SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – New Mexico state health officials announced on Monday that 5,002 New Mexicans have died due to COVID-19.
“These aren’t just numbers. They are our family members, friends, and neighbors, and we grieve for them and their families,” said New Mexico Department of Health Acting Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D.
Although there are fewer COVID patients than this time last year, the vast majority of New Mexicans in the hospital for COVID are unvaccinated. This increases the strain on hospitals and staff who are also caring for patients who unfortunately delayed care due to the pandemic.
Between February 1st, 2021, and October 11th, 2021, there were 1,039 COVID-related deaths in New Mexico. Of those deaths, 967 were unvaccinated.
“This means that nearly 1,000 people in New Mexico have died who didn’t need to die. If every eligible New Mexican got vaccinated, we could put an end to this pandemic,” added Dr. Scrase.
DOH urges New Mexicans to continue following all DOH and CDC recommended safe practices, including:
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
- Getting a booster, when it is available to them
- Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Getting 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 are 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.
All New Mexicans 12 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. DOH encourages all New Mexicans to schedule their vaccination with their primary care physicians – or to schedule their vaccine appointments at vaccineNM.org.