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Coronavirus COVID-19 under the microscope. 3d illustration

After a steep rise in cases of COVID-19 over the last several weeks, the latest surge in infections in New Mexico and here in Taos County is beginning to show signs of slowing, while nationally cases are still on the rise.

Taos County saw a 15 percent decline in its COVID-19 case rate (cases per 100,000 people per week) from the previous week. In New Mexico, cases were down 18 percent. Nationally, however, cases were up 3 percent during the same time period.

Taos County reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 from Sept. 8-13, compared to 78 new cases the week before, according to town of Taos GIS Analyst Tim Corner. The total number of cases in the county is now 2,143.

There was one additional death reported among Taos County residents last week, a man in his 90s with underlying conditions, bringing the total number of deaths in the area to 57.

Across New Mexico, 27 of 33 counties saw a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases. The average daily case count decreased to 629 cases per day last week, down from 754 the week before, and the average deaths per day in the state increased to 10 per day.

The southeast corner of the state, including Lincoln County, Chaves County, Eddy County and Lea County, saw the highest case rates. Other eastern counties have also seen high case rates, including Mora County, San Miguel County and Quay County.

Thirty counties in the state continue to have high transmission rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines high transmission as more than 100 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days. Santa Fe County has a substantial transmission rate, Catron County has a moderate transmission rate and Harding County has a low transmission rate.

NMDOH reports the state has seen more than 242,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020, with a death toll of 4,631. Johns Hopkins University reports that more than 664,000 people have died in the U.S. due to COVID-19.

Taos County residents (aged 18+) are 82 percent fully vaccinated and 92 percent partially vaccinated, according to Corner. For the state as a whole, 69 percent are fully vaccinated and 79 percent are partially vaccinated. For younger New Mexicans (aged 12–17), 51 percent are fully vaccinated and 62 percent are partially vaccinated.

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