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Restrictions Tighten Somewhat In Sonora As COVID-19 Cases Soar

Authorities in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, are tightening restrictions on some businesses as coronavirus cases rise steeply.

On Wednesday, Sonoran officials reported 430 new coronavirus cases in the state — the highest daily count since the summer, when cases and deaths were at their peak.

The rapid surge in now cases comes after several months of lower coronavirus infections and deaths, as well as relaxed precautions.

But with cases rising and the holidays approaching, authorities are implementing new restrictions and urging people to limit the usual family gatherings and Christmas parties.

"Don't make this time of year one of pain," said State Health Secretary Enrique Clausen on Wednesday, advising people to wear face coverings, wash their hands, social distance and, "Above all, avoid unnecessary outings."

State authorities also started reimplementing restrictions this week in the hardest hit cities, including closing museums and movie theaters and limiting operations at other businesses. Sonora also has a statewide mask mandate.

But some health professionals want restrictions to go farther, completely barring events like weddings and Christmas posadas, which are an important tradition for many here.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.