Coronavirus Update

Update 6/15/20 9:00 am

 City of Lordsburg NM Closed   

To prevent further community spread of the Corona virus, City Hall and all City facilities are closed until further notice. This includes all city parks.You may still call in your payments or use our drop box at City Hall. 542-3421 or 542-3259. Covid Testing is available at Hidalgo Medical Services, (575-542-8384) and at Department of Health (575-542-9391).

COVID-19 is closing in on Portal and Rodeo:

In Portal/San Simon there is at least 1 case (AzDHS says 1-5 cases)

In Lordsburg/Rodeo there was a new case 6/13/20 with 3 total cases.

Arizona has record numbers of new cases and record numbers of hospitalizations

Now is the time to be safe, calm and kind

Best way to reduce coronavirus transmission is by wearing a face mask

In Arizona, a “cavalier” exit from the state’s successful stay-at-home program caused the sudden case surge, said former state health chief Will Humble.

Ultimately, said Humble, all Arizonans should be thinking about their most vulnerable family members, because right now, “every indicator across the dashboard is blinking.

“It’s like Katrina,” he explained. “There’s a big hurricane spinning out in the Gulf, and forecast models are showing it’s going to come to shore. But today? It’s a great day, and it’s sunny outside, and we’re going to just enjoy it.”

But make no mistake, said Humble: “There’s a storm brewing.”

Hidalgo County NM (includes Rodeo) had one new case 6/13/20. Luna (Deming) had 6 new cases 6/13/20 for a total of 26

Portal/San Simon Data: Between 1-5 cases.  4 Deaths in Cochise County

Many more cases are occurring daily in Cochise County. AZ is recording record high case numbers and hospitalizations daily. 

Forecast for Arizona is not good: IHME

We are projected to be one of the worst hit states by August 4.

Do your best to not be the one who brings more COVID-19 to our area. Be extra careful. Follow the principles of being safe, calm and kind. Wear your mask when physical distancing is not possible. This will protect both yourself as well as your community

The lockdowns worked:

A study from UC Berkeley showed that shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China.

A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries


This is how COVID-19 is spread:

  • At a wedding in Jordan,  76 of 350 wedding guests developed COVID-19 and 1 died, with the index patient thought to be the father of the bride.
  • At a church in Arkansas, 2 symptomatic people who attended services over the span of 3 days led to 35 of 92 attendees acquiring COVID-19, 3 of whom died.

Date of symptom onset among churchgoers with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 (n = 35) who attended services between March 6 and 11.

  • At a Washington choir practice, 1 symptomatic person is thought to have led to 52 likely infections, or 87% of the choir, with 2 subsequent deaths.

Confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 associated with 2 choir practices, by date of symptom onset.

The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them

From Jordan Shlein M.D.

Dispatch #9 — Remember The Future

and NPR


High Risk:

  • Attending a religious service indoors: high risk
  • Going to a nightclub: high risk
  • Getting a haircut: medium to high risk
  • An outdoor celebration such as a wedding with more than 10 guests: medium to high risk
  • Eating indoors at a restaurant: medium to high risk
  • Going shopping at a mall: risk varies

Medium Risk:

  • Using a public restroom: medium to low risk
  • A BYOB backyard gathering with one other household: medium to low risk
  • Staying at a hotel: medium to low risk

Low Risk:

  • Spending the day at a popular beach or pool: low risk
  • Letting a friend use your bathroom: low risk
  • Going camping: low risk
  • Exercising outdoors: low risk

Is it OK to have revolving people visit if the house is cleaned in between? Most people say yes.


Gyms are closed and some are reopening. What are the options for getting your cardiovascular system humming again?

To put a fine point on walking: it matters how many people you’re walking by, the size of the sidewalk and what type of mask you’re wearing.


Yes, masks really matter.

The Covid-19 epidemic in US is not going away. This epidemic will not come to an end soon. We are still in the first of many waves of infections. There are many states where cases are still growing. The high-risk states include Arizona, Florida, Texas 


US Data: We have now close to 118,000 deaths in the US. There were 325 new deaths on 6/14. True number of deaths estimated to be over 140,000 so far. New cases in US increased by 19,920 cases yesterday for a total of over 2.1 million. The true number of infected is estimated to be about 10 times higher at more than 210 million. The increase in new deaths and the constant and increasing numbers of daily cases hovering around 20,000 -2,6000 suggest that we still have many months with widespread infection and deaths. We are unfortunately in a class by ourselves as the country with both most deaths and most cases. Brazil has copied our failed response and is now becoming the new epicenter. Worldwide we have over ¼ of all cases and deaths. There are now more than 7.5 million cases in the world. The uptick of new infections in rural areas outside NY and NJ is very concerning, AZ is one of the states that is in trouble with Yuma, Nogales and Douglas? likely three of hot spots in AZ.

Very few - except for Brazil -  on Earth have done a worse job of handling the coronavirus pandemic than the United States.

US Deaths projections 

Last updated: Jun 15, 2020

US deaths surpass:

Most likely date:


Jun 21, 2020


Jun 28, 2020


Jul 5, 2020


Jul 19, 2020


Aug 1, 2020

Comparisons US versus Germany, UK and Canada

Cases /100,000 population: US 653, Germany 224, UK 436, Canada 262

     Deaths/100,000 population: US 35.6, Germany 10.6, UK 61.4, Canada 21.6

NM Data: There are 9,723 total cases in NM. Total deaths are 435 

Navajo Nation in NM and AZ has been extremely hard hit and already has 6,470 cases and 303 deaths. Navajo Nation has the highest rate of Covid-19 in the nation – higher than New York.  10 times the death rate of the rest of AZ

Navajo Nation Cases As of 6/12/20

Hidalgo County, NM have had 3 cases of Covid-19; 1 new case 6/13/20. Luna County (Deming) next to Hidalgo has 1 death and 27 cases (up 1 case). Grant County (Silver City) has 16 cases. 

NM Metrics as of June 14, 2020!/vizhome/COVID-19SeeYourState/YourStateKeys

AZ Data: 36,705 cases (1,014 new) in AZ with 1,184 deaths with 8 new deaths yesterday. Yesterday was another day with record numbers of new cases. Overall the state is rapidly moving in the wrong direction with more deaths, more cases and more hospitalizations. This rapid spread of COVID-19 is most likely a combination of the state by easing restrictions and opening up too early in the setting of a non-controlled epidemic and also that people are relaxing their attitude and not keeping safe distances and not using masks. It is not looking good.

Yuma, Nogales and Douglas are likely hotspots.


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

Cochise County, AZ has 221  cases We have 4 deaths. Portal/San Simon has between  1 and 5 caess. Cases in Cochise county are mainly in Douglas (104 cases), Sierra Vista and Willcox (25 cases). Community spread is occurring in Cochise 19 has arrived here. County.. Do not become complacent just because we avoided the Covid-19 in our community for a long time. COVID- 

Metrics for AZ as of June 14, 2020!/vizhome/COVID-19SeeYourState/YourStateKeys

Comparisons of AZ, NM and Cochise County: 

Cases /100,000 population AZ 511, NM 459, Cochise County 168

Deaths/100,000 population AZ 16.6, NM 20.6, Cochise County 3.1



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. 

Monoclonal antibodies

Lilly COVID-19 treatment could be authorized for use as soon as September - chief scientist

Monoclonal antibodies are being developed for use in preventing infection in special susceptible groups like those in nursing homes where vaccines are likely not going to be effective

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 20,000 — 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.

Some of the candidate vaccines:

Genetic Vaccines

Vaccines that use one or more of the coronavirus’s own genes to provoke an immune response.




Moderna’s mRNA vaccine dazzled the stock market in May with Phase I data on just eight people, only to see its stock price drop when experts had a lukewarm reaction to the results. Part of Operation Warp Speed, the American company is eyeing Phase III trials in July and hopes to have vaccines ready by early 2021.

Viral Vector Vaccines

Vaccines that use a virus to deliver coronavirus genes into cells and provoke an immune response.


vaccine in development by the British-Swedish company 
AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus called ChAdOx1. The vaccine has gone through Phase I testing and is beginning Phase II/III testing in England and Brazil. Supported by Operation Warp Speed, the project may deliver emergency vaccines by October.


The Chinese company 
CanSino Biologics is testing a vaccine based on an adenovirus called Ad5, in partnership with the Institute of Biology at the country’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences. In May they published a paper in the Lancet, the first time Phase I trial data from any Covid-19 vaccine appeared in a scientific journal.

  1. 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. 
  2. Transmission: 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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 in limited supply

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

News from Walker Family Medicine Clinic in Portal 5/7/20

The Walker Family Medicine Portal and San Simon Clinics are again open for Friday hours.  We still will not be seeing Walk-in patients, but appointments can be made by calling 520-766-5000 Monday through Friday or 520-558-5000 during Portal office hours.

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

Report from Portal Rescue – Jackie Lewis 4/8

Dear Community,

It's allergy season and there are still other active flu viruses.  The chart below compares symptoms.  Information on how to treat symptoms and when you should seek help is below the chart.  Thank you for reading to the end.  

As mentioned in the earlier email from Walker Family Medicine, we have several people who are willing to check on you.  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. 

Most symptoms can be treated at home

·         Let your fever rise if you can because that is what helps our bodies fight the virus.

·         Consider fever reduction when adult temperature is at 102-103 degrees. 

·         Stay hydrated.  Juice and water.  You can make your own electrolyte solution by mixing 3 Tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1-liter water. 

·         Rest. 

Isolate from the rest of your household. 

·         Clean up (sanitize/disinfect) after yourself when at all possible. 

·         Wear a mask. 

·         Wash your hands. 

If you start to develop breathing problems, please seek help BEFORE it is too late.  In these times it’s important we take responsibility for our personal and community health, and this includes being prepared with protective gear and potential transport if it becomes needed.  We do have several people in the Portal area that are willing to drive your vehicle if you don't have a household member that can do so.  We will be in full PPE.  You will be requested to wear a mask and sit as far as possible away from the driver.  Call Jackie Lewis at 558-2287 if you will need assistance getting to the hospital. 

Protect yourself and your community.

·         Stay home when at all possible. 

·         Wear a mask to reduce the spread of your germs to someone else. 

·         Keep 6' between you and the person you are talking to. 

·         Be diligent about washing your hands. 

·         Sanitize and disinfect surfaces. 

·         Use color assigned towels in homes that have multiple family members. 

In concern for your health,

Jackie Lewis

Portal Rescue EMS Chief

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 Café. 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. 

The Following Charts And Graphs Are Compiled 

By Howard Topoff

June 15, 2020


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

June 16, 2020

Cochise County: 216 CASES
Douglas: 104 cases

Portal/San Simon: 1- 5


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. 

Twenty Cases In Hidalgo County

June 15, 2020

Countries With The Most Covid-19 Cases

                                     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