An Eddy County zip code stayed at No. 1 for three days this week in the New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) top-10 zip codes with the most COVID-19 cases.
The Carlsbad area 88220 zip code reported 28 new cases Tuesday, 23 on Wednesday and 26 on Thursday, read a DOH news release.
New COVID-19 cases in Eddy County rose for the past few weeks, per DOH data. Forty-five new positive cases were cited Thursday. Eddy County was behind Bernalillo County with 96 and San Juan County had 45.
Wednesday Eddy County had 34 new cases and 33 new cases were reported Tuesday, per DOH.
DOH noted 86,861 total COVID-19 tests in Eddy County as of Friday morning with 7,290 total cases and 6,817 total recoveries.
DOH’s demographic breakdown indicated COVID-19 cases rose in Eddy County’s younger populations.
In the 10 to 19 category there were 847 cases. In the 20 to 29 age group figures rose by almost 400 to 1,240. Cases peaked in the 30 to 39 group with 1,291.
As the population ages, numbers went down to 82 for those 90 and older, per DOH data.
Eddy County’s rising numbers concerned DOH, said Matt Beiber spokesperson.
“The Delta variant is far more contagious than previous variants, and it’s now the dominant strain across the country and here in New Mexico. Across the country, cases have more than quadrupled in less than a month,” he said.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said the City worked with first responders, Eddy County, Carlsbad Municipal Schools and Carlsbad Medical Center ensuring timely information was provided.
“The increasing amount of COVID-19 cases over this past week, in particular for Eddy County, is of the greatest concern,” he said.
In a Thursday news release, DOH indicated New Mexicans must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“If you are sick or unvaccinated, wear a mask when in public and around others,” read the release.
Along with mask wearing, Beiber said vaccinations were another key.
“And thankfully, getting vaccinated between Aug. 2 and Aug. 31 comes with an extra $100 incentive,” he said.
Any dose will qualify – a first or second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or a dose of the single-shot J&J vaccine. No more than one $100 incentive will be distributed per person, according to a DOH news release.
“The announcement followed a Thursday White House press conference, at which President Joe Biden praised New Mexico for launching a $100 incentive program in June – a program that led to a 333% increase in single-shot vaccines and a 26 percent overall boost in completed vaccinations,” the release announced.
New Mexico is resuming its $100 incentive program at President Biden’s request, the release read.
As of Friday morning, Eddy County lagged behind the rest of New Mexico in vaccination percentages.
In New Mexico, 72 percent of the population had at least one vaccine does. Eddy County was at 47 percent, per DOH data.
Nearly 65 percent of New Mexico’s population had both COVID-19 doses compared with 41 percent in Eddy County.
“We urge everyone to redouble their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including receiving a vaccination,” Janway said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.