The Latest: Mexico's Chihuahua border state back in lockdown

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A woman, right, has a meal, inside a restaurant's outdoor tent Thursday Oct. 22, 2020, in Kew Gardens in the Queens borough of New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is easing restrictions slightly in some coronavirus hot spots in New York City, but adding them in areas along the Pennsylvania border as the state recorded more than 2,000 new infections in a single day for the first time since mid-May. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s northern border state of Chihuahua returned to the highest level of alert and lockdown Friday after coronavirus cases jumped there and hospitals began to fill up.

The Chihuahua state government declared the return to the “red” level of alert Friday, which closes down most non-essential services and encourages people to stay at home.

The Health Department said the state’s hospital beds were now 69% occupied, and that only about 23% of intensive care beds were open. The department said steps were being taken to expand hospital facilities.

The department also said that three other northern states — Durango, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon — were at risk of returning to maximum alert unless infections were brought under control.

Nationwide, 19 of Mexico’s 32 states will be at high alert starting Monday, 11 will be at medium alert and one state was considered at moderate risk level.

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