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NM Dept of Health COVID-19 Hotline 1-855-600-3453 or visit cv.nmhealth.org
Coronavirus Information Hotline at 1-833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov
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Grant County Coronavirus Update website – grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org
Coronavirus Update is broadcast live on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio 89.1 FM Silver City on Wednesdays at Noon and rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6 pm and Thursdays at 8 am
Or listen to this episode at your convenience via this link…
The state Department of Health reported over 1,200 cases of COVID-19 again on Tuesday. The department also reported 14 additional deaths related to the disease.
Tuesday was the fifth-straight day with 1,200 or more cases of COVID-19, and the sixth day in the last week with ten or more reported deaths.
A staggering 43 percent of New Mexico’s COVID-19 cases have been reported in just the past month.
During an online news conference about the pandemic as reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican and New Mexico Political Report, leading health officials on Monday issued yet another dire warning about the state’s inability to regain control of the virus.
Jason Mitchell, chief medical officer for Presbyterian Healthcare Services stated “What’s most important for everyone to recognize is that this pandemic is not getting better at this point, It’s getting worse.”
Between Oct. 9 and Nov. 9, New Mexico reported 24,048 COVID-19 cases — approaching half of the state’s overall total of 56,239 since the crisis began in March.
As of Monday, 82 percent of all general hospital beds and 66 percent of ICU beds were occupied. This is for all reasons, not just COVID-19.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped to 425, 16 fewer than on Sunday, though hundreds higher than any time before the last few weeks. The state had never had more than 300 individuals hospitalized for the disease until Oct. 27.
Officials from three of the state’s biggest medical facilities — Presbyterian’s Mitchell, University of New Mexico Health System Executive Physician David Pitcher and Lovelace Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Vesta Sandoval — said the battle against the virus looks grim, unless people stay home, wear masks and take other preventive health measures.
The fast, uncontrolled rise in COVID-19 cases makes it even more difficult to deal with other day-to-day medical issues at hospitals, officials said.
Pitcher said “The struggle for us is trying to take care of those [other medical] services while caring for the rising number of COVID cases,”
Leaders at the state’s biggest medical systems asked people to refrain from organizing or attending large-scale holiday events — a difficult challenge given the familial, communal nature of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. They urged people to instead keep festivities limited to immediate family.
Government leaders have issued similar warnings in the past several weeks.
Though drugmaker Pfizer said Monday that preliminary results from its coronavirus vaccine tests show it to be more than 90 percent effective, state medical officials said even if a vaccine is found to fight the virus, it’s still going to take time to distribute it worldwide and within New Mexico.
Jason Mitchell added “For us in New Mexico over the next three, four, six months, it’s not going to be the vaccine that is the solution, It’s going to be us as a community changing behaviors that brings about a solution.”
He said if the virus continues to spread, health care workers will be beyond the point of exhaustion.
The Department of Health has now reported 57,547 confirmed cases and 980 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Total weekly new cases rose to 8,307 this week, up from 6,071 new cases from last week’s totals.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Health designated 23,736 COVID-19 cases as recovered, leaving 33,811 active cases in New Mexico.
In Grant County, there have been 252 cases reported with 37 new cases since last week. There have been 2 reported recoveries since last week bringing that number to 75 recovered and 177 active cases. Grant County had its fifth COVID death reported on Sunday– a man in his 80’s who had been hospitalized with underlying conditions.
For more information on the latest COVID-19 information, visit cv.nmhealth.org
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS REMINDED NEW MEXICANS ABOUT WHO SHOULD GET TESTED FOR COVID-19:
- Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell.
- Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
- Asymptomatic people who live or work in congregate settings such as detention centers and long-term care facilities;
- Patients who are scheduled for surgery and whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure.
For more information on Covid testing and contact tracing in New Mexico go to www.togethernm.org
LOCAL COVID TESTING SCHEDULE
The Grant County Public Health Office provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm.
Appointments can be scheduled by registering on the following website: https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/
Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and use it when making your appointment by calling: 575-538-5318 (ext. 4). The Grant County Public Health Office is located at 2610 N. Silver Street (across the street from the Swimming Pool).
CVS Pharmacy Drive-thru in Silver City is making Self-swab tests available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com
Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) in Silver City is doing testing on weekdays except for Tuesday at their clinic at 1007 Pope Street in Silver City and at their Lordsburg clinic on weekdays except for Thursdays at 530 De Moss Street. Call 1-575-388-1511 for an appointment.
GUIDANCE ON USE OF THE STATE COVID HOTLINE
The New Mexico Department of Health advises the public to seek emergency medical help if you are experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
New Mexicans are calling the state’s COVID hotline (1-855-600-3453) looking for guidance from call center staff. The hotline is intended to be a resource for people with general questions about the disease, about COVID-19 testing and for those who are managing their illness well from home.
Dr. Chad Smelser, a DOH medical epidemiologist says, “People experiencing severe difficulty breathing or other symptoms that make it difficult to care for themselves at home should not wait for a consultation from the hotline. The call center staff have had a surge in calls that need to be re-directed to 911. It is imperative that anyone struggling with the disease seeks evaluation and care from a medical facility.”
The other urgent issue is the rapid spread of the disease. Dr. Smelser added “More people are getting tested which is the first step to decreasing the case counts but we are receiving reports that after testing, some people aren’t taking the protective measures necessary to stop the spread. Some are going about their usual, daily lives until they receive their test results. If you are having symptoms or were tested because of an exposure, you should assume that you are infectious and self-isolate even if your symptoms resolve. You can spread the virus without knowing you are positive and without having symptoms. The most powerful prevention tool is isolation and quarantine as early as possible to help reduce the spread of the disease.”
The NMDOH is asking the public to support the state’s tracing response by self-identifying close contacts after receiving notice of a positive test and notifying them of their possible contact and the importance to quarantine and receive a test themselves. Anyone who spent 3 or more cumulative minutes within 6 feet of an infected person is considered a close contact and should quarantine at home for 14 days to avoid the risk of spreading the disease before it is recognized.
For more information, visit www.newmexico.gov