Serving the High Plains

COVID numbers continue declining

Confirmed COVID-19 cases numbers last week continued their slide in the state and region and were approaching the lower levels seen before the Delta and Omicron variants arrived last year.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quay County last week was eight, including one on Friday.

That compares to 18 cases the previous week and 21 the week before that.

The total number of cases in the county rose to 1,969 since the pandemic began in spring 2020.

According to epidemiology reports, Quay County’s COVID-19 case rate fell to 24.7 new cases per 100,000 people from Feb. 8 to Feb. 21, almost half from the 46.8 rate in the previous reporting period. Quay County ranks in the bottom four counties in the state in transmission rate.

Neighboring Guadalupe County saw the state’s worst rate, at 122.8 per 100,000.

The breakdown of COVID-19 cases by ZIP code in Quay County through Friday was 1,510 in Tucumcari, 278 in Logan, 93 in San Jon, 34 in House, 21 in McAlister, 18 in Bard and 14 in Nara Visa.

One more confirmed COVID-19 deaths was reported last week in Quay County. The latest was a woman in her 60s who had underlying conditions.

The death toll in Quay County rose to 48 since the pandemic began in spring 2020. A total of 40 of the deaths have occurred since late May.

A total of 1,807 people in the county were deemed by the DOH to have recovered from the virus.

No COVID-19 rapid responses were reported in the county last week.

More data

In New Mexico, the seven-day daily case average fell to less than 500 by Friday, compared to nearly 1,000 the previous week.

Health Secretary David Scrase said during a briefing Wednesday that case numbers have dropped by two-thirds and hospitalizations from the disease by more than half in recent weeks.

A total of 453 new cases of coronavirus were reported in New Mexico on Friday. That raised the total since the pandemic began to more than 510,000.

A total of 304 people were hospitalized in New Mexico with the disease Friday, a decrease of almost 100 from the previous week. Scrase said the number of intensive-care and regular beds at hospitals have increased, and the state no longer is in crisis standards of care mode where healthcare might be rationed.

However, he cautioned: “A lot of hospitals don’t feel like they’re out of the woods.”

Thirty COVID-19 deaths were reported in the state Friday, raising the total to 6,903.

Despite a recent lifting of the state’s mask mandate, Scrase said immunocompromised people still should wear KN95 or N95 masks to help protect themselves. He said the Evushield monoclonal antibody treatment bolsters the immunity of such patients. Scrase also recommended the immunocompromised get another booster shot of vaccine three months after their third shot.

The total number of active cases in the Amarillo metro region plummeted Friday to more than 2,700. That was a drop of more than 3,000 from the previous week and a decline of about 4,000 the week before that.

The active-case count in the metro was about 300 last summer.

The disease has killed 1,134 people in the Amarillo metro since the pandemic began.

In the U.S., more than 78.9 million people have been confirmed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with more than 948,000 deaths, through Saturday.

Vaccines

According to state data through Friday, 53.1% of Quay County residents have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus. That did not change from the previous week.

About 60.6% of county residents have received one shot of COVID-19 vaccine through Friday, which also did not change from the previous week.

In New Mexico, 78% of eligible residents had been fully vaccinated by Friday, with 91.8% receiving at least one dose of vaccine.

Residents can schedule vaccinations through the state’s registration portal at VaccineNM.org.

Scrase said he was hopeful a global COVID-19 vaccine might be available by summer. He noted the next variant of the disease typically shows up six months after the previous variant.

The Department of Health’s vaccination helpline is available at 855-600-3453, option 3.

The federal government also is offering free rapid COVID-19 tests that can be shipped to homes. They can be ordered at COVIDtests.gov or calling 800-232-0233 or 888-720-7489.

The Quay County Courthouse and Quay County Extension Office, both in Tucumcari, each are offering free rapid tests.

FindATestNM.org also provides links to those who wish to receive free tests by mail order.

 
 
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