The number of new COVID-19 infections and cases requiring hospital treatment in El Paso dropped in the past week to levels not seen in seven months.
However, the number of El Pasoans getting vaccinated against the coronavirus plunged last week, a signal of the challenges that still lie ahead in fighting COVID-19.
Here’s our weekly COVID-19 data report.
El Paso had 918 newly reported COVID-19 cases in the past week, the lowest weekly number since Sept. 13-19. The number of new cases has declined 7% to 9% a week for each of the past three weeks.
About 37% of the new cases last week were in people age 19 and younger, and 57% of new cases were among people 29 and younger. That’s a reflection of the low vaccination rates among those groups. People younger than 16 can’t yet get vaccinated, and two-thirds of men and half of women age 16-29 had not received any COVID vaccine as of early last week.
In 2020, before vaccines were widely available, about 17% of COVID-19 cases in El Paso were among people 19 and younger and about 37% of infections were among people 16-29.
The number of El Pasoans requiring hospital treatment for COVID-19 dropped below 150 last week for the first time since mid-September.
Cases requiring treatment in intensive care units fluctuated between the mid-40s and mid-50s last week. That reflects a slow downward trend.
El Paso is still experiencing about two COVID deaths per day.
The number of El Pasoans getting their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine last week dropped by 29% from the prior week.
The number of vaccine first doses being sent by the state to El Paso County this week also will be down dramatically.
About 63% of eligible El Pasoans have received at least one vaccine dose, and 42% are considered fully vaccinated. Growing those percentages in the coming weeks will become increasingly difficult. Government, health care providers and others will have to develop new strategies to reach the unvaccinated, which are mostly young adults, particularly young men.