Thirteen confirmed coronavirus cases of Omicron variant were confirmed in a brief video posted on social media by Yucatán Health Secretary Mauricio Sauri Vivas.
The first such case was detected Wednesday. In the United States, the variant has been dominating caseloads for weeks.
With New Year’s Eve celebrations quickly approaching, the official called on residents to behave with restraint.
But Yucatán’s official alert level remained in “green,” so holiday activities can legally go on as planned. Tourists filled the streets of Mérida’s Centro on Thursday, many of them unmasked.
New COVID-19 cases on Thursday shot up to 62 after a low of three as recently as Dec. 20. But hospitalizations actually declined by one. Fifty patients were added to the quarantine list, indicating that most of the infected had mild symptoms.
Quarantines have more than doubled since Dec. 23, reaching 326 on Thursday.
The official urged residents to be open to coronavirus tracking.
“Our health and economic recovery depend on us giving seriousness and importance to this issue. Let’s not lower our guard,” said Sauri Vivas.