With a new public health order going into effect tomorrow, New Mexico health officials reported 126 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the statewide total so far to 25,042.

Both Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties had 22 new cases, followed by Lea County with 14 and San Juan County with 11.

Santa Fe County had three new cases. In response to questions from SFR regarding Santa Fe County's rising cases in prior weeks (last Sunday, Santa Fe's 19 new cases were the highest count statewide), Human Services Department Communications Director Jodi McGinnis Porter says they do not appear related to out-of-state visitors.

"The cases from Santa Fe County do not appear to be tourists," McGinnis Porter writes via email. "They are mostly younger adults. We have not identified a single contact or event in common. Likely this is community spread, so we need to stress mask use, social distancing and adherence to the COVID-19 Safe Practices."

During a COVID-19 news briefing on Aug. 20, state epidemiologist Chad Smelser, in response to questions from another media outlet regarding the county's increased case rate, hypothesized about possible causes, although he noted he did not have an exact answer for the county's higher case count.

"We probably don't know exactly," Smelser said, "but the general consensus among groups [is that] Santa Fe is a regional center, so we attract people from the surrounding areas to come in, so we might be getting some spread from other areas…but the other thing is, it's a tourist destination…which also could influence our rates."

Smelser's answers, however, as reported in the Santa Fe New Mexican, appeared to bolster the conclusion that tourism was contributing to Santa Fe's recent rise in cases compared with surrounding counties.

"Just to clarify," McGinnis Porter writes to SFR, "the original statement was an idea/working hypothesis about how the virus got into Santa Fe. We are a regional hub, tourists, plus large connection to Bernalillo County. It was not meant to identify the exact cause of increasing cases in Santa Fe County."

The state also announced three additional deaths today from Bernalillo, Otero and Quay counties. There have now been 767 fatalities.

As of today, 72 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*

As of today, the state is meeting six of its eight gating criteria, with its effective rate of spread statewide rising to 1.07, past the target of 1.05. As of yesterday, three regions had pushed the rate up: the Metro area—which includes Bernalillo County—rose to 1.23 and the Northeast region—which includes Santa Fe County—had risen to 1.17. The Northwest region is at 1.11.

The state also has not been meeting its goal of contacting those who have been in proximity of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 36 hours and has been taking 47 hours on average. Some of this is due to challenges in reaching people.
The health department also issued new COVID-19 guidance today, directed toward the public, healthcare providers and employers. “Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in New Mexico” includes sections explaining COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread; explanations about self-isolation protocol and recovery; workplace and healthcare regulations; and details the state’s current public health orders.

"This guidance is designed to help New Mexico understand as much as can possibly be understood about COVID-19 and the Department of Health's guidance until a time when we have a widely administered vaccine that prevents the spread of COVID-19 among our states' residents," Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel said in a news release.

New cases

  • 22 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 16 new cases in Chaves County
  • 5 new cases in Curry County
  • 22 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 10 new cases in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Grant County
  • 14 new cases in Lea County
  • 2 new cases in Los Alamos County
  • 4 new cases in Luna County
  • 8 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Otero County
  • 3 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 2 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 11 new cases in San Juan County
  • 3 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 2 new cases in Valencia County

New fatalities

  • A male in his 90s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque
  • A female in her 30s from Otero County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 80s from Quay County who had underlying conditions

Congregate facilities

The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following facilities:

  • Adobe Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Advantage Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
  • Artesia Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Artesia
  • Atria Vista del Rio in Albuquerque
  • Avamere at Roswell in Roswell
  • Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bloomfield
  • Brookdale Santa Fe in Santa Fe
  • Camino Healthcare in Albuquerque
  • Casa del Sol Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa de Paz Senior Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Casa Maria Health Care Center in Roswell
  • Casa Real in Santa Fe
  • Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobbs
  • Good Samaritan Society Grants in Grants
  • Good Samaritan Society Las Cruces in Las Cruces
  • Good Samaritan Society – Manzano del Sol Village in Albuquerque
  • Good Samaritan Society Socorro in Socorro
  • Harmony Residential Care in Rio Rancho
  • Heartfelt Manor in Roswell
  • Heritage Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Ladera Center in Albuquerque
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque
  • Life Care Center of Farmington in Farmington
  • LifeSpire Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Lovington Healthcare in Lovington
  • McKinley Care Center in Gallup
  • Mescalero Care Center in Mescalero
  • Mission Arch Center in Roswell
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho
  • New Mexico State Veterans’ Home in Truth or Consequences
  • North Ridge Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Albuquerque
  • Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Fe
  • Palmilla Senior Living in Albuquerque
  • Princeton Place in Albuquerque
  • Ravenna Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • The Rehab Center of Albuquerque in Albuquerque
  • Retirement Ranches in Clovis
  • The Rio at Las Estancias in Albuquerque
  • Rio Rancho Center in Rio Rancho
  • Saint Anthony Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Clovis
  • Sagecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Las Cruces
  • Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque
  • San Juan Center in Farmington
  • Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Los Alamos
  • Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites in Albuquerque
  • Sunset Vista Adult Residential Care in Silver City
  • Tender Heart Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Welbrook Senior Living Las Cruces in Las Cruces
  • West Ridge Village in Albuquerque
  • Wheatfields Senior Living in Clovis

Statewide cases

According to a state news release, previously reported numbers included three cases that have been identified as duplicates: one in Doña Ana County, one in Lea County and one in San Juan County. One case in Taos County was not lab confirmed; these have been corrected for the county totals. Additionally, one case previously reported in Otero County has been identified as a New Mexico Corrections Department inmate at the Otero County Prison Facility and has now been corrected. County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 5,743
  • Catron County: 5
  • Chaves County: 679
  • Cibola County: 396
  • Colfax County: 19
  • Curry County: 660
  • Doña Ana County: 2,793
  • Eddy County: 476
  • Grant County: 79
  • Guadalupe County: 32
  • Harding County: 2
  • Hidalgo County: 97
  • Lea County: 1,097
  • Lincoln County: 166
  • Los Alamos County: 27
  • Luna County: 311
  • McKinley County: 4,178
  • Mora County: 6
  • Otero County: 218
  • Quay County: 60
  • Rio Arriba County: 353
  • Roosevelt County: 198
  • Sandoval County: 1,236
  • San Juan County: 3,177
  • San Miguel County: 77
  • Santa Fe County: 809
  • Sierra County: 37
  • Socorro County: 77
  • Taos County: 115
  • Torrance County: 63
  • Union County: 31
  • Valencia County: 506

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 324
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 280
  • Otero County Processing Center: 159
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 44

Cases among people being held by the New Mexico Department of Corrections

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 28
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 4
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 1
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 473
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

*Per the health department, hospitalization figures include people who were tested elsewhere but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but don't include people who were tested here but are hospitalized out of state.