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COVID cases are rising while Yucatán celebrates the holidays

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Updated 6:20 p.m. Wednesday with updated data

Coronavirus infections have quadrupled in a week, Yucatán health department data shows. The increase has intensified since the days approaching Christmas Eve.

After two weeks of daily new infections in the single digits and teens, authorities tracked down 52 new cases Tuesday and 48 on Wednesday compared to 12 on Dec. 23.

That could be a blip, but there are other worrying data.

Since Christmas Eve, hospitalizations have gone up 61%, although overall numbers are still relatively low. New admissions at public hospitals on Wednesday totaled 37.

The rise of residents and visitors with mild symptoms but ordered to stay home under quarantine is more dramatic. Only 100 people were recovering at home with mild symptoms on Friday. The latest data indicates a 176% jump to 276 patients.

Yucatán and the rest of Mexico continue to operate under a low-level alert known as the green traffic light. Cruise ships with COVID-19 positive passengers will be allowed to disembark in Mexico, federal authorities said Tuesday.

“In accordance with the biosafety protocols established in the national and international spheres, the government of Mexico will receive in its maritime ports cruise ships that request to dock in our country,” a press release states.

A cruise ship that was prevented from docking at Puerto Vallarta will be allowed to dock farther north, the government said.

Mexico, which relies heavily on tourist revenue, has no coronavirus testing requirement for entry.

The federal health secretary, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, has downplayed the newer Omicron variant, noting that while it is more transmissible, it “produces less serious illness.”

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