The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) reported 152 deaths in Eddy County were related to the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
The latest were a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s who died last week. Both were hospitalized at the time of their death and reportedly suffered from underlying medical conditions, DOH stated in a news release.
An Aug. 13 update from the DOH reported 83 new cases in Eddy County. Bernalillo County reported 197 cases while Lea County reported 104.
Lea and Eddy County cities were among those with the highest reported cases, leading to an updated 23.13 percent positivity rate in Eddy County and a 25 percent positivity rate in Lea County.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said Eddy County saw a significant uptick in hospitalizations as a result.
“Eddy County numbers remain very high and we need to continue to treat this wave very seriously by following COVID-19 safe practices,” he said on Aug. 12.
Carlsbad Medical Center Spokesperson Melissa Suggs said the hospital updated visitation guidelines due to the increase of COVID-19 cases.
“Our hospital has been performing a near-record number of COVID-19 tests, with an average positivity rate over the last week of 28 percent,” she said.
She said there are 10 patients at Carlsbad Medical Center being treated for the virus and four patients on ventilators in the intensive care unit (ICU).
“Our hospital remains prepared to care for patients needing medical care, whether for COVID-19 or another medical condition and we continue to follow CDC guidelines to take the proper precautions to protect our patients, staff and visitors,” she said.
Suggs encouraged unvaccinated Carlsbad and Eddy County residents to get inoculated.
“Vaccines remain the best strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and are readily available at most local drugstores, the Eddy County Health Offices, and community clinics being held on Mondays and Fridays at the Walter Gerrells Civic Center,” she said.
Eddy County lagged behind New Mexico in number of vaccinated individuals, according to DOH.
Seventy-five percent of New Mexicans had at least one dose of a vaccine and 66 percent had received two doses of the vaccine. Fifty percent of Eddy County residents had at least one dose and 42 percent had both doses, per DOH data.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.