When will the omicron surge peak in New Mexico?

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — COVID-19 case counts in New Mexico are at an all-time high. The state has been averaging around 4,000 to 5,000 cases a day over the last week.

When will omicron peak?

State officials said their modeling team is predicting omicron will peak in New Mexico at the end of this month or early next month. The full impact of the surge is expected to hit hospitals about two weeks after that peak.

While hospitalizations are up, health officials said fewer people are on ventilators right now. They’re hoping it’s an early sign that the omicron variant is less severe than the delta variant. Officials are still urging the public to get vaccinated and boosted.

"Recently, I’ve heard from a lot of people like, ‘I’m just going to take my chances, I’m just going to get COVID and get it over with,’" David Scrase, New Mexico Department of Health acting secretary, said. "Well, number one, just because you get COVID doesn’t mean it’s over with, unless you die from COVID. We’ve had many people with recurrent cases of COVID."

COVID-19 testing recommendations

State health officials also said learning to live with COVID-19 could mean less of a reliance on the daily case counts – and more responsibility for New Mexicans to test and isolate if needed.

At-home tests are a good option for people who are not necessarily experiencing symptoms. PCR tests are recommended for people experiencing symptoms.

Health officials said they are still working on a rollout to get those at-home tests to New Mexicans.

They are also working on improving the NM Notify app in order for the public to self-report positive cases.

If you’re able to get your hands on an at-home test, health officials said it’s a good idea to test twice, a couple of days apart.

"If you have a positive test, that’s very, very accurate. You have COVID," Scrase said. "Negative test – there is some room to miss people early in their infection, which is why we rely on the second test."

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. Click here to order.