COVID-19 cases rising in Otero County amid country-wide spike

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Otero County spiked over the weekend. A July 26 update from the New Mexico Department of Health showed seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Otero County. On July 23, 13 new cases were reported, and 21 new cases reported July 22. […]

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Otero County spiked over the weekend.

A July 26 update from the New Mexico Department of Health showed seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Otero County.

On July 23, 13 new cases were reported, and 21 new cases reported July 22. Nine were reported July 21, a large jump from the single case reported July 20. On July 19, 17 cases were reported in the county. 

“The New Mexico Department of Health is doing everything we can to ensure that New Mexicans have access to vaccination and testing,” New Mexico Department of Health spokeswoman Lealia Nelson said. “We all need to do our part to protect the most vulnerable and ensure that we do not overwhelm our healthcare resources, which can have dire consequences far beyond COVID-19.”

The New Mexico Department of Health asked those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as “fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell” call a health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

Otero County Epidemic Curve as of July 23, 2021. For the week ending July 23, 2021, Otero County had a rolling average of 15 positive COVID-19 cases per day.

Otero County reported 4,170 positive COVID-19 cases with a 1.38% positivity rate during the pandemic.

Eighty-six deaths were attributed to COVID-19 and 3,992 people reportedly recovered from COVID-19 since tracking began in March 2020, according to the New Mexico Department of Health as of July 26.

More:Those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can be infected, but serious illness is rare: ‘Nothing in this world is 100%’

Fifty-two percent of the eligible Otero County population had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while 44.5% of the Otero County population completed the vaccination series, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. 

“We do know what works against this virus,” Nelson said. “Specifically, vaccination will reduce the severity of infection and reduce the spread of the COVID virus.”

Amn Melonie McMullin administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Col. Ryan Keeney, 49th Wing commander at Holloman Air Force Base, on January 15, 2021.

New Mexico was one of 49 states that recently experienced a COVID-19 spike. The one state that did not was Vermont.

New Mexico is one of several states holding a conditional cash lottery to get New Mexicans to get inoculated against COVID-19.

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The New Mexico version Vax 2 the Max contest makes $10 million in prize money available plus other prizes for New Mexicans who get vaccinated against COVID-19. Those wanting to be part of the program must opt in to it at vax2themaxnm.org.

Valda Udley

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