FARMINGTON – The New Mexico Department of Health announced a “sad milestone” during the COVID-19 pandemic – the state officially surpassed 4,000 COVID-related deaths.
In a news release sent Thursday, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said the milestone should remind New Mexicans of all that people have endured.
“This is not just another number – they are our neighbors, our fellow New Mexicans,” Collins said. “We grieve for them and their families. It also underscores the need for us to remain cautious in the weeks and months ahead.”
Collins added that even though New Mexico is “leading the nation” in vaccinations and distributions and sticking with COVID-safe practices, “we are not out of the woods yet.”
“There is still much work still to be done,” Collins said. “We need to remain vigilant if we are going to beat COVID.”
Dr. Brad Greenberg with the San Juan Regional Medical Center said in an email Monday that it is important to go back to COVID-safe practices.
“For over a year, our entire Four Corners community has navigated the unforeseen impacts of the pandemic, and has persevered through unprecedented challenges. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not over yet,” Greenberg said. “As we mourn the 4,001 New Mexicans who have lost their lives, it’s important that we honor them by recommitting to COVID-safe practices we know can save lives.”
Some of those practices include wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth, social distancing 6 feet apart, avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and frequent hand-washing, according to the NMDOH.
Greenberg said, however, that the most important thing to do is get the vaccine.
“Now, more than ever, we must come together and make the choice to do all we can to protect one another,” Greenberg said.