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Crowded testing clinic hints at fears that Omicron spike will reach Yucatán

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A lab that offers coronavirus tests was packed with customers on Tuesday morning. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The Omicron surge in the United States, Europe, and everywhere else tourists in Yucatán come from, has the Peninsula on edge.

The Yucatán Peninsula is under the low-risk “green” alert, and social gatherings have returned along with crowded streets, shops and restaurants.

Now the crowds have formed at places like the Salud Digna Altabrisa, where people with worrying symptoms have lined up out the door and down the street.

A technician at the clinic, which performs coronavirus testing, has been “going crazy” over the past couple of days.

As the countdown to Christmas Eve winds down, churches are preparing for outdoor worship.

Just as the pandemic reached Yucatán later than the United States and Canada, fears are rising that areas north of the border are again foreshadowing a crisis here.

Hospital data in Yucatán has been encouraging in the weeks leading to Christmas. Daily infections have been below 20 since the middle of the month, often in single digits. Public hospitalizations have also steadily dropped.

Meanwhile, in places like New York, which flies tourists to Mexico daily, the coronavirus surge is alarming public officials, shutting down entertainment venues and casting doubt about how the city will usher in 2022 on Times Square.

Revelers were looking forward to a post-pandemic celebration. But those aspirations were crushed when two variants emerged while vaccinations were still underway.

Omicron reached the United States sometime around Dec. 1. By Dec. 21, the more easily-spread variant was now the most dominant strain there, accounting for over 73% of new coronavirus cases.

In Yucatán, daily coronavirus cases this week have ranged from three on Monday to 18 on Wednesday, state health officials said.

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