Carlsbad Mayor urges community to get vaccinated as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise

FNMD Headers CovidUpdate

The recent COVID-19 resurgence is of great concern to the welfare of the residents of our community. Eddy County is experiencing one of the state’s highest surges in COVID-19 cases. We must all do what we can to get these numbers back down to an acceptable level. The data associated with this recent surge (27.8 cases per 100k and positivity of 15.76%), hasn’t been experienced in the county since January or February of this year, and it clearly shows how severe and contagious the virus remains.  As citizens, neighbors and friends we must do all that we can to curb and prevent the continued spread of the infection in our communities.

 As our understanding of this virus has progressed over the past 18 months, more than 100 COVID-19 variants have been identified. The Delta variant is being discussed a great deal right now in the news. Regardless of which variant is present at any particular time – the risk remains high and the treatment and mitigation processes remain similar. 

This recent resurgence has again stretched the resources of state and local healthcare facilities. Carlsbad Medical Center has experienced a significant increase in COVID-19 patients over the past two weeks. While the hospital remains prepared to care for patients in need of medical services, whether for COVID-19 or another medical condition, residents should be aware that other hospitals are close to capacity. We urge the public to continue to do everything possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including getting vaccinated.

The vaccination process in Carlsbad and Eddy County has gone extremely well. Of the thousands of vaccines delivered here, there was only a single instance reported of an adverse reaction. The current vaccine rate in Eddy County, according to the Department of Health, is 41.1% – the fourth lowest of the state’s 33 counties. 

A vaccination is not an immunization. Individuals with a vaccine may still contract COVID-19, they are just much less likely to become severely ill. About 90% of the individuals who have been hospitalized in Carlsbad for COVID-19 over the past two weeks have been unvaccinated. A vaccination will also significantly reduce the likelihood that, if you contact COVID-19, you will develop long-term impairments.  

Vaccines remain free and available in our community. The Department of Health continues to offer vaccines in Carlsbad every Monday at the offices at 1306 W. Stevens St. The phone number for the office is (575) 885-4191. Local pharmacies also continue to offer walk-in vaccinations. mRNA vaccines were first theorized in the late 1980s but saw significant progress in the 2010s. Rapid development of mRNA vaccines effective against coronavirus were authorized by President Donald Trump on May 15, 2020 as part of his administration’s Operation Warp Speed. 

This recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases has already led to the hospitalization of a significant number of Carlsbad residents.  An ongoing resurgence of COVID-19 cases may also result in the state forcing our schools to return to an online only model. The best way to combat this resurgence is for a greater percentage of our residents to be vaccinated.

Over the next week, we have invited other area stakeholders to provide additional information about the current situation. We recognize that many individuals still have many questions and concerns about vaccinations. We encourage people to talk to their health care providers and those they trust to get their answers. We would also like to help address any questions you might have.  Please submit these questions to 311@cityofcarlsbadnm.com and we will present them to our experts and publish responses. 

This community has an incredible record of coming together and uniting during a time of need. We ask you to consider getting a COVID-19 vaccination to help reduce the spread of this very dangerous disease. 

Sincerely,

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway,

Eddy County Manager Allen Davis, 

Superintendent Gerry Washburn, Carlsbad Municipal Schools 

Nick Arledge, CEO of Carlsbad Medical Center

Jennifer Armendariz, Eddy County Emergency Manager

Tony Souza, EMS Division Chief, Carlsbad Fire Department

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