Eddy County continued to meet criteria to remain in the turquoise category with the least restrictive COVID-19 regulations set by the State of New Mexico, according to the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH).
On Wednesday, DOH said in a news release 30 New Mexico counties were at the Turquoise Level, at which there are the fewest restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities amid decreased virus risk.
A new per-capita rate of new COVID-19 cases of no greater 10 per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day reporting period, and an average positivity rate less than or equal to 7.5 percent during the most recent 14-day reporting period and a county with a fully vaccinated rate or a target of 40 percent that increases five percent every other as more vaccinations are completed, were key health metrics to determine a county’s risk level, according to DOH.
The new criteria were released Wednesday by DOH.
Eddy County met a majority of the criteria with 9.70 of cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 3.44. Eddy County’s fully vaccinated percentage was 27.80 percent, DOH data cited.
Eddy County had 36.3 percent of the population with at least one shot, per DOH.
DOH Secretary Dr. Tracee Collins said New Mexico led the nation in vaccinations.
“New Mexico is the most efficient vaccine distributor in the country,” she said. “Nearly 59 percent of New Mexicans have received their first shot,” she said.
Collins said 900,000 New Mexicans registered for the vaccine as of Wednesday afternoon and the State was on track to reach a 60 percent vaccine goal set for June 30 by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
She said DOH continued efforts to get New Mexico youth vaccinated. Thirty percent of those 16 and 17 years old received at least one COVID-19 shot and Collins said DOH was waiting for authorization for children ages 12 to 15 to receive shots.
New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) Secretary Dr. David Scrase said 44.8 percent of New Mexico’s population was fully vaccinated.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said Eddy County could remain in the Turquoise division for nearly a month.
“Assuming we understand correctly, our placement at Turquoise means that we will remain at that level for four weeks now,” he said.
“This is great news, as changing back and forth put an incredible burden on private businesses. We look forward to continuing to see COVID-19 numbers go down and encourage those who are interested in vaccines to do so.”
No counties in New Mexico were red or the most restricted COVID-19 practices in place.
Chaves County remained yellow with limited capacity for indoor and outdoor activities and Catron and Valencia counties were green.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.