Long Term Care Facilities Reach Milestone: No New COVID Cases or COVID-Related Deaths
State officials encouraged, but still vigilantly working to test and vaccinate long term care residents and staff
NEW MEXICO– The State of New Mexico’s Long Term Care [LTC] industry reached an important milestone on Sunday, February 21, with no new COVID cases or COVID-related deaths. While experts warn that the virus is still a threat – and that there will likely be more COVID cases and deaths in LTCs – the lack of new cases and deaths is reassuring and confirms that infection control measures, monoclonial antibody treatments, and vaccines are working to protect LTC residents.
“Giving our long term care residents the ability to get a COVID vaccine is reinstating their ability to protect themselves against this vicious disease. For 11 months now, residents have had to endure isolation and testing in an effort to keep them safe. The vaccine represents a shift, giving them the ability to make a decision that protects them, and gives all of us hope for the future,” said Aging and Long Term Services Cabinet Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez. “We are seeing the number of cases and deaths trend down within our LTC’s and hope that as more people get vaccinated, those numbers will continue to decrease.”
“In our long campaign against the coronavirus, it is important that we celebrate milestones like these – moments when our shared sacrifices and collective efforts pay off in the most visible way possible: lives saved,” said DOH Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “Of course, this does not mean letting our guard down – but it is an important reminder of what we can accomplish when we use our best tools – vaccinations, treatments, and infection control measures – to protect our friends and loved ones.”
On January 25, the State announced that all 309 of New Mexico’s LTC’s had hosted their first vaccine clinic. To date, 96% of New Mexico’s nursing homes and 97% of assisted living facilities have hosted their second clinic. In addition, vaccine acceptance rates in New Mexico’s long term care facilities surpass national rates, according to a CDC report.
New Mexicans are encouraged to register for the COVID-19 vaccine by visiting VaccineNM.org or by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1 (800) 432-2080.