Home News COVID-19 Situation Delta variant low in region despite rising case numbers

Delta variant low in region despite rising case numbers


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The New Mexico Department of Health reported 609 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Wednesday, including 20 in Chaves County.

Other counties in the southeast part of the state also reported high case numbers in Wednesday’s daily case update. Eddy County had 40 new cases, Lea County had 25, Curry County had 15, and Quay and Roosevelt counties each had 10.

Statewide, Bernalillo County had the most at 207. Sandoval County had 39; Doña Ana County had 37; Valencia County had 36; McKinley County had 34; and Otero County had 32. Eighteen other counties and the Torrance County Detention Facility also reported new cases.

The total number of cases in the state since March 2020 is 212,577, including 9,306 in Chaves County.

Despite rising case numbers, the delta variant has yet to show in large numbers in southeast New Mexico, according to a report from NMDOH. That variant, first identified in India, has been determined to spread more rapidly and be more likely to cause hospitalization and death among those unvaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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According to the NMDOH COVID-19 Variant of Concern Case Report updated Monday, only one case in Chaves County has been genetically sequenced to match the delta variant. The alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, is the dominant strain in the county at 13 cases. Sixty other cases have been matched to other strains of the virus.

The delta variant has been matched to two cases in Curry County, five in Eddy County and one each in Lea and Lincoln counties.

The report said the delta variant comprises about 46% of known samples in the state, but estimated it could represent as much as 80% of cases. The report did not specify how many test samples are sequenced to determine the strain, but said it is a small sample.

Two deaths related to COVID-19 were also reported in Wednesday’s case update. A recent death was of a man in his 80s from Eddy County who was a resident of the senior care facility in Artesia. A death that occurred 30 days or more in the past was of a man in his 60s from Doña Ana County who had been hospitalized.

The total number of deaths in the state is 4,416, including 173 in Chaves County.

As of Wednesday, 187 people were hospitalized in the state for COVID-19.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

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