NM’s COVID-19 hospitalizations rise by 138% in one month

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico is seeing an 138% increase in COVID hospitalizations, leaving Albuquerque hospital officials worried and preparing for the surge to continue.

"We’ve had to reinstitute our incident command, we’ve had to look at all of our surge planning,” said Dr. Vesta Sandoval, Lovelace Health Systems chief medical officer.

New Mexico’s Department of Health reported 148 people were hospitalized with COVID over the latest three-day weekend. Four weeks ago, there were 62. New Mexico had not seen a number that low since September 2020.

"The thing we are seeing which is very clear is if you are unvaccinated, you are definitely at risk for hospitalization and severe disease,” Sandoval said.

Dr. Rohini McKee from UNM Hospital said healthcare workers are prepared for a surge in COVID patients.

"We are hopeful that with the high rate of vaccination in our vulnerable age group that we will not go through another COVID surge like we did before,” she said.

Dr. McKee said they are monitoring other parts of the country and now seeing younger unvaccinated patients getting really sick. She said the best way to help out healthcare workers is to get vaccinated.