New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) officials hoped the rate of vaccinated residents in Eddy County would exceed 50 percent by October.
As of Friday morning, DOH stated 46 percent of Eddy County residents had received a complete course of COVID-19 vaccinations and 56 percent had at received at least one dose.
New Mexico Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Health Dr. Laura Chanchien Parajon said if 1,500 more residents received the vaccination this month, the County would reach the 50 percent full vaccination mark.
“We’ll get close in October. Probably mid-October if we go at this rate,” she said.
Acting DOH Secretary Dr. David Scrase said the State had seen a 0.9 percent increase in adults 18 and over receiving vaccinations per week.
Seventy-nine percent of New Mexicans reported have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 69 percent reported receiving the complete vaccine course as of Friday, DOH data indicated.
DOH announced vaccination clinic increases in Carlsbad and Artesia. Unvaccinated Carlsbad area residents may stop by the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center Annex from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday and Friday.
Vaccinations are offered from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Eddy County Public Health Office in Artesia.
The number of new virus cases in Eddy County remained low Tuesday through Thursday, according to the DOH.
Thursday, DOH cited 28 new cases along with two deaths in Eddy County.
A man in his 50s was hospitalized with underlying medical conditions at the time of his death, according to DOH.
A man in his 40s died of the virus the DOH reported on Thursday, but noted the report of his death was delayed by at least 30 days.
“COVID (-19) related deaths are reported when a death certificate has been issued and some death certificates are delayed due to insufficient information,” a DOH news release read.
The number of deaths in Eddy County increased to 173 as of Thursday.
Wednesday, 25 new cases were cited in Eddy County by DOH and Tuesday there were 35 new cases.
DOH did not report any deaths Tuesday or Wednesday in Eddy County and Carlsbad was fifth on New Mexico’s top-10 list of counties with the highest number of COVID-19 cases Tuesday.
Carlsbad, Artesia and Loving did not appear in the top-10 list Wednesday or Thursday, per DOH data.
“I’ve been staring at the Eddy (County) numbers everyday in nervous fashion (and) the numbers are coming down,” Scrase said. “Case rates are coming down and you are in a deceleration mode.”
As of Sept. 13, Eddy County’s cases per 100,000 was 72.60 and the test positivity rate was 13.28 percent, according to DOH.
As of Friday morning, DOH said 9,784 Eddy County residents contracted COVID-19 with 105,906 tested and 8,117 recovered.
Artesia General Hospital’s website said Carlsbad had 6,118 people affected by COVID-19 with 2,985 in Artesia.
Twenty-two Eddy County residents were hospitalized in Eddy County as of Thursday, read Artesia General’s website. Six were hospitalized in Artesia.
Five Eddy County residents were on hospital ventilators as of Thursday and one was in Artesia, per the website.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.