers to ensure they are not responding positively to coronavirus.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) brings immigrants to the RCBH Clinic in Somerton after they are released from federal custody. Testing is voluntary, but Amanda Aguirre, President and CEO of RCBH, said the majority of those arriving agree.

A test essentially earns you a place in one of the charter buses provided by RCBH for a trip to the nearest animal shelter. Local nonprofits have also come together to help asylum seekers. They provide bags of information and snacks.

However, all of this help is not free. City guides, local service groups and federal officials met Tuesday to discuss the lack of resources. City, county and state leaders have urged the federal government to send both workers and money to the border to support the influx of immigrants.

Yuma County has no shelter for asylum seekers, so they are being sent to Phoenix, Tucson, and beyond.

Mayor Nicholls and Aguirre tell us that help can be expected in the next few weeks. RCBH is also expecting a visit to FEMA this weekend.

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