The state’s “gating criteria” was updated on Wednesday.
All 33 counties are now listed at the “Red” level, which is based on the number positive cases per 100,000 and the positivity rate of COVID tests. The good news is that Eddy County was one of 23 counties to show improvement in both categories. According to the DOH, our “Cases Per 100,000” dropped from 94 to 87 while our positivity rate dropped from 21 percent to 19 percent. There is, of course, a long way to go, and we appreciate your help with getting these numbers down. This information is available here: https://cvprovider.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html.
Vaccine Update: Carlsbad Medical Center has informed us that Dr. Sunkaru Touray received the first local dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 16. Former County Commissioner Jack Volpato, who runs Southwest Pharmacy, has also said that he received a vaccine. This limited wave of vaccines are being given out to front-line health care workers, with plans in development for future releases.
There’s not enough space to say all that needs to be said in terms of thanking our local teachers and educators, who have repeatedly been called on to adapt this past year beyond any reasonable expectation. We’ve heard so many stories of teachers adding extra time to create online lunch meetings and other similar programs to try to reach out to their students.
There’s some good news on the horizon for local teachers. According to a press release, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Permian Strategic Partnership have put together a program that will support teachers in this region with the opportunity to become Board Certified. The goal is to support about 700 teachers in the area over a three-year period, with PSP providing the financial backing and resources. This will allow our educators a chance for professional development and opportunity to increase their salary.
Some of our outstanding educators are the great people at the Head Start Program. The program began in 1965 as a way to provide preschool children of low-income families with opportunities. This year, Carlsbad’s Head Start held a “Drive By Santa” event at the Head Start parking lot on Wednesday. Head Start said the following groups have supported the organization: United Kreations Car Club, Lokos Only Car Club, Steven and Cristin Saiz, Julio Leija, Roxann Haugen, Ruben Galvan, Dixie Electric, Solaris Midstream, Encompass Health care, CBS Rentals, Wagner Cat Rental, Go Big Trucking and Zia Bait.
Head Start is still enrolling students for preschool. For more information, please call (575) 887-3939. Thank you to everyone who has supported the Head Start program.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway