Health officials say COVID-19 cases are growing faster than this time last year

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Although the world is still in the same pandemic, the state, and the rest of the country, is battling a different beast this time around. State health officials say cases are growing much faster than this time last year.

"We are dealing with a very different version of the pandemic now than we were a year ago than this time last year,” said New Mexico Department of Health spokesperson, David Morgan.

When comparing what happened in fall of 2020, the biggest issue was there was no vaccine, so everyone was at risk. However, there was a mask mandate, major events like Balloon Fiesta didn’t happen and businesses were at limited capacity.

"This is one of those things where it certainly seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don’t think anybody really was able to anticipate how strong this delta variant is."

The delta variant is more contagious and has been rapidly spreading since July when our state fully reopened.

Health experts said we need more people fully vaccinated.

Otherwise, in a few months, if COVID keeps mutating, even those who are fully vaccinated could be at a higher risk of getting sick.

"The severity of COVID right now is not what it was,” Morgan said.

State health officials said Wednesday that New Mexico could see 1,000 COVID-19 cases daily.