Serving the High Plains

County sees slight decrease in virus cases

Quay County saw a slight decrease of COVID-19 cases last week with 35 confirmed cases, according to the state’s Department of Health, including four on Friday. Nearly all the cases were in the Tucumcari ZIP code.

That compared to 37 cases the previous week and 55 the week before that.

The county's overall case total rose to 797 since the pandemic began in spring 2020, with 12 deaths overall.

During the most recent two-week assessment period from Aug. 24 to Sept. 6, the county’s daily case rate was 70.6 per 100,000 — lower than the 85.9 recorded during the previous two-week period. The test-positivity rate also fell from 15.1% to 10.58%.

The desired benchmarks are 10 daily cases per 100,000 and a 7.5% test positivity rate.

The Covid Act Now website on Thursday also lowered Quay County’s risk to “very high risk” from the worst “severe risk” category.

The overall breakdown of COVID-19 cases by ZIP code in Quay County through Friday was 585 in Tucumcari, 131 in Logan, 41 in San Jon, 12 in House, 10 in McAlister, eight in Bard, eight in Nara Visa and five in Grady (part of which extends into Quay County).

A total of 608 people in the county were deemed by the DOH to have recovered from the virus.

These COVID-19 rapid responses were reported by the state in the county last week:

• Union Pacific Railroad, Tucumcari, one case reported Sept. 3;

• ENMR Plateau Telecommunications, Tucumcari, one case reported Sept. 3;

• Logan Municipal Schools, one case reported Sept. 7;

• Tucumcari Public Schools, one case reported Sept. 7.

A typical rapid response consists of isolating positive cases, quarantining close contacts, ceasing operations to the extent necessary to isolate affected areas, disinfecting these areas, implementing safety procedures and resuming operations. Typically, operations are ceased for fewer than 24 hours before it is safe to reopen.

In New Mexico, 885 new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday, bringing the overall total to more than 239,000 since the pandemic began.

State epidemiologist Christine Ross said during a briefing Wednesday a definite slowdown of cases could be seen in the data. She also said Presbyterian Health Services modeling team was predicting a decline in the virus’ spread rate.

Twenty COVID-19 deaths were reported in the state Friday, raising the total at 4,605.

A total of 370 people were hospitalized in New Mexico with the disease Friday, a decline of 26 from the previous week.

The Amarillo metro region on Friday totaled 4,426 active cases of the disease, a slight decline from the previous week. The active-case count was about 300 earlier this summer.

The disease has killed more than 840 people in the Amarillo metro since the pandemic began.

In the U.S., more than 40.8 million people have been confirmed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with more than 659,000 deaths, through Friday.


According to state data Friday, 45.2% of Quay County residents have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus. That was an increase of 0.8% from the previous week.

About 51.5% of Quay County residents have received one shot of COVID-19 vaccine through Friday, an increase of 1% from the previous week.

Both numbers showed sharp increases in vaccinations in the last two weeks compared to earlier this summer.

In New Mexico, 68.7% of residents had been fully vaccinated by Friday, with 78.5% receiving one dose of vaccine.

Deputy Health Secretary Laura Parajon said New Mexico’s vaccination rate improved by 1% in a single week, which was “way better than anticipated.”

Parajon said those who are interested in the third booster shots should contact their medical provider about getting them. She said that and seasonal flu shots can be given in the same arm.

Ross said new infections mostly were being reported among unvaccinated residents. From Aug. 6 to Sept. 6, about 18.2% of infections, 9.9% of hospitalizations and 8.1% of deaths occurred in unvaccinated people.

Health Secretary David Scrase, noting only a slight increase of children hospitalized with the disease in New Mexico compared to many areas in the country, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a strong correlation with high vaccination rates and low child-hospitalization rates.


The DOH stated in a news release Friday it was monitoring cases of ivermectin poisoning among people attempting to treat COVID-19.

Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Scrase said Wednesday he’d learned from medical professionals in New Mexico about one ivermectin overdose death and another that was in intensive care. He said it was his understanding those individuals had procured livestock ivermectin from veterinary supply stores.

He said the dose used for large animals isn’t appropriate for a human being.

“I’d like people to know, if they’re out there taking it, it can kill them,” he said.