Scrase: NM is about halfway through the latest wave of COVID - Albuquerque Journal

Scrase: NM is about halfway through the latest wave of COVID

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Mexico have been on the upswing the past four weeks and health officials project the state is midway through a new wave of the virus.

State health officials in a Thursday news conference recommended that people stay home if they’re sick, stay up to date on vaccinations, and consider wearing a mask in such crowded areas as airports to stay safe during Thanksgiving and the upcoming winter holidays.

New Mexico reported 4,318 new COVID cases and 134 hospital admissions during the seven-day period ending Nov. 14, according to Department of Health epidemiology reports. That was up from 2,310 new cases and 96 admissions the week ending Oct. 24, marking an 86% increase in cases and a 39% rise in hospital admissions in about a month.

Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said modeling based on a recent COVID surge in England suggests the current wave will last about eight weeks, which puts New Mexico about halfway through it. The peak of hospital admissions and deaths lags behind the peak in cases by a couple of weeks, he said.

“So, we will see more hospitalizations,” he said. “And we will see more deaths, unfortunately.”

On Thursday, the state reported 818 new cases and three more deaths, pushing the toll to 8,692 since the first case of COVID was confirmed in the state, which was almost 1,000 days ago.

But Scrase said that, because so many people are relying on at-home tests, which are not included in the official case counts, it’s likely there are actually two to three times as many COVID cases in the community than are reported. There were 170 people with COVID hospitalized throughout the state, according to DOH.

With holiday gatherings just around the corner, doctors advised people to do their best to take care of their most vulnerable family members, including the elderly. Dr. Laura Parajón, deputy secretary for the Health Department, recommended people take a rapid test before attending a large gathering.

COVID isn’t the only virus spreading in the state. Local hospitals are reporting that their pediatric units are operating above licensed capacity because of a burst of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. The flu is also causing hospitalizations throughout the state.

“If you have older family members, they’re the ones who are going to get sickest from flu, from COVID, from (RSV),” Parajón said. “So, (take) care of our oldest people.”

Scrase advised that people traveling by air over Thanksgiving wear a mask on the plane and at the airport.

“We know this is a challenging time and we will continue to work together,” said Dr. Anna Duran, associate medical director of the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital. “We will get through this.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Scrase: NM is about halfway through the latest wave of COVID


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
A tiny NM-TX border town is raking in recreational ...
ABQnews Seeker
Customers begin lining up on a ... Customers begin lining up on a hot Friday afternoon in mid-October at Ultra Health in Sunland Park. Just a three-minute drive away, others are ...
2
Emptying the Notebook: House showing growth
ABQnews Seeker
More notes, quotes, stats and analysis ... More notes, quotes, stats and analysis from Saturday's Lobo game, including how Jaelen House's game continues to grow this season.
3
WIPP begins filling new disposal area
ABQnews Seeker
New area consists of seven separate ... New area consists of seven separate rooms for placing special boxes and barrels
4
City, UNM hope to reduce live animal testing
ABQnews Seeker
City Council OKs plan to reuse ... City Council OKs plan to reuse normally-discarded animal tissue for research
5
ABQ native son, Navy vice admiral was at Pentagon ...
ABQnews Seeker
John Mateczun maintained strong ties to ... John Mateczun maintained strong ties to New Mexico
6
Acequias face challenges, uncertain future
ABQnews Seeker
Fire, flood damage to NM irrigation ... Fire, flood damage to NM irrigation ditches threaten a way of life
7
Pretty or not, Lobos improve to 5-0
ABQnews Seeker
UNM's defense was on point Saturday ... UNM's defense was on point Saturday night and a strong second half led the Lobos to their first 5-0 start since the 2012-13 season. ...
8
New venture plans to launch technological revolution in ...
ABQnews Seeker
AFF, America's Frontier Fund, aims to ... AFF, America's Frontier Fund, aims to rebuild US technological lead
9
Judge, pets killed by husband in murder-suicide
ABQnews Seeker
Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, ... Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, mourned by officials and friends