Coronavirus Update

Register For The Covid Vaccine

New Mexico:


Problem Reporting Local Cases

Our rule for posting Covid cases is to only publish cases that are reported by Cochise or Hidalgo County. If someone in our area gets tested (positive) in Willcox, it is supposed to be reported by where they live. But in rare cases it might be reported as from Willcox. Several people have contacted me, saying they HEARD about cases (anywhere from 1-6 cases) in Rodeo or Portal but, to us, that is only hearsay. What is the correct number? If anyone who tested positive contacts me personally, then I would surely post the information (without names, of course).

We all DO want to know about local cases, but I'm sure you understand why we can’t just publish and change the numbers based upon hearsay.


Best Information We Have (# Cases) For February 24, 2021

Douglas: 4139

San Simon: 31

Rodeo: 10


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Cases By County - February 24, 2021

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Deaths By County -February 24, 2021

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Cases In Hidalgo County:345

Rodeo: 10 Animas: 22 Lordsburg: 313

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Deaths By State -February 24, 2021

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10 Worst States - February 24, 2021

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10 Worst Countries - February 24, 2021


Part 2 - Prepared By Dr. Eskild Petersen

Update 2/24/2021 at 8 AM

Death Toll 500,000.

Roughly one year since the first known death by the coronavirus in the United States, an unfathomable toll has been reached — the loss of half a million people.

No other country has counted so many deaths in the pandemic. Many of these deaths would have been avoided had we not allowed an uninformed policy during 2020 to dictate a disastrous lack of a proper public health response coupled with an active promotion of false treatment and cures.

Covid-19 pandemic compared to other pandemics that changed the world:

The U.S. has turned a corner. We have a national strategy for controlling Covid-19

The new federal mask mandate and an expanded vaccine access has helped.

Mortality rates are going down but is still way too high. We will reach 600,000 deaths by June.

Cases are also falling worldwide

A potential problem that could make things turn sour again:

The biggest wild cards continue to be the new, faster-spreading variants, which are finding footholds across the country. The UK variant will be the dominant variant by March. The more lethal variants seen in South Africa and in Brazil are increasingly found in California and other states. In addition, several different new variants have been found in California especially one named B.1.427/B.1.429. This mutation makes the virus more efficient at docking to cells, increasing its infectiousness.

The new variants of Covid-19, especially the South African and now the Californian , are worrisome and might result in new surges

Moderna and Pfizer Say their Vaccines Work on New Variants. But the shot produces fewer protective antibodies against the mutation found in South Africa.

The Janssen Vaccine from Johnson & Johnson does not work as well against the South African variant.

The AstraZeneca vaccine quite similar to the Janssen Vaccine is not effective against this variant either.

Vaccine availability in Cochise and Hidalgo.

The websites where you can sign up for vaccinations are listed above by Dr. Topoff. The Arizona sign-up process is not good and is both very primitive and cumbersome. The New Mexico process is better and easier. Note that the browser and email address you use for the Arizona Department of Health do make a difference.

The rules for who can get the vaccine varies from state to state, from county to county and even from vaccination site to another.

States set different COVID-19 vaccination priorities for People with High-Risk Conditions:

17 states so far have opened up eligibility to at least some people in this group.

AZ vaccine records are sent to ASIIS (AZ state immunization info system)

it seems wise to keep all records of your Covid vaccine

Take your Medicare or other insurance card so the provider can bill for the shot (handling, injection, record keeping) - patients will not be charged

UArizona to Become High-Capacity State Vaccination Site

The University of Arizona COVID-19 vaccination site will eventually operate 24/7 and be able to serve up to 6,000 people per day.

If you are a Walker Family Medicine patient and you are 65 or older a call will get you an appointment for the Moderna Vaccine.

For Age 65 and older the Moderna vaccine is available for Phase 1A and Prioritized 1B at the Medicine Shoppe in Willcox. They have availability right now.

Here is the link for people to register: It is a very easy to use link that shows all of the available appointments on one screen.

New Mexico

Arizona and New Mexico data:

Data tables and graphs are updated M, W, F.

The threat of Covid-19 spreading in our communities is still very real. Rodeo has a new case as of yesterday. San Simon/Portal likewise has one more case. The fact that so many of our residents have had vaccinations is great. Keep it up.


Arizona, is not the state anymore with the highest number of deaths and cases, AZ still is high in hospitalizations so deaths will remain high for a long time.

You can make it less likely that Covid spreads in or communities by following common sense when interacting with other people: outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than crowd, crowd is better than large crowd, observe social distancing and use a mask.

At the heart of dismal U.S. and Arizona coronavirus responses, a fraught relationship with masks. Not wearing a mask is like driving drunk. Not wearing a mask means that you put other people at risk.

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

“You can’t have arguments about wearing a mask or not wearing a mask becomes a political statement,” Fauci said. “It is a public health issue, period.”

The country has recorded up to 400,000 new cases a day and has set a hospitalization record with over 132,000. Last month has been extremely encouraging as cases, hospitalizations and now deaths are falling but they are still higher than they were in the Spring and Fall.

Vaccine news:

We have 2 outstanding vaccines and can expect a 3rd later this week.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are approved for EUA by FDA

Janssen 1 shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson - is expected to be approved this Friday for emergency use in March.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed 86 percent efficacy against severe forms of Covid-19 in the United States, and 82 percent against severe disease in South Africa.

Single-shot compatible with standard vaccine distribution channels provides important tool in pandemic setting

Other vaccines:

Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is approved for use in UK and Europe

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine which is quite similar to the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines has an efficacy of 92%.

There are now 5 vaccines that are showing great promise – 90+% effective. Pfizer vaccine works in older people

The Covid vaccine developed by Moderna and NIH shows a similar nearly 90+% protection. ‘Absolutely remarkable’: No one who got Moderna’s vaccine in trial developed severe COVID-19

New variants of Covid-19

Worryingly, the Brazil and South African variants do appear to have changes which let it evade some of our natural immune response.

There's no evidence yet that it can completely evade the vaccines in use in the US. Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines work against the variants but induce less immunity.

New variants will become common place.

Coming Soon: The ‘Vaccine Passport’

In the near future, travel may require digital documentation showing that passengers have been vaccinated and/or tested for the coronavirus or both.

Status of vaccines

Countries where different vaccines are used

How are we doing with vaccinations in US, Arizona and New Mexico

State of the epidemic in US:

We have 27 million cases and over 458,000 reported deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. We have the highest caseload and number of deaths in the world by far.

The global picture is also grim with a total confirmed cases over 112 million and more than 2.4 million deaths.

How do we compare to other countries?

Comparisons of US versus Germany, UK and Canada

Data for Arizona and New Mexico with emphasis on Cochise and Hidalgo Counties


In Arizona there are marked racial/ethnic differences in infection rates and mortality

Cochise County, AZ

New Mexico Data:

In New Mexico there are marked racial differences in infection rates and morality. Note how the Native Americans are affected disproportionally.

Hidalgo County.

Metrics for comparing AZ to NM

Overall New Mexico has handled the epidemic better than Arizona. Actually, Arizona is the undisputed worst state in US with regard to Covid-19 – highest new cases, high deaths and highest hospitalizations per capita by far.

  1. US Data

COVID-19 Disease:

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.

What are the treatments available for Covid-19

There are three broad approaches being investigated:

  • Antiviral drugs that directly affect the coronavirus's ability to thrive inside the body
  • Drugs that can calm the immune system - patients become seriously ill when their immune system overreacts and starts causing collateral damage to the body
  • Antibodies, either from survivors' blood or made in a lab, that can attack the virus

Coronavirus Treatment

The New York Times has an excellent site for tracking drug treatments

There is no cure yet for Covid-19. And even the most promising treatments to date only help certain groups of patients and await validation from further trials. The F.D.A. has grantedemergency use authorizationto some treatments, their effectiveness against Covid-19 has yet to be demonstrated in large-scale, randomized clinical trials.

We will update and expand the list as new evidence emerges. For details on evaluating treatments, see theN.I.H. Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines. For the current status of vaccine development, see ourCoronavirus Vaccine Tracker

The New York Times also has an excellent site for tracking vaccine development

Howard Topoff 2011