All New Mexico counties, including Eddy County, retained the least restrictive COVID-19 or turquoise levels set by the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH).
Eddy County met two of the three standards set by DOH with 3.4 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 2.15 percent.
That’s below state guidelines of 10 cases per 100,000 during a two-week period and the average positive test result less than or equal to 7.5 percent.
Wednesday’s news came on the heels of a spike in infections in Eddy County.
A total of 15 new cases was reported during a four-day period as DOH data noted six new cases spread between Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and nine new cases on Tuesday, records show.
Two Eddy County zip codes made DOH’s Tuesday list of the top 10 regions in New Mexico for COVID-19 infections.
Data cited the Carlsbad area 88220 zip code was second with five cases and the Artesia area 88210 zip code was tied for third with zip codes from the Belen area and Albuquerque areas at four cases each.
A Bernalillo County zip code had the most cases at 26, per DOH numbers.
Eddy County’s seven-day rolling average was one of the highest so far in June, per DOH data.
“We’ll have to first check with the Department of Health to see if they are new cases or if they are backlogged adjustments, which have no impact on gating criteria,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway. “There has been some confusion lately, as the DOH has been reexamining some of its older data, which is then listed in the daily updates.”
Eddy County lagged behind the statewide vaccination threshold at or above 55 percent, DOH indicated.
As of Wednesday afternoon, at least 35 percent of Eddy County residents had both shots and 43 percent obtained one shot, read DOH data.
During a media briefing Wednesday with DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins and Department of Health and Human Services (HSD) Secretary Dr. David Scrase, the statewide vaccination average was reported at about 59 percent.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said New Mexico would discontinue the county color system once the vaccination rate hit 60 percent.
The New Mexico Department of Health Sunday announced a $100 incentive for New Mexicans who complete their vaccination series or receive a single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccination through Thursday, read a DOH news release.
“New Mexico is so close to hitting our June 17th goal: 60 percent of New Mexicans 16 and over who have completed their vaccination series. We are excited to offer this additional incentive to get us over the finish line – and to reopen our state by July 1,” Collins said in a news release release.
She said New Mexicans must be 18 or older to receive the money.
Scrase said the State was allocated $2.7 million from the federal American Rescue Plan for the $100 vaccination incentives.
He said cost of the national pandemic response through fall of this year could hit $16 trillion.
“The more people vaccinated, the quicker we get to full economic recovery. Each $100 goes back into the New Mexico economy,” Scrase said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.