NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Health officials gave an update Tuesday on where New Mexico stands in its fight against COVID-19. The online news conference provided updates on what it will take to reopen more of New Mexico’s economy. The state’s Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase says don’t expect any more reopenings because cases are going back up.
“I don’t want to spread doom and gloom about this but at the same time the logical conclusion to your question is, yes, we’re likely to see a significantly more cases if we as a state don’t do something differently and react to what we’re seeing right now,” said Dr. Scrase.
There’s some very promising news with New Mexico being one of 12 states with the highest overall ratings for addressing the pandemic. The COVID-19 case count in the state is going up. Dr. Scrase believes that could be from large gatherings during Labor Day.
There has also been significant growth in cases in the southeastern part of the state. Based on the number we’re seeing this week, Dr. Scrase says they’re putting the brakes on any additional reopening of our economy saying the spread rate is back in the red and the daily case count is expected to be in the red when numbers get updated later this week. New Mexico is now a red state.
“Based on the numbers we’re seeing this week there’s a very good chance this number, the 168 will be above 168 next week when we revisit this and we will be red in both categories which means at least a full foot on the brake for any new expansion until we get this under control,” Dr. Scrase said.
The state also focused on mental health and preparing for people needing more mental health services in October with 45% of adults reporting mental health problems due to the worry and stress over pandemic-related issues.
“Don’t delay your care, that’s really important for behavioral health. When we start to feel stress and we start to feel anxious or depressed which are two of the categories of behavioral health diagnosis, which the literature shows are most impacted by COVID, then holding on and waiting to see if it gets better is really not a great idea and can lead to higher levels of care,” said Behavioral Health Services Division Director Dr. Neal Bowen.
As of now, it looks like middle schoolers and high schoolers going back to school is still on hold. Dr. Scrase says New Mexico will also be getting a shipment of new tests that can be done in your health provider’s office. The current public health order ends this Saturday.
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