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Hospitalizations due to flu-like illness continue to overwhelm healthcare providers in New Mexico.

Northern New Mexico continued to see relatively high rates of COVID-19 transmission over the past week. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals in Taos County currently face a moderate risk of infection.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 began to decrease statewide, with the New Mexico Department of Health reporting that 108 individuals in the state are receiving inpatient treatment for COVID-19, compared to 142 a week prior. But hospitals across the state continued to struggle with very high patient numbers due to the ongoing "tripledemic" surge of RSV and influenza infections in combination with coronavirus infections. Since the start of the pandemic in New Mexico, 17.7 percent of those admitted for inpatient treatment for COVID-19 have died as a result of the virus.

The last COVID-19 death in Taos County was reported on Dec. 27, which brought the total number of fatalities due to the virus to 104.

According to the latest data from the state Department of Health on Tuesday (Dec. 20), New Mexico had the ninth-highest test-positivity rate in the nation at 16.2 percent; Taos County had a test positivity rate of 8.8 percent, a decrease since last week.

The county logged 14 new confirmed infections over the past week ending Tuesday, compared to 20 new cases the week before, according to the Department of Health. A total of 7,199 Taos County residents have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began in March 2020.

As of Tuesday, the state has seen more than 658,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, an increase of 1,993 infections since Dec. 20. The state's death toll reached 8,793 on Wednesday, up from 8,775 deaths recorded last week. The CDC reported Wednesday that more than 1,086,000 individuals have died in the U.S. due to COVID-19, with 2,918 mortalities reported over the past 7-day period.

In New Mexico, where 80.3 percent of eligible residents aged 18-64 and 98.2 percent of those 65 and older have completed their primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations, just 24.3 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have received a booster, while 41.6 percent of new Mexicans over the age of 65 have received a booster, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. 

Among 12-17-year-olds in New Mexico, 11.2 percent have received a booster, while 8.9 percent of children aged 5-11 have received a booster. Among children aged 6 months to 4 years, 10.4 percent have received at least one dose of vaccine, with 3.9 percent having completed their primary series.

Sign up to receive the free COVID-19 vaccine at vaccinenm.org, or ask your primary care physician.

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