We were informed Thursday afternoon of 32 new positive COVID-19 tests for Eddy County. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to what the state’s announced daily totals mean when compared to what day those tests were administered and how this information is applied to long-term analysis. We are attempting to understand the limited information that is available.
Based on the NM Department of Health’s dashboard, https://cvprovider.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html it appears 26 of those new positives were reported from the 88220 area code. The NM Department of Health’s dashboard has also been updated to include positivity rate and cases per 100,000, the statistics being used to determine whether school districts are eligible to go into the hybrid model. According to this data, the cases per 100,000 for Eddy County is currently 14.70 and the positivity rate is currently 7.80%. This is for the period of Aug. 19 through Sept. 1. It appears that a population of 57,000 is being used for Eddy County, which we know is severely outdated. We believe our population is now considerably higher, which would reduce the case count per 100,000 statistic.
The state (as of Friday morning) now reports 545 total COVID-19 cases, 203 recoveries and 5 COVID-related deaths for Eddy County. There have been 11,527 total COVID-19 tests conducted in Eddy County. There are also zero correctional facility positives reported for Eddy County.
As of the most recent updates we’ve received, Carlsbad Medical Center has one patient hospitalized who has COVID-19. We are currently aware of two Eddy County residents with COVID-19 who have been transferred to medical facilities out of the county and have recently heard positive news that at least one of these individuals is now recovering.
If you are looking for additional information on data, other sources include Artesia General Hospital’s web page https://artesiageneral.com/covid19/ and the Johns Hopkins University page at https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/35015.html. The Johns Hopkins page interestingly reports a 0.92% fatality rate for Eddy County COVID cases, as compared to a 3.06% average for the state.
In a Sept. 3 webcast by the state’s education department, Eddy County remained one of the counties still in the “red,” meaning that we are not yet eligible to return to the hybrid model for schooling.
Carlsbad Municipal Schools Superintendent Gerry Washburn recently pointed out, as we have, that the state recently shifted its policy from the state “moving together” as one into a model where each county is treated individually. Washburn also pointed out that Eddy County’s total overall rate of infection is comparable to Bernalillo County’s overall rate of infection.
There are also very legitimate concerns about the legality of some parts of the state being provided with a level of educational services that are denied to other parts. Rep. David Gallegos held an information session about an impending class action lawsuit on Friday.
“Based on the data I see, our kids should be back in school,” Dr. Washburn recently said. “Do we have a higher rate than I would like to see? Yes. Do we need to do a better job as a community wearing masks and social distancing? Yes. But at the end of the day, our kids need to (be) back in school.”
Our educators are working very hard to do everything in their power to make sure our kids are provided with the best education possible this fall, but we hear sad stories every day ranging from internet connectivity problems to students simply falling through the cracks.
We agree with Dr. Washburn – our kids need to be back in school.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway