In a press conference Tuesday, New Mexico Health Secretary Tracie C. Collins stated that 17,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are being rolled out this week across the state. These doses are being distributed to 30 hospitals, including Carlsbad Medical Center and Artesia General Hospital, with a priority to front line health care workers. Staff and residents of nursing homes will also be a priority as additional doses arrive.
This is a limited rollout phase with vaccines being given to health care workers and related fields. This vaccine, which is not mandatory to these individuals being offered, will require two doses – one now and one 21 days later.
Collins said the FDA granted an emergency use authorization. CDC concurred with this recommendation, as did New Mexico’s medical advisory team. Another vaccine, made by biotechnology company Moderna, could be cleared for use next and would also then be distributed to long-term facility staff and patients.
She noted that these individuals are choosing whether to get a vaccine. A larger scale rollout of vaccines would be planned down the road. We will keep you updated on this issue as information becomes more available, so that you can make decisions for yourself and your family. Dr. Collins also said COVID-19 tests would soon be made available for home use. You can watch her interview here: https://www.facebook.com/nmdoh/videos/1677884299060655/
In a press release sent Wednesday morning, the State of New Mexico amended its public health order to increase capacity inside essential retail spaces, such as grocery stores and large big box stores. Previously, these stores had to operate either within a percentage limit on maximum occupancy or a specific number of customers at one time, whichever was smaller. Occupancy under the newest health order is only based on a percentage of capacity limit, which will greatly reduce the lines outside of these stores. Considering the cold front crossing the state right now, this is an important change.
On Tuesday, Deputy Administrator KC Cass and myself received a personal tour of the new Home2Suites (Suites by Hilton) facility on National Parks Highway. General Manager Bhakti Salian was extremely welcoming and told us that, despite the numerous challenges they faced this year, business has been better than anticipated. It is a beautiful facility. We welcome this Hilton to our community and know they will play an important role as business begins to boom again in Carlsbad.
Additionally, the construction of the CNB branch at the intersection of National Parks Highway and Hamilton is going very well, and the bank did an excellent job with its recent sprucing up of its main building downtown. Congratulations to Bank President Jay Jenkins and everyone with CNB.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway