Southeast New Mexico remains in COVID-19 medium category as cases decrease – Carlsbad Current Argus

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The number of COVID-19 remained stagnant in New Mexico as the threat level to Eddy, Chaves, and Lea counties stayed in the medium category, health officials said.

Southeast New Mexico remained below required percentages in two key areas set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Health Levels.

The CDC threshold for new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people in a given county was less than 10 in the medium category. Hospital bed percentages for COVID-19 patients ranged from 10 percent to 15 percent and all three counties were below the required numbers, per CDC data.

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As of July 28, the number of new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people in Eddy County was 8.1 and the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized was 3.3 percent, according to the CDC.

Lea County’s new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people was 2.7 and the number of hospital beds used was 2.2 percent.

Chaves County had 8.1 new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 and 3.3 percent of hospital beds had COVID-19 patients.

Harding County, New Mexico’s least populous county, had a low threat level and Bernalillo County, New Mexico’s population center, was one of several counties where the COVID-19 Community level was high, per CDC data.

Acting New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. David Scrase said COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations “plateaued” in 2022.

“The disease seems to be causing less hospitalizations,” he said Thursday during an online press conference.

Scrase said COVID-19 deaths increased in New Mexico during the past 14 days as 32 people died from COVID-19 health complications.

Since 2020, when the first COVID-19 deaths were reported in New Mexico, nearly 8,300 people died, per DOH data.

More:COVID-19 infections rise slightly in southeast New Mexico, lower than big cities

Eddy County had 305 COVID-19 deaths as of Aug. 4. Lea County had 380 deaths and Chaves County had 349 deaths, according to DOH.

Monkeypox reported in New Mexico

New Mexico had 10 confirmed cases of Monkeypox as of Aug. 3, said Dr. Laura Parajon, DOH deputy secretary.

The United States had 6,617 confirmed cases of Monkeypox as of Aug. 3, according to DOH.

“It’s a public health emergency in the U.S.,” she said.

“Monkeypox spreads through close physical contact between two people, and anybody can get monkeypox –regardless of sexual orientation, gender or gender identity,” according to information from Thursday’s press conference.

Direct contact with a Monkeypox rash or scabs on a person’s skin and contacts with objects, fabrics and surfaces used by someone with Monkeypox are two ways it can spread.

Monkeypox cannot be spread through casual conversations or walking by someone, Parajon said.

DOH recommended visits to a local public health office for those who might be infected by Monkeypox.

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.