Socorro County saw some relativity positive news last week.

The positivity rate county-wide dropped from 5.20 percent to 4.94 percent, measured in the 14 days of Aug. 3-Aug. 16. During that period 31 new cases were reported.

The New Mexico Department of Health reports that Socorro County saw seven new cases over the weekend, bringing the cumulative total to 1,412.

Two new cases were reported in Catron County, bringing its total to 120 since the pandemic began. Catron’s positivity rate for the previous two weeks is 16.46 percent.

Testing still remains high on DOH’s priority list. On Friday, the agency reminded residents of their options to get tested for COVID-19. The guidance is intended to support New Mexicans as case counts rise across the state – and as vaccinate-or-test requirements are implemented for state employees, teachers, and workers in congregate settings.

For New Mexicans who can do so, the Department encourages the use of Vault at-home tests for surveillance testing: New Mexicans can order tests to be delivered to their home at no cost. To be able to use the Vault tests, a person needs access to the internet, an email address, and a photo ID.

New Mexicans can also access COVID testing at Curative sites, which can be located through the NMDOH website: DOH urges people to avoid going to health clinics, hospitals, or urgent care for surveillance testing – unless they are symptomatic and have been exposed to COVID-19.

According to figures released last Friday, 75 percent of New Mexicans 18 years and older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of August 18.

“This is an important milestone,” said David Scrase, DOH Acting Secretary. “Three-quarters of New Mexico adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly two-thirds have completed their vaccination series.”

New Mexicans who receive either their first or second COVID-19 dose between August 2 and August 31 are eligible for a $100 incentive. To receive the incentive, New Mexicans must register at by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10. Immunocompromised individuals receiving their third shots are not eligible for the incentive.

The expanded vaccine requirements pertaining to state government employees and school workers that went into effect on Monday will also affect attendees at next month’s New Mexico State Fair, which begins Sept. 9. Anyone who’s eligible to receive the vaccine must provide proof of vaccination before entering the fairgrounds.

Meanwhile, the mask mandate will apply to all individuals ages two or older in all indoor public settings without regard to vaccination status, with eating and drinking the only allowable exception. That mandate will continue through Sept. 15, although it could be extended.

The Department continued to encourage vaccinations, citing the highly contagious Delta variant, soaring case counts, and increasing pressure on health care systems.

Best practices to stem the spread of COVID remain in place, including masking, hand-washing, and physical distancing. Masks are required in public, indoor settings. In addition, DOH encourages New Mexicans to wear a mask when in public around others; if you are sick, please stay home.

The DOH would like to encourage all individuals to get tested for COVID-19 if:

  • You have COVID-19 symptoms including 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.
  • You don’t have symptoms but were in close contact or are a household member of someone who has tested positive and is in their infectious period. This is recommended regardless of vaccination status.
  • You don’t have symptoms, but you are unvaccinated and live or work in a high-risk congregate setting such as long-term care facilities, detention centers, and correctional facilities.
  • You are a patient scheduled for surgery or hospital admission, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Some medical facilities may require testing prior to surgery or admission.