New Mexico

Eight New Mexico counties part of national COVID hot spot in new CDC data

Northwest New Mexico is a national hotspot of COVID, according to the latest CDC data. (Image #1, Above). Eight counties, including Bernalillo and Santa Fe, have high levels of COVID-19 in the community, affecting hospitalization rates (Image #2above), while 23 other counties show the highest transmittance (Image #3Above). flu cases are also increasing rapidly.

At a World Health Organization Briefing on 9.11Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while 10,000 weekly COVID deaths worldwide are currently better than nearly 75,000 last February, it is not good.

The US added the most–over 2300 dead the first week of November.

WHO technical lead for COVID-19, Dr. Maria van Kerchoveadded that new variants challenge insufficient vaccination rates.

“COVID-19 is still a pandemic and it’s still spreading pretty wildly around the world,” said Van Kerkhove.

She stated that the number of COVID cases is grossly underestimated. Acting New Mexico Secretary of Health David Scrase often says the actual number is eight times the number of positive tests.

Wastewater monitoring nationwide shows that 50% of websites are reporting a COVID spike in the last two weeks. The New Mexico DOH wastewater monitoring information has not been updated since September. A note the website states: “The effluent monitoring report will be updated as current data becomes available.”

New Mexico’s COVID death rate ranks sixth among states, with 414 people per 100,000 people lost to COVID, compared to the national death rate of 322 per 100,000. McKinley County’s COVID death rate continues to rise second highest rank among all counties nationwide with 893 per 100,000 people. New Mexico leads the nation in the increase in cases per capita over the past seven days, a 62% rise in cases over the past 14 days.

Meanwhile, as flu cases skyrocketed months earlier than expected, the CDC added a new dark purple “very strong” color his flu card. The map shows the clinic visits if you have respiratory diseases with fever and cough or sore throat, also called flu-like illness, Not laboratory tests. The card can count patients with similar symptoms caused by other pathogens.

As of November 5, eight southeastern states including Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and DC rank at the new purple level, while New Mexico sits at the dark red, very high level. (Image #4 above).

As of November 10, the combination of COVID, flu and RSV is taking a toll on hospitals, with UNM Hospital 100% above licensed capacity for adult and pediatric beds, meaning children are waiting for beds in the ER overnight . Presbyterian Hospital has exceeded its pediatric capacity and Lovelace is also working at full capacity.

5% of visits for healthcare facilities is the state higher than the national flu rate of 4.3%. In Lincoln County 13.7% of emergency visits were from flu-like illnesses.

A A look back at New Mexico flu reports over the past decade for early November shows the current spike in cases coming about six weeks earlier than before.

Less than 20% of all New Mexicans had the latest Omicron booster. A CDC tool shows our rate delays (Image #5, above) behind normal trends in New Mexico for flu shots. In previous years, between October and November, state flu vaccination rates ranged from 24% to 38%.

It was only in the 2019-2020 flu season that New Mexico passed the 50% mark for flu shots (Image #6, Above). From 2012 to 2019, the state never exceeded 50% and has yet to reach its 70% target. Over the three years of the pandemic, over 50% of New Mexicans have received their flu shot.

Also the White House announced Friday that the COVID public health emergency will remain after January. In August, they had signaled it would end in January 2023. Previously, the extension extended the order by 90 days.

Officials are recommending getting the flu shot now and masking indoors when COVID levels are high. The next NMDOH briefing will take place on November 17th. Find more resources on COVID-19 here.

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