Omicron makes up more than half of COVID-19 cases in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State health officials hosted a COVID-19 briefing for the first time since the holidays. Omicron now makes up more than half of the COVID-19 cases in New Mexico.

On Wednesday, New Mexico reported 2,514 additional COVID-19 cases and 36 deaths.

Dr. David Scrase, acting cabinet secretary with the New Mexico Department of Health, said Omicron cases currently make up about 50% to 60% of all new cases. He expects it will make up 100% of new cases in another week or two.

Scrase also said hospitals are still struggling – there are just nine ICU beds and 40 surgical beds in the state. The shortage is due to 497 COVID patients in the hospitals.

"They are still struggling, they’re struggling getting staff, they’re struggling covering shifts," Scrase said. "They’re struggling getting the work done, they still have long emergency room waits and delays in care."

Over the last month, unvaccinated people made up about 66% of new COVID-19 cases, more than 83% of hospitalizations and 88% of deaths.

New Mexico has also adopted the CDC’s recommendation to stay home for just five days after a positive test – as long as you have no symptoms.

  • If you test positive, CDC guidance says you should stay home, in a room away from others, for five days.
  • It’s recommended you take another test at the end of five days, but not required.
  • If you have no symptoms after five days, you can leave the house – but wear a mask for five more days.
  • Stay home until your fever is gone for 24 hours, and tell anyone you’ve had close contact with about your positive result.
  • If you have symptoms but test negative, the guidance is to take a second test within two days.

State health officials are also reminding people what to do if you are a close contact:

  • If you’re up to date on your vaccines, wear a mask for 10 days and test on day five if possible.
  • If you’re not vaccinated, stay home for five days, then take a test, and wear a mask for five more days.