Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda speaks to her constituents and Facebook followers via video message from her home on Wednesday night, Oct. 21, to announce that she had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Oct. 20. In quarantine in her home, Ávila spoke for 10 minutes, never once mentioning whether it was thought that she had exposed numerous people to the illness, including a number of attendees of an event in Calexico on Monday morning, Oct. 19. | VIDEO SCREEN CAPTURE.
Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Oct. 20, just one day after spending several hours in close proximity to numerous U.S. Border Patrol agents, binational law enforcement officials, and members of the media during a press event outside Calexico.
Ávila took to social media on Wednesday evening, Oct. 21, to announce via video message that she had tested positive for the novel coronavirus after experiencing “mild” symptoms Tuesday that led to fever, headache, and muscle aches.
As she was making the video, which lasted 10 minutes, she said she was feeling better but still had a slight fever and headache.
The city of Mexicali did not send out a press release announcing the mayor’s illness, her communications chief Edgar Covarrubias said Thursday, Oct. 22. Rather, her Facebook video served as the city’s official announcement.
During the event, Ávila, who wore a face covering throughout and showed no signs of illness, rode atop a horse in close proximity to Mexican and U.S. agents and officials, and following the patrol detail, she stood in front of a bank of media members to give interviews, standing well within six feet of many of the journalists as she spoke about the mirror patrol program.
Ávila, if she tested positive for COVID on Tuesday, was most definitely positive and contagious on Monday, said Dr. George Fareed, director at Pioneers Health Center in Brawley.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials put out a statement Thursday afternoon regarding the mayor’s positive test, although it isn’t clear who informed the sector.
“Upon hearing this, we notified all involved personnel, all of whom followed the appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines depending on their level of exposure,” according to the Border Patrol’s press release. “At this time, all command staff who attended the event have received COVID-19 tests, and all results were negative to detection of COVID-19.
“We are wishing Mayor Ávila a full and speedy recovery,” according to the statement.