Coronavirus Update


 Part 1

A Daily Summary Of The Status Of The Pandemic, Submitted By
Dr. Eskild Petersen

Update 7/7/20 9:00 am

Special Covid-19 testing in Rodeo today:

New Mexico is bringing their mobile Covid-19 testing unit to Rodeo

When: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 10 AM – 1 PM NM

Where: Chiricahua Desert Museum

Public · Hosted by Hidalgo Medical Services

TESTING IS FREE. Bring your insurance card if you have one. FIRST COME-FIRST SERVE

Questions Call HMS AT 888-271-3596


Cochise County Residents are welcome.

What is new:

The Covid-19 virus knows no political affiliation. What it does love is large groups, indoors, close to each other.


What we DO know

  • The effectiveness of non-pharmacologic interventions (masks, physical distancing, hand washing)
  • Coronavirus does not spread easily from surfaces

What we DON’T know

  • When will a safe effective vaccine be available?
  • How big will the second peak of the first wave be?
  • What are the long-term medical effects of COVID-19 in people who have recovered from the initial illness?
  • How long and how effective are antibodies?
  • How long will we have to live like this?
  • Does blood type have any influence on severity of illness?

What we KINDA know

  • The aggregate case fatality rate
  • The risk of COVID-19 in children
  • Which pharmaceuticals are effective right now
  • How many schools will open and under what conditions
  • The impact of weather on transmission
  • Outdoor transmission seems to be much lower than indoor

From Jordan L. Shlain MD:



If it’s not blatantly obvious, masks are the linchpin in both preventing you from spreading coronavirus and preventing you from getting COVID-19.

Face masks are not political statements but sound public health measures.

Coronavirus hospitalizations soar as Fauci warns U.S. is ‘still knee deep in the first wave’

The US is in class by itself with about 25% of all cases and of all deaths. Each state was left to develop their own approach. Some failed. The infection initially hit extremely hard in the Northeast but now the areas with expanding infections are in the South and West. Arizona, Texas and Florida that all reopened while the epidemic was not controlled are paying the price with soaring infection rates and hospitals filling to capacity.


Americans are living through a split-screen pandemic: Our leaders were relaxing restrictions while our states set records for new coronavirus infections. Bars, churches and beaches are filling up, and so are our hospital beds.

COVID-19 is closing in on Portal and Rodeo:

Douglas has become a local hot spot with half of Cochise County cases.

Lordsburg in NM has likewise become a hot spot with 58 cases. 

Animas has now 4 cases.

In San Simon there has been 6 or more cases. 

So far there has not been any case in Portal or Rodeo

Cases in US continue to increase with new daily cases in excess of 45,000. New deaths are quite low for now but ICU’s filling up.

The rolling seven-day average for daily new cases in the United States reached a record high for the 27th day in a row, climbing to 48,640 on Sunday

 US Data: The true number of infected is estimated to be about 10 times higher at more than 29 million. The increase in new deaths and the constant and increasing numbers of daily cases hovering around 50,000 suggest that we still have many months with widespread infection and deaths. There is a marked racial/ethnic difference in both cases and death


Comparisons of US versus Germany, UK and Canada

NM Data: 

Hidalgo County, NM has 60 cases of Covid-19. Luna County (Deming) next to Hidalgo has 3 death and 104 cases. Grant County (Silver City) has 24 cases. 

The amazing high numbers in Hidalgo County are all in Lordsburg except for 4 cases in Animas. Cases per 100,000 population is 2.5 times higher than in Cochise County

AZ Data: Arizona has lost control of the epidemic.

Record 117 deaths 7/7/20

After AZ reopened the state during the midst of the epidemic, we are paying the price with an explosion of both new cases and hospitalizations. Governor Ducey reversed course and now allows municipalities to mandate facemasks. 

Tucson, Phoenix, Douglas are mandating face masks,

On 6/29 Arizona abruptly reversed course on reopening its economy as coronavirus cases spiked there and across the US. The governor has ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas and water parks. He also prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people in Arizona.

Arizonians between 20- and 44-years-old make up the bulk of the nearly 80,000 confirmed cases, but 1,200 of its 1,600 deaths are from those aged 65 and up, according to state data. Native Americans make up 18% of the state's deaths, but just over 5% of the state's population.


The most accurate metric for severity of the epidemic is the hospitalization numbers. The number is sky rocketing. Hospitals especially their ICUs are close to their breaking point.

Across the state, 90 percent of the ICU beds are full, according to state data. In Pima County, health department officials said only about 5 percent of ICU beds are still available.

Cochise County, AZ has 855 cases We have 17 deaths. San Simon has at least 6 cases but probably more. Cases in Cochise county are mainly in Douglas (406 cases), Sierra Vista and Willcox (83 cases) Do not become complacent just because we avoided the Covid-19 in our community for a long time.

Metrics for comparing AZ to NM

Comparisons of AZ, NM and Cochise County: 

Cases /100,000 population AZ 1,462 NM 644, Cochise County 654, Hidalgo 1,429

Deaths/100,000 population AZ 26.8, NM 24.6, Cochise County 13.0, Hidalgo 0

Arizona’s infection rate is clearly much higher than reported as we have way too little testing currently. .New Mexico is doing right amount of testing.



Remdesivir is a very minor step forward. It decreases the time a patient is symptomatic from 15 days to 11 days. The drug does not affect mortality, the viral load or the time a patient is infectious. 

Drug studies

Vaccine:If there is a silver lining to the flawed U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is this: The relatively high number of new cases being diagnosed daily — upward of 30,000 — will make it easier to test new vaccines. 

More than 135 vaccine candidates are in rapid development most involving techniques novel to vaccine development. They include recombinant-protein based vaccines, replicating or non-replicating viral vector-based vaccines, DNA vaccines, and mRNA vaccines (which mostly have focused on the spike glycoprotein or receptor binding domain), live attenuated vaccines, and inactivated virus vaccines. All of these vaccine platforms have advantages and disadvantages, and it is too soon to predict which will be more successful.

Elegant but unproven, RNA experiments leap to the front in vaccine race

Scientists in Britain, Germany, China and the United States are pushing to develop, and possibly manufacture, millions of doses of vaccine in a completely new way.

State of progress:

The vaccines that are furthest along in their clinical development are: 

Phase III Trials (testing for efficacy):

 • Moderna has finalized plans for Phase III trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, which will target 30,000 participants.

• University of Oxford’s ChAdOx1 candidate (now called AZD1222) has begun Phase II/III human trials.

Phase II Trials (initial testing for efficacy, continued testing for safety): 

• CanSino’s Ad5-nCoV adenovirus vaccine candidate has advanced to Phase II human trials. China has given approval to vaccinate members of its military with the product.

 • Moderna is beginning its Phase II trial of mRNA-1273 with 600 participants.



COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 

A new mutation appears to make the virus more infectious but less lethal.

The mutation is called G164

COVID-19 is not just a respiratory infection but a systemic infectious disease. It infects lungs, blood, heart, liver, kidney and intestinal tract. People die mainly from respiratory failure, but many deaths are caused from heart involvement. Diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are risk factors for severe disease. All ages get Covid-19 but the severity and mortality are higher in age 65 and older. 

Transmission: Human to human COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person. You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You may also be able to get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Fecal-oral route is possible but likely rare. Food is not thought to be a factor. After a person gets infected the virus spreads throughout the body to nearly all organs.

The spectrum of signs and symptoms seen in Covid-19 is expanding. Strokes are seen in younger people with otherwise mild symptoms. Hypoxemia without shortness of breath like seen in high altitude sickness is a frequent sign. Symptoms like Severe fatigue is the most common followed by fever/cough, chest pain and shortness of breath. Loss of sense of smell and diarrhea are other frequent signs. 

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.


Useful Websites & Phone Numbers

Arizona Department of Health website i 

New Mexico Department of Health Website

Cochise County Website

Information about how, where and criteria for getting tested for COVID-19:

Arizona: 1-844-542-8201 The Arizona Poison Control System at the University of AZ in Tucson is available for the general public for information relating to testing, isolation, and quarantine guidance. Anyone in Arizona can now be tested.  

New Mexico: 1-855-600-3453 Coronavirus hotline. 

In Hidalgo County the Animas Valley Clinic has test kits 

Seniors in AZ and NM that have problems getting groceries:

AZ Helpline information for seniors is posted above.

For Cochise County 520-432-2528

NM Senior Food Hotline: 1-800-432-2080

During this time of unprecedented health risks, we are extremely fortunate to have Frances Grill and her staff providing care here in Portal and San Simon.

News from Walker Family Medicine Clinic in Portal 7/1/20


Thank you all for following good physical distancing and washing your hands often. We’ll get through this if we keep vigilant.

Lastly, for those Portal/Rodeo residents who are not WFM patients:  If you have symptoms, questions, concerns and are not able to reach your PCP, please feel free to call Jackie, 558-2287, Carolyn, 558-1234, Deborah, 558-0119 or Frances, 558-2345.  Any one of us is willing to do a phone or home assessment as to the severity of your symptoms.  We do this as community-oriented Samaritans and not as representatives of Portal Rescue or WFM.  
Debb, Frances and Dawn

This is our time to be kind, to be calm and to be safe.

Social Distancing is really:  Physical distancing but Social engaging. Keep your distance from each other at 6 feet. Wear a mask if you cannot keep a safe distance.

Our Post Offices are essential to us. Please be extremely careful when you pick up mail- wear a mask. Be nice to our postmasters and follow their instructions. 

Let us support our local businesses like Sky Island Grill and Grocery and Portal Caféé. Please use them as they are vital to our community. Consider buying gift cards for future use. Order from their menus to take out. Buy from their groceries. 


Part 2

The Following Charts And Graphs Are Compiled 

By Dr. Howard Topoff

July 6, 2020


The Arizona Poison & Drug Information Center Is Available To Take Calls From Arizona Providers & The General Public: 1-844-542-8201

July 7, 2020

Cochise County: 855 CASES

Douglas: 414

Portal/San Simon: 6 - 10

Deaths Due To Covid-19


Coronavirus Hot Line: 1-855-600-3453 

The state is offering help to New Mexico seniors. The Aging and Long Term Services Department says if you’re a senior or a disabled adult who cannot access groceries to call the number 1-800-432-2080 due to the coronavirus.

Leave a message with your name, telephone number, and the city/town you reside in. Aging and Long Term Services will be in contact with you within 2 hours of your call if not sooner. 

Sixty In Hidalgo County

July 7, 2020

Countries With The Most Covid-19 Cases

July 7, 2020

                                    How To Wash Your Hands

It's generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap.

Follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water — either warm or cold.
  • Apply soap and lather well.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.

                           How To Use An Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don't require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren't available. If you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol. Follow these steps:

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand. Check the label to find out the appropriate amount.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
© Howard Topoff 2011