ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – During an update on the city’s coronavirus response efforts, Mayor Keller highlighted the progress made by Albuquerque to hopefully soon make it to the “yellow level“. The mayor noted Albuquerque is doing well when compared to other surrounding cities.

In a city-by-city comparison, Albuquerque is only behind Austin when it comes to confirmed COVID-19 cases to date per 100,000 residents. Albuquerque is in the middle of the comparison in terms of the total number of people tested at 2,328 per 100,000 people.

“We absolutely want to encourage everyone to get tested,” said Mayor Keller who stressed the importance of reducing the spread of COVID-19.

In a look of a week-by-week comparison of gating criteria, Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are showing improvement in making the transition from the red to yellow criteria. Official Department of Health numbers indicate there has been a steady decrease in positive cases however, unofficial numbers show that the county is still a ways away from making the move to yellow.

While there is promise that the county’s test positivity rate is inching closer to the criteria of a 5% or less test positivity rate, the department will not release official numbers until Wednesday, Feb. 10. “It is not for sure that we will be able to go to yellow next week but we’re optimistic and the forecast looks good,” said Keller.

The mayor explained that the City is working to assist those who are 60 and older get registered for the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents who are over 60 and don’t have access to the internet can now call 311 for assistance.

Additionally, the City encourages everyone to register for the COVID-19 vaccine and reminds the public that immigration status is not an issue. “When signing up, the data and information is safe and secure. Your health and personal information are kept safe and will not be used for any other purpose than getting you vaccinated,” said Councilor Lan Sena.

Chief Medical Officer at Lovelace Medical System Dr. Vesta Sandoval discussed their partnership with the City of Albuquerque to coordinate the PACE Program that strives to distribute vaccines to older citizens who are vulnerable. Sandoval explains they worked with the administrative director and physicians in order to establish a list of patients that would be qualified to receive the vaccine.

Through the program, about 200 patients were able to receive their initial vaccines. Lovelace plans to collaborate further with the City of Albuquerque to continue to try and reach additional groups for vaccinations.

The City of Albuquerque also has released its Civic Engagement Annual Report for winter 2020 that details the City’s work with local organizations including 250 local nonprofits and social organizations.