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Taos County recorded no new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday (Aug. 11) and remains an outlier among other areas that are seeing huge spikes in cases due to the spread of the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Still, town officials are considering safety procedures to implement in case cases here also begin to rise again.

Taos County saw a 10 percent drop in COVID-19 cases between August 2 and August 8, while the state overall experienced a 72 percent increase and cases nationwide rose by 36 percent, according to town of Taos GIS Analyst Tim Corner.

Taos County is currently one of two counties in New Mexico that have "moderate transmission" COVID rates, according to classification by the CDC. However, with the recently counted cases Taos County will be classified as a county with substantial transmission.

“Unfortunately, as of today there were 18 cases over the weekend,” Corner said at a Town Council Workshop Monday (Aug. 9).

Several public health options were brought up for consideration at the meeting by Town Manager Rick Bellis. They ranged from mandating vaccination for all town employees to requiring indoor mask use.

“I think we took a little bit of criticism when we acted earlier than everybody else in the beginning of this and I think that you, the council and the mayor got a lot of credit when we were doing way better than everybody else,” said Bellis.

CDC guidelines state that to have protection from and prevent the spread of the Delta Variant is to wear a mask if you’re in an area with substantive or high transmission. These options will be discussed more at the next town hall.

Counties in the southwest region of the state in particular have lower vaccination rates and higher COVID-19 transmission rates. From Jan. 1 to June 1 nearly 99 percent of cases were among people not fully vaccinated according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The average death rates in New Mexico went up slightly to 2 per day from last week. The state’s average case rate is 482 per day from last week.

Taos County recorded no new cases on Wednesday (Aug. 11).

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