Health officials warn New Mexicans on COVID-19 delta variant

Coronavirus New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – State health officials are reminding New Mexicans while it may feel like the pandemic is over, it’s not. Officials gave an update Wednesday on the highly contagious delta variant that’s rapidly growing. The state’s top doctor warns the delta variant is on the move and it’s now almost 60% of all infections in New Mexico.

“If you look back in April, of all versions of COVID, if someone in your house had coronavirus, you had about a 20-percent chance, 1 in 5, of getting a COVID infection yourself, this is with people being careful. Now, it’s up to 53-percent. So lots of quotes out there we think this variant of the virus is spreading much more rapidly. You are much more likely to get infected,” said New Mexico Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase.

Dr. Scrase says the CDC reports 85% of new cases are in people not vaccinated, 6% in partially vaccinated and 9% in fully vaccinated people. However, the delta variant in New Mexico is moving slower compared to other states and he believes the state will see an uptick around August. In New Mexico, around 64% of the state 18 and over are now fully vaccinated with around 96% of new cases in the state being people who are not fully vaccinated.

“Cases were way up, they came back down, nice flattening period, and now we’re seeing an upward trend. It’s a concerning and somewhat steep upward trend in some states… Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Nevada – all of whom have lower vaccination rates than their neighbors,” Dr. Scrase said.

Dr. Scrase also said they’re not sure what the vaccine distribution will look like in the future so they’re planning on different ways it will be given. The state is launching a new program that focuses on encouraging people to see their doctors. Dr. Scrase also added the state is still vaccinating 27 people for every new case of COVID-19 they get each day, which he says is still a good ratio.

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