Delta Variant Cases Growing in New Mexico

DOH reports 76 new COVID-19 cases today and two additional deaths

The Delta variant has arrived in New Mexico and is increasing swiftly.

The health department’s most recent epidemiology report on variants of concern—so classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—marks the Delta variant’s first appearance in said report. It notes that the state has sequenced 18 such specimens with the variant and matched 17 of them to cases—meaning investigators were able to contact the patient in question.

“That is indeed the first appearance of that variant,” DOH spokesman David Morgan tells SFR, “It has to be cause for concern, particularly among our unvaccinated population, both here in New Mexico and across the United States.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated three tiers of COVID-19 variants: ones that are of interest, concern and high consequence. The latter category would include variants with a significant reduction of vaccine effectiveness but, thus far, no variants of high consequence have been detected in US.

Variants of concern, however, can have increased transmissibility and, potentially, substantially decreased susceptibility to treatments along with increased severity of illness. In the case of the Delta variant, aka B.1.617.2, first identified in India, its faster transmissibility—60% higher than the B.1.17 variant according to some estimates—prompted Dr. Anthony S. Fauci earlier this week to describe it as “...the greatest threat in the US to our attempt to eliminate Covid-19.”

Case in point: While the 17 matched cases are the first identified in published weekly state VOC reports, Human Services Secretary David Scrase tells SFR via email the state actually identified just three cases of the Delta variant two weeks ago. He confirms health officials “expect that this variant will do what the Alpha variant [B.1.1.7] did and become 70% of all cases in [two] months or so.” He notes that while “there is no evidence yet that the severity of illness is greater” and that “the vaccine effectiveness is still good with two Pfizer doses but quite poor with one dose.”

Santa Fe County thus far has not had any instances of the Delta variant. Nine of those Delta cases sequenced were tracked to Guadalupe County, five to Cibola County, two to Los Alamos County and one to San Miguel County.

New Mexico health officials today reported 76 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 205,134. The health department has designated 193,772 of those cases as recovered.

Bernalillo County had 23 new cases, followed by Rio Arriba County with 12 and Doña Ana County with nine. Santa Fe County had three new cases.

The state also announced two additional deaths, including the 151st in Santa Fe County. There have now been 4,332 fatalities.

As of today, 76 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*

Currently, 68.7% of New Mexicans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 60.2% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 77.4% have had at least one dose and 68.2% are fully inoculated.

New cases

  • 23 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 1 new case in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 9 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 2 new cases in Eddy County
  • 2 new cases in Guadalupe County
  • 1 new case in Lea County
  • 5 new cases in Otero County
  • 12 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 6 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 5 new cases in San Juan County
  • 1 new case in San Miguel County
  • 3 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 3 new cases in Taos County
  • 1 new case in Torrance County
  • 1 new case in Valencia County

New fatalities

  • A female in her 70s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • A male in his 70s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions

Congregate facilities

The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following facilities:

  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Community facility in Alamogordo
  • Aztec Healthcare in Aztec
  • BeeHive Homes in Farmington
  • Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington
  • Good Samaritan Society in Las Cruces
  • Laguna Rainbow Care Center in Casa Blanca
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Red Rocks Care Center in Gallup
  • The Rio at Las Estancias in Albuquerque
  • Sierra Hill Assisted Living in Truth or Consequences
  • Sombrillo Nursing Home in Los Alamos
  • Sugar Hollow Assisted Living Community in Albuquerque

Statewide cases

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 58,999
  • Catron County: 98
  • Chaves County: 9,066
  • Cibola County: 2,902
  • Colfax County: 799
  • Curry County: 5,321
  • De Baca County: 178
  • Doña Ana County: 25,083
  • Eddy County: 6,941
  • Grant County: 1,748
  • Guadalupe County: 465
  • Harding County: 13
  • Hidalgo County: 366
  • Lea County: 8,446
  • Lincoln County: 1,763
  • Los Alamos County: 537
  • Luna County: 3,376
  • McKinley County: 12,371
  • Mora County: 173
  • Otero County: 4,064
  • Quay County: 537
  • Rio Arriba County: 3,766
  • Roosevelt County: 2,029
  • Sandoval County: 12,232
  • San Juan County: 15,685
  • San Miguel County: 1,403
  • Santa Fe County: 10,581
  • Sierra County: 781
  • Socorro County: 1,325
  • Taos County: 1,712
  • Torrance County: 885
  • Union County: 259
  • Valencia County: 6,891

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 445
  • Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 447
  • Otero County Processing Center: 257
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 204

Cases among people being held by the New Mexico Department of Corrections

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 298
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 253
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 762
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 167
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 128
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 473
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 219
  • Roswell Correctional Center: 229
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 231
  • Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 151
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 75

*Per the health department, hospitalization figures include people who were tested elsewhere but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but don’t include people who were tested here but are hospitalized out of state.

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