COVID-19 outlook in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — COVID-19 cases in New Mexico are on the rise again. The current 7-day average is 360 cases – a month ago, the average was just 156 cases.

“Fortunately, they are just not nearly as bad as they were earlier on and with the delta wave and this last omicron wave in January,” said Dr. Mark Epstein. “So we are seeing, however, a slight increase in the number of cases turning back positive and a bit of an uptick as well in hospitalizations.”

KOB 4 asked Dr. Epstein what could be driving the increase of cases, which is happening in other states as well.

“Most likely what’s happening is we’re kind of getting sick of the virus but the virus isn’t done with us,” he said. “I think it’s as much about people’s behavior and spending more time together unmasked than any other major changes otherwise.”

Dr. Epstein says it is hard to predict what will happen next because there are so many variables.

“It really depends on this virus and how it’s changing,” he said.

The CDC approved booster shots Friday for children ages five to 11. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for that age group. The New Mexico Department of Health said parents can schedule an appointment online.

On Friday, the NMDOH reported 11 additional COVID-19 deaths and 636 new cases. There are currently 75 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico with COVID-19.