Artesia General Hospital has been named one of the 27 best hospitals for patient experience in the Western US based on CMS scores. Read Becker’s full article >>

This archived information was last updated on March 26, 2022. For current updates regarding COVID-19 and Artesia General Hospital, please visit artesiageneral.com/covid19.

Please continue to visit the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) website, cv.nmhealth.org, for the most up-to-date information and guidelines to avoid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Watch: Understanding COVID-19 and How to Stay Safe


Eddy County Sees Significant Rise in COVID-19 Cases

August 5, 2021

All residents are urged to take additional precautions and become vaccinated if eligible

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases rapidly in Eddy County, your most effective defense is the COVID-19 vaccine.

Unfortunately, Eddy County represents one of the state’s highest resurgences in COVID-19 cases with positivity rate of 15.76%. Consequently, Artesia General Hospital is caring for a rising number of critically ill patients, and nearby healthcare facilities are exceeding capacity. The current vaccine rate in Eddy County, according to the Department of Health, is 41.1%—the fourth lowest of the state’s 33 counties.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, it is not too late! Appointments can be scheduled through the New Mexico Department of Health at the location of your choice. Visit vaccinenm.org for more information.

Appointments are currently available at Artesia General Hospital on Wednesdays. August 11 is the final date this month—we will resume on Wednesday, September 1 after relocating our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic to Memorial Family Practice.

Additionally, you should wear a mask when in public, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing. Please protect yourself and those around you from this disease, thereby easing the strain on our essential healthcare resources.


Phase 1B of COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

January 29, 2021

Artesia General Hospital recently announced that it has entered Phase 1B of the CDC and New Mexico Department of Health’s (NMDOH) COVID-19 vaccination plan.

People who are age 75+ or age 16 or older with at least one chronic condition are of highest priority within this group. Also included in Phase 1B are people who are at high occupational risk, such as frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure workplaces (schools, transportation, public health and safety, etc.) and vulnerable populations. More information about who qualifies for a vaccine in Phase 1B can be found on the NMDOH website.

“Artesia General Hospital and I encourage all eligible people in our community to receive the vaccine as soon as they qualify,” says Marshall G Baca Jr, DO, Emergency Department Medical Director at Artesia General Hospital. “The COVID vaccine is safe and the best way to protect ourselves, our families and our community against the ongoing spread of this pandemic.”

Artesia General Hospital has started a waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine at artesiageneral.com/covidvaccine and is asking those who are interested and eligible to add their name. When the vaccine becomes available, the hospital will contact those who are eligible with next steps. Vaccines are currently in limited supply and are only available as allocations arrive at the hospital. Everyone wanting the vaccine will be accommodated, but it may take some time.

Those interested in learning more or adding their name to the waiting list should visit artesiageneral.com/covidvaccine or call 575.736.8369.


Fase 1B del plan de vacunación COVID-19

29 de enero de 2021

Artesia General Hospital anunció recientemente que ha entrado en la Fase 1B del plan de vacunación COVID-19 del CDC y del Departamento de Salud de Nuevo México (NMDOH).

Las personas de 75 años o más o de 16 años o más con al menos una afección crónica tienen la máxima prioridad dentro de este grupo. También se incluyen en la Fase 1B las personas que se encuentran en alto riesgo ocupacional, como los trabajadores esenciales de primera línea en lugares de trabajo de infraestructura crítica (escuelas, transporte, salud y seguridad públicas, etc.) y poblaciones vulnerables. Puede encontrar más información sobre quién califica para una vacuna en la Fase 1B en el sitio web de NMDOH.

“Artesia General Hospital y yo alentamos a todas las personas elegibles en nuestra comunidad a que reciban la vacuna tan pronto como califiquen”, dice Marshall G Baca Jr, DO, Director Médico del Departamento de Emergencias del Artesia General Hospital. “La vacuna COVID es segura y la mejor manera de protegernos a nosotros mismos, a nuestras familias y a nuestra comunidad contra la propagación continua de esta pandemia”.

Artesia General Hospital ha iniciado una lista de espera para la vacuna COVID-19 en artesiageneral.com/covidvaccine y está pidiendo a las personas interesadas y elegibles que agreguen su nombre. Cuando la vacuna esté disponible, el hospital se comunicará con aquellos que sean elegibles con los siguientes pasos. Actualmente, las vacunas se encuentran en un suministro limitado y solo están disponibles cuando las asignaciones llegan al hospital. Todos los que quieran la vacuna serán acomodados, pero puede llevar algún tiempo.

Those interested in learning more or adding their name to the waiting list should visit artesiageneral.com/covidvaccine or call 575.736.8369.


A Vaccine for COVID-19 is Here

December 16, 2020

The vaccine for COVID-19 has arrived at Artesia General Hospital. The CDC has directed that healthcare workers be the first group vaccinated, and Artesia General Hospital personnel began taking COVID-19 vaccines today.

The first person to receive the vaccine was Earlene Wages, Patient Experience Coordinator in Case Management.

“I am excited and grateful to be able to get the vaccine. My daughter in Washington is elated,“ she said. “I feel very fortunate to be in a position to get the vaccine right now.”

Earlene Wages, Patient Experience Coordinator in Case Management, receives the first COVID-19 vaccination at Artesia General Hospital.

Earlene Wages, Patient Experience Coordinator in Case Management, receives the first COVID-19 vaccination at Artesia General Hospital. Cindy Herron, RN in Employee Health, provides the vaccine.

Employee Health Nurse Cindy Herron, RN gave the first shot. Asked how she felt about the launch of the vaccine, she said, “I think it will be a good help to our community and eventually the whole world. It’s exciting!”

The CDC requires the vaccine be made available in three phases. Healthcare personnel are in the first wave. The second wave will be for those at elevated risk of serious complications from the virus. The third wave will be for the general public.

The timing of vaccines for the second and third phase will depend on when doses are allocated to Artesia. The number of vaccine doses available in Artesia is extremely limited right now. Over the course of coming weeks, additional doses are expected.

Artesia General Hospital is committed to getting the vaccine out as quickly as possible, and will inform the public as more people can be included.


Llegó una vacuna para COVID-19

16 de diciembre de 2020

La vacuna para COVID-19 llegó al Artesia General Hospital. Los CDC han ordenado que los trabajadores de la salud sean el primer grupo vacunado, y el personal de Artesia General Hospital comenzó a tomar las vacunas COVID-19 hoy.

La primera persona en recibir la vacuna fue Earlene Wages, Coordinadora de Experiencia del Paciente en Manejo de Casos.

“Estoy emocionado y agradecido de poder recibir la vacuna. Mi hija en Washington está eufórica ”, dijo. “Me siento muy afortunado de poder recibir la vacuna ahora mismo”.

Earlene Wages, Patient Experience Coordinator in Case Management, receives the first COVID-19 vaccination at Artesia General Hospital.

Earlene Wages, Coordinadora de Experiencia del Paciente en Manejo de Casos, recibe la primera vacuna COVID-19 en el Hospital General de Artesia. Cindy Herron, RN en Employee Health, proporciona la vacuna.

La enfermera de salud del empleado Cindy Herron, RN dio la primera inyección. Cuando se le preguntó cómo se sentía sobre el lanzamiento de la vacuna, dijo: “Creo que será una buena ayuda para nuestra comunidad y, eventualmente, para el mundo entero. ¡Es emocionante!”

El CDC requiere que la vacuna esté disponible en tres fases. El personal sanitario está en la primera ola. La segunda ola será para aquellos con un riesgo elevado de complicaciones graves por el virus. La tercera ola será para el público en general.

El momento de las vacunas para la segunda y tercera fase dependerá de cuándo se asignen las dosis a Artesia. La cantidad de dosis de vacunas disponibles en Artesia es extremadamente limitada en este momento. En el transcurso de las próximas semanas, se esperan dosis adicionales.

Artesia General Hospital se compromete a distribuir la vacuna lo más rápido posible e informará al público a medida que se puedan incluir más personas.


Frequently Asked Questions

When should I get tested for COVID-19 if I have been exposed and also
have symptoms?

Right away. You will need to call the local Department of Health office at 575.746.9819 and make an appointment, unless it is an emergency. Until results are back, you should quarantine as if you are positive.

What if I have been exposed but am not experiencing symptoms?
It’s still a good idea to get tested. It can take anywhere from 2-14 days to begin showing symptoms, so the sooner you are diagnosed the sooner treatment can begin. Again, you will need to call the Department of Health to schedule an appointment, and quarantine until test results come back.

Do I still need to wear a mask in public if I have already had COVID-19?
Yes. There are two primary reasons to continue wearing a face covering (covering both the nose and the mouth) while in public:

  • There is some evidence that suggests reinfection is possible.
  • The current order in place makes no distinction between those who have had the virus and those who have not.

If you are in public, a mask is required.

If hospitalization is required, will I have to be transported out of state?
Possibly. As our numbers continue to increase, the situation puts a strain on the staff and resources of Artesia General Hospital. Similarly, hospitals in nearby communities are experiencing surges in COVID cases as well, and some have discontinued admitting out-of-state patients. We have had to transfer patients to hospitals as far away as Phoenix, AZ and Dallas, TX.

Does the number of positive cases released to the media reflect the retests that are done for people who test multiple times before returning to work?
No. COVID case numbers in Eddy County represent only new infections. Retests on COVID-positive patients are not added to the total case count.
Can COVID-19 be spread by people without symptoms?
Yes. COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people) and wear masks in public settings.

Is a headache a symptom of COVID?
Yes. Fatigue, headache and muscle aches (myalgia) are among the most commonly reported symptoms in people who are not hospitalized. In addition, a sore throat and nasal congestion or runny nose also may be prominent symptoms.

Aren’t the increased case numbers just because of increased testing?
No. Testing has increased, but so has the positivity rate. The increase in cases is real.

Is Artesia General Hospital a safe place to seek medical care?
Yes. From the onset of this pandemic in March, we have gone to extraordinary measures to ensure a safe, healthy environment for our staff, patients and visitors. For more about this, visit our safety protocols page.

If you have a question that was not answered here, please reach out to us and we will do our best to get you the answers you seek. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and visit our website for up-to-date information.
And again, it is imperative that we help stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing good hand washing, social distancing and wearing a face covering while in public.


Preguntas frecuentes

¿Cuándo debo hacerme la prueba de COVID-19 si he estado expuesto y también tiene síntomas?
Inmediatamente. Deberá llamar a la oficina local del Departamento de Salud al 575.746.9819 y hacer una cita, a menos que sea una emergencia. Hasta que se obtengan los resultados, debe ponerse en cuarentena como si fuera positivo.

¿Qué pasa si he estado expuesto pero no tengo síntomas?
Sigue siendo una buena idea hacerse la prueba. Puede tomar de 2 a 14 días comenzar a mostrar síntomas, por lo que cuanto antes se le diagnostique, antes podrá comenzar el tratamiento. Nuevamente, deberá llamar al Departamento de Salud para programar una cita y ponerse en cuarentena hasta que se obtengan los resultados de la prueba.

¿Debo seguir usando una máscara en público si ya he tenido COVID-19?
Si. Hay dos razones principales para seguir usando una cubierta facial (cubriendo tanto la nariz como la boca) mientras está en público:

  • Existe alguna evidencia que sugiere que la reinfección es posible.
  • El orden actual en vigor no distingue entre quienes han tenido el virus y quienes no.

Si está en público, se requiere una máscara.

Si se requiere hospitalización, ¿tendré que ser transportado fuera del estado?
Posiblemente. A medida que nuestro número continúa aumentando, la situación ejerce presión sobre el personal y los recursos del Artesia General Hospital. De manera similar, los hospitales en las comunidades cercanas también están experimentando un aumento repentino de los casos de COVID, y algunos han dejado de admitir pacientes de otros estados. Hemos tenido que transferir pacientes a hospitales tan lejanos como Phoenix, AZ y Dallas, TX.

¿El número de casos positivos divulgados a los medios de comunicación refleja las nuevas pruebas que se realizan a las personas que realizan varias pruebas antes de regresar al trabajo?
No. Los números de casos de COVID en el condado de Eddy representan solo infecciones nuevas. Las nuevas pruebas en pacientes COVID positivos no se agregan al recuento total de casos.

¿Las personas que no presentan síntomas pueden transmitir el COVID-19?
Si. El COVID-19 puede ser transmitido por personas que no presentan síntomas y no saben que están infectadas. Por eso es importante que todos practiquen el distanciamiento social (manteniéndose al menos a 6 pies de distancia de otras personas) y usen máscaras en lugares públicos.

¿Es un dolor de cabeza un síntoma de COVID?
Si. La fatiga, el dolor de cabeza y los dolores musculares (mialgia) se encuentran entre los síntomas más comúnmente reportados en personas que no están hospitalizadas. Además, el dolor de garganta y la congestión nasal o la secreción nasal también pueden ser síntomas importantes.

¿No es el aumento del número de casos solo debido al aumento de las pruebas?

No. Las pruebas han aumentado, pero también la tasa de positividad. El aumento de casos es real.

¿Es Artesia General Hospital un lugar seguro para buscar atención médica?
Si. Desde el inicio de esta pandemia en marzo, hemos tomado medidas extraordinarias para garantizar un entorno seguro y saludable para nuestro personal, pacientes y visitantes. Para obtener más información sobre esto, visite nuestra página de protocolos de seguridad.

Si tiene una pregunta que no fue respondida aquí, comuníquese con nosotros y haremos todo lo posible para brindarle las respuestas que busca. Asegúrese de seguirnos en Facebook y visitar nuestro sitio web para obtener información actualizada.

Y nuevamente, es imperativo que ayudemos a detener la propagación del COVID-19 practicando un buen lavado de manos, el distanciamiento social y el uso de una cubierta facial en público.


Letter to Our Community from Marshall G. Baca, Jr., DO, and Artesia General Hospital Staff

October 27, 2020

As New Mexico experiences a substantial, sustained rise in COVID-19 cases, the virus appears to be especially widespread in Eddy County. Like many other establishments, Artesia General Hospital has had several recent COVID-19 cases among our employees.

It is important to note that the spread is not occurring at Artesia General Hospital. Extensive testing and contact tracing have proven that the employees who have tested positive have not contracted the virus at work. Evidence overwhelmingly points to the cases among hospital employees being community acquired.

At Artesia General Hospital, we are committed to providing high-quality, patient-focused health care for our patients. Part of that commitment is making sure the hospital is a safe place for our patients and our employees, including safety from COVID-19. To that end: from the outset of the pandemic, we instituted excellent COVID-safe practices. We have been, and continue to be, diligent in following them.

Artesia General Hospital remains a safe place, and we are committed to those who need care—including patients who test positive for COVID-19. Our employees knowingly put themselves at risk of catching the virus in order to provide quality care to patients. The kindness, bravery and commitment of our team at Artesia General Hospital are second to none.
With the heightened risk of COVID-19 in our community, we ask everyone to please be diligent in wearing a mask in public, social distancing, practicing good hand-washing, staying home whenever possible, and especially staying home if you are not feeling well!


27 de octubre de 2020

Mientras que Nuevo México experimenta un aumento sustancial y sostenido de casos de COVID-19, el virus parece estar especialmente extendido en el condado de Eddy. Como muchos otros establecimientos, Artesia General Hospital ha tenido varios casos recientes de COVID-19 entre nuestros empleados.

Es importante notar que la propagación no se está ocurriendo en el Artesia General Hospital. Las pruebas exhaustivas y el rastreo de contactos han demostrado que los empleados que analizaron positivos no contrajeron el virus en el trabajo. La evidencia apunta abrumadoramente a que los casos entre los empleados del hospital estaban contratados en la comunidad.

En Artesia General Hospital, estamos comprometidos a prestar atención médica de alta calidad y centrada en el paciente para nuestros pacientes. Parte de ese compromiso es asegurarnos de que el hospital sea un lugar seguro para nuestros pacientes y empleados, incluida la seguridad del COVID-19. Con ese fin: desde el comienzo de la pandemia, instituimos excelentes prácticas seguras para COVID. Hemos sido, y seguimos siendo, diligentes en seguirlos.

Artesia General Hospital sigue siendo un lugar seguro y estamos comprometidos con aquellos que necesitan atención, incluidos los pacientes que analizan positivos en la prueba de COVID-19. Nuestros empleados se exponen conscientemente al riesgo de contraer el virus para prestar atención médica de calidad a los pacientes. La amabilidad, valentía y compromiso de nuestro equipo en Artesia General Hospital son insuperables.

Con el mayor riesgo de COVID-19 en nuestra comunidad, les pedimos a todos que sean diligentes al usar mascarilla en público, distanciamiento social, lavarse bien las manos, quedarse en casa cuando sea posible y, especialmente, quedarse en casa si no se siente bien.


July 22, 2020

Over the past few weeks, reported new cases of COVID-19 in Eddy County and statewide have sharply increased. Progress toward reopening has been rolled back, and there’s reason to be concerned that the effort to slow the spread will bring increasingly restrictive measures.

We’ve seen the burden of coronavirus mitigation orders. Many of us know people who have been out of work for an extended period due to the virus. We’re all aware, too, of locally owned businesses that have been struggling to continue. Fallout from tighter restrictions could mean some businesses never recover.

Economic concerns are valid. At the same time, the pandemic and efforts to control it need to be taken seriously. As of this writing, there have been a total of 187 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Eddy County, and of those, 124 are currently active. Four are hospitalized. The track record so far is that most Eddy County residents who’ve gotten COVID-19 have recovered at home, but a small percentage have become seriously ill. For those who become seriously ill, the disease can be devastating. Over the weekend we had our second Eddy County COVID-19 death.

There’s every reason to be vigilant in trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The virus is very contagious, treatments for those who catch it are far from perfect, and for some, the consequences are dire.

People are weary of the disruptions caused by COVID-19 precautions and just want life to get back to normal. Still, current guidance is simple. What are the main things being asked of us? Wear a face mask in public, wash hands thoroughly, practice social distancing and limit outings.

For your own safety, for the safety of your family members, for the sake of our community and New Mexico as a whole, please do.

Stay safe, stay healthy Artesia!

Marshall Baca, Jr., DO, COVID-19 Incident Commander & Emergency Medicine Director, and Artesia General Hospital Staff


22 de julio de 2020

En las últimas semanas, los nuevos casos reportados de COVID-19 en el condado de Eddy y en todo el estado han aumentado considerablemente. El progreso hacia la reapertura ha retrocedido, y hay razones para preocuparse de que el esfuerzo por frenar la propagación traerá medidas cada vez más restrictivas.

Hemos visto la carga de las órdenes de mitigación de coronavirus. Muchos de nosotros conocemos personas que han estado sin trabajo durante un período prolongado debido al virus. También todos somos conscientes de las empresas de propiedad local que han tenido dificultades para continuar. Las consecuencias de restricciones más estrictas podrían significar que algunas empresas nunca se recuperen.

Las preocupaciones económicas son válidas. Al mismo tiempo, la pandemia y los esfuerzos para controlarla deben tomarse en serio. Al escribir estas líneas, ha habido un total de 187 personas diagnosticadas con COVID-19 en el condado de Eddy, y de ellas, 124 están actualmente activas. Cuatro son hospitalizados. El historial hasta ahora es que la mayoría de los residentes del condado de Eddy que recibieron COVID-19 se han recuperado en sus hogares, pero un pequeño porcentaje se ha enfermado gravemente. Para aquellos que se enferman gravemente, la enfermedad puede ser devastadora. Durante el fin de semana tuvimos nuestra segunda muerte del Condado de Eddy COVID-19.

Hay muchas razones para estar alerta al tratar de prevenir la propagación de COVID-19. El virus es muy contagioso, los tratamientos para quienes lo contraen están lejos de ser perfectos y, para algunos, las consecuencias son nefastas.

Las personas están cansadas de las interrupciones causadas por las precauciones de COVID-19 y solo quieren que la vida vuelva a la normalidad. Aún así, la orientación actual es simple. ¿Cuáles son las principales cosas que nos piden? Use una máscara facial en público, lávese bien las manos, practique el distanciamiento social y limite las salidas.

Por su propia seguridad, por la seguridad de los miembros de su familia, por el bien de nuestra comunidad y de Nuevo México en general, por favor hágalo.

¡Mantente seguro, mantente saludable Artesia!

Marshall Baca, Jr., DO, COVID-19 Incident Commander & Director de Medicina de Emergencia, y Personal del Artesia General Hospital


May 15, 2020

As COVID-19 testing becomes more widespread, we can expect to see more positive cases in our area. Some of these cases will be asymptomatic—which means that the people carrying the virus will feel fine and show no symptoms, but will nevertheless be able to transmit the disease. Even though cases like these may not seem dangerous, they pose a great risk to the public health of our community.

Many of our friends and neighbors have been cooped up for weeks, and are now anxious to stop sheltering in place. New Mexico is beginning to open back up, so we can expect many more people to be out and about in public once again. But more activity and interpersonal contact means we run the risk of seeing a spike in transmission of COVID-19, especially if asymptomatic people remain untested.

As we return to our daily public lives, we need to take precautions and keep our community safe. Fortunately, there are positive things you can do to decrease your risk of contracting the virus. The recommendations many of us have heard over and over again still apply: social distancing, frequent handwashing, staying home when sick and limiting travel are all important. More recently, the CDC has recommended people wear cloth masks when in public places. This could help asymptomatic people from spreading the virus without knowing it.

We can all do our part to help keep Artesia, Eddy County and New Mexico safe and healthy as we step into this new phase of the pandemic together. For more information and updates about how Artesia General Hospital is helping, this site is a great resource.

Yours in good health,

Artesia General Hospital COVID-19 Incident Team


15 de mayo de 2020

A medida que las pruebas COVID-19 se generalicen, podemos esperar ver más casos positivos en nuestra área. Algunos de estos casos serán asintomáticos, lo que significa que las personas portadoras del virus se sentirán bien y no mostrarán síntomas, pero sin embargo podrán transmitir la enfermedad. Aunque casos como estos pueden no parecer peligrosos, representan un gran riesgo para la salud pública de nuestra comunidad.

Muchos de nuestros amigos y vecinos han estado encerrados durante semanas y ahora están ansiosos por dejar de refugiarse en el lugar. Nuevo México está comenzando a abrir una copia de seguridad, por lo que podemos esperar que muchas más personas salgan al público una vez más. Pero más actividad y contacto interpersonal significa que corremos el riesgo de ver un pico en la transmisión de COVID-19, especialmente si las personas asintomáticas permanecen sin probar.

A medida que volvemos a nuestra vida pública diaria, debemos tomar precauciones y mantener segura a nuestra comunidad. Afortunadamente, hay cosas positivas que puede hacer para disminuir su riesgo de contraer el virus. Las recomendaciones que muchos de nosotros hemos escuchado una y otra vez todavía se aplican: el distanciamiento social, el lavado frecuente de manos, quedarse en casa cuando está enfermo y limitar los viajes son importantes. Más recientemente, los CDC han recomendado que las personas usen máscaras de tela cuando estén en lugares públicos. Esto podría ayudar a las personas asintomáticas a propagar el virus sin saberlo.

Todos podemos hacer nuestra parte para ayudar a mantener a Artesia, el condado de Eddy y Nuevo México seguros y saludables a medida que avanzamos juntos en esta nueva fase de la pandemia. Para obtener más información y actualizaciones sobre cómo está ayudando el Hospital General de Artesia, este sitio es un gran recurso.

Tuyo en buena salud,

Equipo de incidentes COVID-19 del Hospital General de Artesia


May 9, 2020

The current state of COVID-19 antibody testing varies widely, but with good reason.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the virus was a newly-identified infectious agent. There were a lot of unknowns; and because it was so new, tests for the virus and its antibodies didn’t exist. But we had a public health emergency—and so, to make testing available as promptly as possible, FDA guidelines were relaxed. Companies were allowed to bring COVID-19 tests to market rapidly, before they’d undergone the rigorous testing ordinarily required.

Today, testing methods for active COVID-19 infections are well established, and have proven valuable in helping guide the clinical course of patients and slowing the spread of the disease.

More recently, antibody tests for COVID-19 have become available. Multiple companies have developed their own versions of the tests, and are offering them directly to the public. Ordinarily, antibody testing is considered the “gold standard” in identifying those who’ve had an illness and recovered, but the tests currently on the market vary in their quality. Some may give people a false sense of security, while some are simply not helpful at all.

For an antibody test to be meaningful, it must have high sensitivity and high specificity. Sensitivity is a measure of how well the test detects the target antibodies, while specificity measures how tightly targeted the test is. It is a measure of how resistant the test is to getting fooled by similar antibodies.

Sensitivity and specificity are both important. A test with low sensitivity could miss present antibodies, and could lead people who’ve had COVID-19 to think they haven’t contracted it. A test with low specificity can react to a non-COVID antibody and make people who have never had COVID-19 think otherwise. It is also important to remember that even the very best tests, which are not yet widely available, are only 96% to 98% accurate: really good, but not perfect.

If you are thinking of having a COVID-19 antibody test done, be sure you understand what the test means and what its limitations are. Be aware that many of the tests currently offered are meaningless. As time goes by, the good tests will likely be sorted from the poor ones. If you really want to get an antibody test, your best bet for now may be to wait.

In the meantime, follow current guidelines regarding social distancing, wash your hands well, limit your travel, stay home when you’re sick and potentially wear a face mask in public.


9 de mayo de 2020

El estado actual de las pruebas de anticuerpos COVID-19 varía ampliamente, pero con buenas razones.

Cuando llegó la pandemia de COVID-19, el virus era un agente infeccioso recientemente identificado. Había muchas incógnitas; y porque era tan nuevo, las pruebas para el virus y sus anticuerpos no existían. Pero tuvimos una emergencia de salud pública y, por lo tanto, para que las pruebas estén disponibles lo antes posible, las pautas de la FDA se relajaron. Se permitió a las empresas llevar las pruebas de COVID-19 al mercado rápidamente, antes de someterse a las rigurosas pruebas que normalmente se requieren.

Hoy en día, los métodos de prueba para detectar infecciones activas con COVID-19 están bien establecidos y han demostrado ser valiosos para ayudar a guiar el curso clínico de los pacientes y retrasar la propagación de la enfermedad.

Más recientemente, las pruebas de anticuerpos para COVID-19 están disponibles. Varias compañías han desarrollado sus propias versiones de las pruebas y las están ofreciendo directamente al público. Por lo general, las pruebas de anticuerpos se consideran el “estándar de oro” para identificar a aquellos que han tenido una enfermedad y se han recuperado, pero las pruebas que actualmente se encuentran en el mercado varían en su calidad. Algunos pueden dar a las personas una falsa sensación de seguridad, mientras que otros simplemente no son útiles en absoluto.

Para que una prueba de anticuerpos sea significativa, debe tener alta sensibilidad y alta especificidad. La sensibilidad es una medida de qué tan bien la prueba detecta los anticuerpos objetivo, mientras que la especificidad mide qué tan estrechamente dirigida está la prueba. Es una medida de cuán resistente es la prueba a dejarse engañar por anticuerpos similares.

La sensibilidad y la especificidad son importantes. Una prueba con baja sensibilidad podría pasar por alto los anticuerpos presentes y podría hacer que las personas que hayan tenido COVID-19 piensen que no lo han contraído. Una prueba con baja especificidad puede reaccionar a un anticuerpo no COVID y hacer que las personas que nunca han tenido COVID-19 piensen lo contrario. También es importante recordar que incluso las mejores pruebas, que aún no están ampliamente disponibles, tienen una precisión del 96% al 98%: realmente buenas, pero no perfectas.

Si está pensando en hacerse una prueba de anticuerpos COVID-19, asegúrese de comprender lo que significa la prueba y cuáles son sus limitaciones. Tenga en cuenta que muchas de las pruebas que se ofrecen actualmente no tienen sentido. Con el paso del tiempo, las buenas pruebas probablemente se clasificarán de las malas. Si realmente desea hacerse una prueba de anticuerpos, su mejor apuesta por ahora puede ser esperar.

Mientras tanto, siga las pautas actuales sobre distanciamiento social, lávese bien las manos, limite su viaje, quédese en casa cuando esté enfermo y posiblemente use una máscara facial en público.


May 5, 2020

On Sunday, May 3, Artesia General Hospital learned that an Artesia resident tested positive for COVID-19 at our temporary Urgent Care Clinic. This clinic was established by Artesia General Hospital to screen possible COVID-19 cases, and it is our understanding that since testing positive, the patient is now at home and under quarantine.

At Artesia General Hospital, we are doing everything we can to keep the number of COVID-19 cases in Eddy County low. There have been few cases so far, and as restrictions in our area are eased, it will take all of us to keep it that way. Here are a few ways you can help keep this disease in check:

      • Social distancing (keeping at least six feet between yourself and other people)
      • Washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds
      • Covering your coughs and sneezes
      • Staying home, especially if you feel sick
      • Limiting travel
      • Wearing a cloth mask when in public

And although you may be tired of hearing about these measures, they’re still the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community as we battle this virus together.


5 de mayo de 2020

El domingo 3 de mayo, el Hospital General de Artesia se enteró de que un residente de Artesia dio positivo por COVID-19 en nuestra clínica temporal de atención de urgencia. Esta clínica fue establecida por el Hospital General de Artesia para detectar posibles casos de COVID-19, y entendemos que, dado que las pruebas dieron positivo, el paciente ahora está en casa y en cuarentena.

En el Hospital General de Artesia, estamos haciendo todo lo posible para mantener baja la cantidad de casos de COVID-19 en el condado de Eddy. Ha habido pocos casos hasta ahora, y a medida que se alivian las restricciones en nuestra área, nos tomará a todos mantenerlo así. Aquí hay algunas maneras en que puede ayudar a mantener esta enfermedad bajo control:

      • Distanciamiento social (mantener al menos seis pies entre usted y otras personas)
      • Lavarse bien las manos durante al menos 20 segundos
      • Cubriendo sus toses y estornudos
      • Quedarse en casa, especialmente si se siente enfermo
      • Limitando el viaje
      • Usar una máscara de tela cuando está en público

Y aunque es posible que esté cansado de escuchar sobre estas medidas, siguen siendo la mejor manera de protegerse a sí mismo, a su familia y a su comunidad mientras luchamos juntos contra este virus.


April 10, 2020

Artesia General Hospital would like to thank the community for its continued support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that our hospital continues to work diligently on processes in order to maximize the safety of our patients.

We would like to inform you that Memorial Family Practice has temporarily opened an alternative office, which is located in Suite H across from the main hospital. Memorial Family Practice will staff this location from 8am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. This location will receive patients who have general respiratory or COVID-19 related symptoms. Please contact Memorial Family Practice at 575.746.3119 for more details.

We applaud you for your efforts and being compliant with stay at home orders. It is crucial that you continue to practice frequent hand washing and social distancing. We are confident that, with hard work, the City of Artesia and our surrounding areas can become leading examples of how we can make a difference in diminishing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


10 de abril de 2020

El Hospital General de Artesia desea agradecer a la comunidad por su continuo apoyo durante la pandemia COVID-19. Tenga en cuenta que nuestro hospital continúa trabajando diligentemente en los procesos para maximizar la seguridad de nuestros pacientes.

Nos gustaría informarle que Memorial Family Practice ha abierto temporalmente una oficina alternativa, que se encuentra en la Suite H frente al hospital principal. Memorial Family Practice atenderá este lugar de 8 a.m. a 6 p.m., de lunes a viernes. Esta ubicación recibirá pacientes con síntomas respiratorios generales o relacionados con COVID-19. Comuníquese con Memorial Family Practice al 575.746.3119 para obtener más detalles.

Le aplaudimos por sus esfuerzos y por cumplir con los pedidos de quedarse en casa. Es crucial que continúe practicando lavado de manos frecuente y distanciamiento social. Estamos seguros de que, con mucho trabajo, la Ciudad de Artesia y nuestras áreas circundantes pueden convertirse en ejemplos destacados de cómo podemos hacer una diferencia en la disminución de la propagación del virus COVID-19.


April 2, 2020

In our most recent efforts to address the current COVID-19 crisis, this week Artesia General Hospital will open a new Urgent Care Center soon. This Urgent Care Center will allow more healthcare resources to be immediately available to the community as we deal with the impacts of the coronavirus on our area.

Artesia General Hospital prepared for the arrival of COVID-19 by developing a multi-stage plan geared to address the community needs as this crisis unfolds. The first phases of the plan were put in place two weeks ago, before there were any known cases in Eddy County. As events surrounding COVID-19 play out, we are ready to respond to evolving needs.

Some early and more obvious changes have already taken place, including limited access points to the hospital. The general public must enter via the main entrance, Emergency Room and Memorial Family Practice only. Moving through the hospital, some areas that were ordinarily open are now restricted. All hospital employees are now wearing masks, including those who do not work in clinical areas. In addition, temperature checks on employees are done once a day; and for some employees at higher risk, twice a shift.

New signs have been posted at each entry door indicating what to do if you think you have COVID-19, or if you have been to an area that is COVID-19 hotspot.

Patients and visitors arriving at Artesia General Hospital will soon notice changes in the usual traffic pattern as well, including barriers placed to direct the flow of vehicles. This is in preparation for a surge of COVID-19 cases, so people get used to it ahead of time. We have to be ready and prepared.

Elective procedures and office visits have been canceled, and only essential medical visits and surgeries are currently permitted. If you think you need to see your doctor, please call your provider’s office. If you do need to be seen, you will be given instructions that include waiting in your vehicle until your provider can see you.

Every person is important in controlling the spread. Do your best to avoid being exposed. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water. Practice social distancing by staying home as much as possible. If you’re sick, stay home.

If you think you might have COVID-19, please call the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) hotline at 1.855.600.3453.


2 de abril de 2020

En nuestros esfuerzos más recientes para abordar la crisis actual de COVID-19, esta semana el Hospital General de Artesia abrirá un nuevo Centro de Atención de Urgencia. Este Centro de Atención Urgente permitirá que más recursos sanitarios estén inmediatamente disponibles para la comunidad a medida que libamos con los impactos del coronavirus en nuestra área.

El Hospital General de Artesia se preparó para la llegada de COVID-19 mediante el desarrollo de un plan multietapa orientado a atender las necesidades de la comunidad a medida que se desarrolla esta crisis. Las primeras fases del plan se pusieron en marcha hace dos semanas, antes de que se conocieran casos en el condado de Eddy. A medida que se desarrollan los eventos que rodean a COVID-19, estamos listos para responder a las necesidades cambiantes.

Ya se han producido algunos cambios tempranos y más evidentes, incluidos los puntos de acceso limitados al hospital. El público en general debe entrar a través de la entrada principal, la sala de emergencias y Memorial Family Practice solamente. Pasando por el hospital, algunas áreas que normalmente estaban abiertas ahora están restringidas. Todos los empleados del hospital ahora usan máscaras, incluyendo aquellos que no trabajan en áreas clínicas. Además, los controles de temperatura de los empleados se realizan una vez al día, y para algunos empleados con mayor riesgo, dos veces por turno.

Se han publicado nuevos letreros en cada puerta de entrada indicando qué hacer si crees que tienes CV19 o si has estado en un área que es CV19 hotspot.

Los pacientes y visitantes que lleguen a AGH pronto notarán cambios en el patrón de tráfico habitual, incluyendo barreras colocadas para dirigir el flujo de vehículos. Esto está en preparación para una oleada de casos CV19, por lo que la gente se acostumbra antes de tiempo. Tenemos que estar preparados y preparados.

Los procedimientos electivos y las visitas al consultorio han sido cancelados, y actualmente solo se permiten visitas médicas y cirugías esenciales. Si cree que necesita ver a su médico, llame al consultorio de su proveedor. Si necesita ser visto, se le darán instrucciones que incluyen esperar en su vehículo hasta que el médico pueda verlo.

Cada persona es importante para controlar el diferencial. Haga todo lo posible para evitar ser expuesto. Lávese las manos a menudo durante al menos 20 segundos con agua y jabón. Practique el distanciamiento social permaneciendo en casa tanto como sea posible. Si estás enfermo, quédate en casa.

Si cree que podría tener COVID-19, llame a la línea directa del Departamento de Salud de Nuevo México al 1.855.600.3453.


March 30, 2020

On behalf of Artesia and Carlsbad Health Care communities, we would like to thank the public for their work on social distancing. We have observed social distancing throughout Eddy County… but the work is NOT DONE!

We need to double down in our efforts to contain the coronavirus.

We are NOWHERE NEAR the anticipated spike in virus activity IN OUR STATE.

A recent study by the University of Washington has projections for evolution of coronavirus cases in New Mexico. The following are figures projected for New Mexico:

      • Peak (SEVERE ILLNESS) “hospital resource use” will be April 25th
      • By April 15th, they anticipate we will see more than 10 deaths per day in New Mexico
      • By peak activity, we will see more than 15 deaths per day throughout the state
      • Anticipated overall New Mexico deaths are GREATER THAN 500!

At a time when we have just recently recorded the first death within Eddy County, we would like nothing more than to prove the projected figures wrong by contributing to the safety of ALL community members, YOUNG & OLD. We again ask that everyone PLEASE self-isolate when possible. Continue social distancing when absolutely necessary to be out of your home, and WASH YOUR HANDS PLEASE!!

On behalf of Artesia General Hospital Staff,

Your Friends,


Marshall Baca, Jr., DO
COVID-19 Incident Commander &
Emergency Medicine Director

Joe Salgado, MD
Chief of Staff
Memorial Family Clinic

Marshall G. Baca, MD
Vice Chief of Staff
Orthopedics

 


30 de marzo de 2020

En nombre de las comunidades de Artesia y Carlsbad Health Care, nos gustaría dar las gracias al público por su trabajo en el distanciamiento social. Hemos observado el distanciamiento social en todo el condado de Eddy…pero el trabajo NO es HECHO!

Tenemos que doblar en nuestros esfuerzos por contener el coronavirus.

NO ESTAMOS CERCA DEL pico anticipado de la actividad del virus EN NUESTRO ESTADO.

Un estudio reciente de la Universidad de Washington tiene proyecciones para la evolución de los casos de coronavirus en Nuevo México. Las siguientes son cifras proyectadas para Nuevo México:

      • Peak (SEVERE ILLNESS) “uso de recursos hospitalarios” 25 de abril
      • Para el 15 de abril, anticipan que veremos más de 10 muertes por día en Nuevo México
      • Por actividad máxima, veremos más de 15 muertes por día en todo el estado
      • ¡Se prevé que las muertes generales de Nuevo México SEAN MAYORES DE 500!

En un momento en que acabamos de registrar la primera muerte dentro del condado de Eddy, no nos gustaría nada más que probar que las cifras proyectadas son erróneas al contribuir a la seguridad de TODOS los miembros de la comunidad, YOUNG & OLD. Volvemos a pedir que todos se esten en su casa todo lo mas posible. Continúe el distanciamiento social cuando sea absolutamente necesario para estar fuera de su casa, y LAVAR SUS MANOS POR FAVOR!!

En nombre del Personal del Hospital General de Artesia,

Su Amigos,


Marshall Baca, Jr., DO
COVID-19 Incident Commander &
Emergency Medicine Director

Joe Salgado, MD
Chief of Staff
Memorial Family Clinic

Marshall G. Baca, MD
Vice Chief of Staff
Orthopedics


March 27, 2020

Eddy County has received a second positive test result for COVID-19, according to officials with the New Mexico Department of Health.

Eddy County officials received confirmation of the positive test results early Friday morning. The patient, whose name is not being released, was tested at Artesia General Hospital and is currently being quarantined.

Statewide, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 191 as of Friday afternoon, including the two in Eddy County.

Leadership at Artesia General Hospital anticipated the arrival of the virus and has implemented a comprehensive, multi-level plan to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. This phased plan is aimed at properly caring for all
patients, including those who might have COVID-19; protecting patients and caregivers; and actively preventing the spread of the virus.

The community is asked to do their part. Artesia residents are urged to continue following the public health orders of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), as well as CDC guidelines: wash your hands often, use social distancing, stay home if you’re sick, and cover coughs and sneezes.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms and think you may have contracted coronavirus, please call the NMDOH Coronavirus Hotline for screening: 1.855.600.3453. If you are having trouble breathing, please go the emergency room.


March 25, 2020

It is with great sorrow that we have to announce the death of an Artesia resident on Monday as a result of COVID-19. The patient was admitted to Artesia General Hospital on Sunday, March 22, presenting symptoms of the virus. He was tested and his results were expedited, which came back positive this morning from the New Mexico Department of Health.

Many of us share the family’s grief; and on behalf of Artesia General Hospital, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the patient’s family.

We are conducting ongoing tests and awaiting results, but at this time we have not received any additional positives. It is important to note that it can take up to seven days to receive test results, so additional positive results are possible. We continue to work diligently with the New Mexico Department of Health to release pertinent information to the community.

Leadership at Artesia General Hospital anticipated the arrival of the virus and has implemented a comprehensive, multi-level plan to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. This phased plan is aimed at properly caring for all patients, including those who might have COVID-19; protecting patients and caregivers; and actively preventing the spread of the virus.

The community is asked to do their part. Artesia citizens are urged to continue following the public health orders of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), as well as CDC guidelines: wash your hands often, use social distancing, stay home if you’re sick, and cover coughs and sneezes.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms and think you may have contracted coronavirus, please call the NMDOH Coronavirus Hotline for screening: 1.855.600.3453. If you are having trouble breathing, please go the emergency room.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Artesia General Hospital


March 16, 2020

With things moving so quickly, and anxieties in our area increased, we wanted to take a moment to update you on the latest regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region. Along with countless members of the medical community in Artesia and across the nation, we are working tirelessly to stay updated with evolving recommendations to help slow the spread of this virus.

First, please continue to visit the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) website, cv.nmhealth.org, for the most up-to-date information and guidelines to avoid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Second, below are current procedures in place at Artesia General Hospital to protect our patients, community and staff:

      • Visitor Restrictions: Access to the hospital is currently limited to employees only, and those who are critically ill. To prevent the unnecessary spread of COVID-19, we are limiting visitors to the hospital to one visitor per patient, and only if assistance is needed.
      • Routine Visits Postponed: Elective surgeries and routine visits are currently postponed to protect staff and patients; you will be contacted by your provider’s office to reschedule.
      • Outpatient Clinics: Outpatient clinics are continuing to see patients on an urgent basis only, but are utilizing electronic means of communication with patients for non-urgent appointments.
      • Enter Through the Emergency Department: It is important that we are able to limit and control the number of people coming into the hospital; so for the time being, we will only use one entrance at the Emergency Department. Hospital staff and unarmed security guards will greet patients and visitors there, and provide direction on where to go for their appointment as needed.
      • Employee Safety: All staff and employees wear masks, and are educated daily on proper PPE (personal protective equipment) usage. We are closely monitoring employees who have traveled out of the state or country.
      • Social Distancing: In accordance with recommendations from the NMDOH, we are asking everyone in our community to practice social distancing and other common sense hygiene practices. This is the best way to help slow down the spread of this highly contagious virus in an attempt to “flatten the curve” and protect the vulnerable among us.
      • Hand Washing: Continue to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to reduce the spread of the disease. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Our team at Artesia General Hospital is doing what we can to protect the safety of our staff, community and visitors. Board-certified emergency medical director, Marshall Baca, Jr., DO, is leading emergency preparedness efforts; his team follows the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NMDOH to monitor the situation daily.

We will continue to provide updates via email and our website as the situation develops. Please continue to check cv.nmhealth.org for the latest information and guidelines about COVID-19 and its impact and spread in our state.

COVID-19 Test Results in Eddy County

as of January 26, 2021, 4:00pm MT

Positive 5,786
Active Cases 2,920
Hospitalized Cases 10
Total Tests* 45,182**
COVID-Related Deaths in Eddy County 96
Recovered 2,895

*Numbers are cumulative persons tested through January 26, 2021. Test results are from the state Scientific Laboratory Division of the New Mexico Department of Health, TriCore Reference Laboratories, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, and BioReference Laboratories.

**This number only includes Eddy County Residents tested in Artesia and Carlsbad.

COVID-19 Test Results at Artesia General Hospital

as of January 26, 2021, 4:00pm MT

Positive 782^
Total Tests 5,822
Pending 10
COVID-Related Deaths 31
Recovered 850

^This number includes positive cases in both Eddy and Chaves Counties.