In New Mexico, COVID-19 cases are primarily Delta variant

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The first U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California Wednesday.

So what does that mean for New Mexico? Will the Omicron variant drive case numbers higher than they already are?

State health officials said they have not identified or sequenced the Omicron variant here in New Mexico at this point. They said the cases statewide remain primarily the Delta variant, but they believe it is only a matter of time.

At this time, there is a lot of information that health officials don’t know about the Omicron variant. It was identified as a variant of concern Friday. They are hoping the coming weeks will provide more insight on what to expect.

State health officials said it could be more transmissible or contagious, but they don’t know at this point.

"Right now, what we do about it is the same," said NMDOH Acting Secretary Dr. David Scrase. "What we would do about a new Omicron case isn’t really that much different than what we would do with a Delta case – what we are doing."

Scrase said that means getting vaccinations and booster shots are key right now, especially for the newly-eligible group of children ages 5-11. He also said being considered "fully vaccinated" will soon change to include the booster shot – that change could be coming in a matter of days.