While most New Mexico counties have lowered their daily COVID-19 case counts and rates of infection, state officials worry the upcoming holiday season may bring a surge of cases come January.

After all, as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham noted in today's weekly briefing: "You can't wear a mask and eat a biscochito."

With that in mind, officials are asking New Mexicans to celebrate a Zoom Christmas and hold out for more normal celebrations next year when COVID-19 vaccines will have hopefully penetrated enough of the population to allow for a return to some degree of normalcy.

"We just need to hang on," New Mexico's Health Secretary-designee Dr. Tracie Collins said, prior to encouraging residents to continue practicing COVID-safe practices such as social distancing and mask wearing. "We are not out of the woods."

For now, all 33 counties remain in the red category of the state's new red-to-green framework, which evaluates a daily per-capita case rate of eight or less per 100,000 population and a test positivity rate of 5% or less. Counties meeting one criteria can move to yellow, which expands various restrictions, such as capacity limits for businesses and ability to have indoor dining. Counties must meet both criteria to move to green, which has even more expanded opportunities. The state will be updating the map indicating counties' status every other Wednesday, with the next update scheduled for Dec. 30.

However, the majority of counties—27— showed improvement in at least one of the categories and 23 counties—including Santa Fe—improved in both.

"The vast majority of the state is moving collectively and comprehensively together not just to get to yellow but to get to green," Lujan Grisham said. "These are the kinds of productive signs we were frankly hoping for and…it's exactly what we said would occur if we took the actions that we did."

The governor also detailed economic relief packages the state has administered, including $1,200 unemployment payments, business grants and direct support for emergency housing.

The big news of the week, of course, was the start of vaccination efforts for New Mexico's front-line health care workers. The state received 17,550 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and anticipates receiving a second shipment of unknown quantity next week. Pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the state also expects to receive shipments of the Moderna vaccine.

The logistics of vaccine distribution—which the governor described as a "nightmare"— include a lack of specific information from the federal government thus far about dosage amounts and schedules. Collins said she was in the process of setting up an online dashboard that will show reporting for New Mexico's receipt and distribution of vaccines as more become available.

Today's update came as health officials today reported 1,702 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 126,045. Of those, the health department has designated 50,784 as recovered.

Bernalillo County led with 537 new cases, followed by Sandoval County with 155 and 140 in Doña Ana County. Santa Fe County had 56 new cases. As of today, 852 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*

The state also announced 48 new fatalities, a new record for deaths in a single day, including four from Santa Fe County:

  • A female in her 70s who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 50s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 70s who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 90s who had underlying conditions

"Too many New Mexicans will lose their lives to this deadly virus," Lujan Grisham said, noting that it had taken the state 234 days to reach 1,000 COVID-19 deaths and just 48 days to add an additional 1,000. "Hospitalizations are way too high. I need all of us to recognize what the risks really are and how quickly this virus spreads and if we don't bring the prevalence down, we will continue to be talking about these dire circumstances week after week."

Despite the high deaths today, the governor noted that the county-level improvements are signs of the improvements that can occur in short periods of time.

"Is two weeks really enough time to turn things around?" she asked rhetorically. "The answer, unequivocally, is yes, let's keep it up…I'm really proud of New Mexico. We need to brace ourselves for the rest of December and early January, but this says we're changing the trajectory and we're saving lives and I'm really incredibly encouraged by how well we're doing."

New cases

  • 537 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 28 new cases in Chaves County
  • 15 new cases in Cibola County
  • 8 new cases in Colfax County
  • 31 new cases in Curry County
  • 2 new cases in De Baca County
  • 140 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 38 new cases in Eddy County
  • 28 new cases in Grant County
  • 4 new cases in Guadalupe County
  • 1 new case in Hidalgo County
  • 75 new cases in Lea County
  • 4 new cases in Lincoln County
  • 5 new cases in Los Alamos County
  • 11 new cases in Luna County
  • 94 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Mora County
  • 31 new cases in Otero County
  • 2 new cases in Quay County
  • 75 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 29 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 155 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 90 new cases in San Juan County
  • 10 new cases in San Miguel County
  • 56 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 4 new cases in Sierra County
  • 9 new cases in Socorro County
  • 13 new cases in Taos County
  • 7 new cases in Torrance County
  • 3 new cases in Union County
  • 121 new cases in Valencia County
  • 1 new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County
  • 28 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Guadalupe County Correctional Facility
  • 2 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility
  • 1 new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County
  • 21 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County
  • 22 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County

New fatalities

  • A female in her 40s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 50s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 70s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Camino Healthcare facility in Albuquerque
  • A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A second female in her 40s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 90s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Life Spire Assisted Living Albuquerque facility
  • A second female in her 90s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society – Manzano del Sol Village in Albuquerque
  • A male in his 50s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A second male in his 50s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized
  • A second male in his 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A third male in his 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized, had underlying conditions and was a resident of Advanced Health Care in Albuquerque
  • A male in his 70s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 40s from Chaves County who was hospitalized
  • A female in her 70s from Chaves County who was a resident of Sunset Villa Care Center in Roswell
  • A female in her 70s from Doña Ana County who was a resident of The Arbors of Del Rey in Las Cruces facility
  • A female in her 80s from Doña Ana County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • A female in her 90s from Doña Ana County who was a resident of the Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • A male in his 40s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 60s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 80s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 70s from Eddy County who was a resident of the White Sands Healthcare in Hobbs facility
  • A female in her 70s from Hidalgo County who was hospitalized
  • A female in her 50s from Lea County who was a resident of the White Sands Healthcare in Hobbs facility
  • A male in his 60s from Lea County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 50s from Luna County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 50s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 70s from Otero County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 80s from Rio Arriba County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A second female in her 80s from Rio Arriba County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 50s from Sandoval County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 60s from Sandoval County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 80s from San Juan County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 90s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and a resident of Aztec Healthcare in Aztec
  • A female in her 90s from San Miguel County
  • A female in her 70s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 50s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 70s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 90s from Santa Fe County who had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 70s from Sierra County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • A female in her 70s from Sierra County who was a resident of the New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • A male in her 70s from Sierra County who was a resident of the New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • A male in his 80s from Sierra County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • A male in his 90s from Sierra County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • A male in his 80s from Socorro County who was hospitalized
  • A female in her 80s from Taos County who was hospitalized
  • A female in her 90s from Taos County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Taos Living Center

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 Grand Senior Living
  • Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
  • The Aldea House – Heaven Sent LLC in Albuquerque
  • The Arbors of Del Rey in Las Cruces
  • Artesia Healthcare and Rehabilitation
  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Community in Alamogordo
  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Community in Las Cruces
  • Aspen Care Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Atria Vista Del Rio in Albuquerque
  • Avamere at Fiesta Park in Albuquerque
  • Avamere at Rio Rancho
  • Avamere at Roswell
  • Aztec Healthcare in Aztec
  • Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • BeeHive Homes Alamogordo
  • BeeHive Homes Bosque Farms
  • BeeHive Homes Deming
  • BeeHive Homes Farmington
  • BeeHive Homes Gallup
  • BeeHive Homes Roswell
  • BeeHive Homes Portales
  • BeeHive Homes San Pedro in Albuquerque
  • BeeHive Homes Volcano Cliffs in Albuquerque
  • Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Belen
  • Blue Horizon Boutique Assisted Living & Memory Care in Las Cruces
  • Brookdale Santa Fe
  • Brookdale Valencia Albuquerque
  • Calibre Sagecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Las Cruces
  • Camino Retirement Homes in Albuquerque
  • Care Free Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Casa Arena Blanca Nursing Center in Alamogordo
  • Casa del Sol Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa Palo Duro in Albuquerque
  • Casa de Palomas in Albuquerque
  • Casa de Paz in Rio Rancho
  • Casa de Rosa in Albuquerque
  • Casa Maria Health Care Center in Roswell
  • Casa Mis Abuelos in Albuquerque
  • Casa Real in Santa Fe
  • Casa Sandia in Albuquerque
  • Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington
  • Cielos Abiertos Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Clayton Nursing and Rehabilitation
  • Colfax Long Term Care Center in Springer
  • Cuesta Manor in Albuquerque
  • Desert Peaks Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobbs
  • El Castillo in Santa Fe
  • Elite Senior Care Kathryn House in Albuquerque
  • Fairwinds Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Fort Bayard Medical Center in Santa Clara
  • Golden Hands Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Good Life Senior Living in Lovington
  • Good Life Senior Living in Artesia
  • Good Life Senior Living in Carlsbad
  • Good Life Senior Living in Hobbs
  • Good Samaritan Society – Manzano del Sol Village in Albuquerque
  • Good Samaritan Society Grants
  • Good Samaritan Society Las Cruces
  • Good Samaritan Society Socorro
  • Haciendas of Grace Village in Las Cruces
  • Hannett House in Albuquerque
  • Haven Care – Birch House in Albuquerque
  • Haven Care – Cottonwood House in Albuquerque
  • Haven Care – Fir House in Albuquerque
  • Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales
  • Hilldale House in Albuquerque
  • Ladera Center in Albuquerque
  • Laguna Rainbow Care Center in Casa Blanca
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • Landmark at Desert Gardens in Hobbs
  • Landsun Unit of Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • La Posada Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque
  • La Vida Llena Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • The Legacy at Santa Fe
  • Life Spire Assisted Living Albuquerque
  • Little Sisters of the Poor in Gallup
  • Life Care Center in Farmington
  • Lovington Healthcare in Lovington
  • Kingston Residence of Santa Fe
  • Mariah House in Albuquerque
  • Mescalero Care Center in Mescalero
  • Mimbres Memorial Nursing Home in Deming
  • Mission Arch Center in Roswell
  • The Montebello on Academy in Albuquerque
  • The Montecito in Santa Fe
  • MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Albuquerque
  • MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Rio Rancho
  • Mountain View Manor in Albuquerque
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho
  • The New Beginnings Senior Living in Albuquerque
  • New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • North Ridge Care Center in Albuquerque
  • Odelia Healthcare (Camino Healthcare) in Albuquerque
  • Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Fe
  • Palmilla Senior Living in Albuquerque
  • Princeton Place in Albuquerque
  • Pueblo of Isleta Assisted Living & Memory Care Facility
  • Raton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Raton
  • Ravenna Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • The Rehabilitation Center of Albuquerque
  • Retreat Healthcare in Rio Rancho
  • The Rio at Las Estancias in Albuquerque
  • Rio Rancho Center
  • Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque
  • Sandia View Cottonwood Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Sandia View Spain Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Seniorcare, LLC – Wyoming House in Albuquerque
  • Senior Living Systems in Los Lunas
  • Shady Pines Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Sierra Healthcare Center in Truth or Consequences
  • Sierra Vista Retirement Community in Santa Fe
  • Silver City Care Center in Silver City
  • Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation in Los Alamos
  • Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites in Albuquerque
  • St. Anthony’s Healthcare in Clovis
  • Sundance Home in Gallup
  • Sunny Day Assisted Living in Gallup
  • Sunshine Assisted Living in Tucumcari
  • The Suites at Rio Vista in Rio Rancho
  • Sunset Villa Care Center in Roswell
  • Taos Living Center
  • Taos Retirement Village
  • Tender Heart Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Tercer Cielo Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Uptown Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Vida Encantada Nursing and Rehabilitation in Las Vegas
  • The Village at Northrise in Las Cruces
  • Village Retirement Community in Roswell
  • Vista Hermosa in Santa Fe
  • Vista Sandia Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • The Watermark at Cherry Hills in Albuquerque
  • Welbrook Senior Living Las Cruces
  • West Ridge Village in Albuquerque
  • Westwind House Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Wheatfields Senior Living Community in Clovis
  • White Sands Healthcare in Hobbs
  • Willow Wood Assisted Living in Albuquerque

Statewide cases

According to a state news release, previously reported numbers included nine cases that have been identified as duplicates (five in Bernalillo County, one in Doña Ana County, one in Luna County and two in Otero County) four cases that were not lab confirmed (two in Bernalillo County, one in  in Doña Ana County and  one in San Juan County) and one case in Otero County that was identified as an out-of-state resident—these have now been corrected. One case previously reported in Cibola County has been determined to be among individuals held by federal agencies at the Cibola County Correctional Center. County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 36,137
  • Catron County: 53
  • Chaves County: 6,047
  • Cibola County: 1,962
  • Colfax County: 430
  • Curry County: 3,711
  • De Baca County: 78
  • Doña Ana County: 15,826
  • Eddy County: 3,867
  • Grant County: 711
  • Guadalupe County: 228
  • Harding County: 7
  • Hidalgo County: 216
  • Lea County: 5,866
  • Lincoln County: 951
  • Los Alamos County: 224
  • Luna County: 2,194
  • McKinley County: 8,745
  • Mora County: 74
  • Otero County: 1,942
  • Quay County: 316
  • Rio Arriba County: 1,941
  • Roosevelt County: 1,301
  • Sandoval County: 7,091
  • San Juan County: 8,354
  • San Miguel County: 660
  • Santa Fe County: 6,612
  • Sierra County: 477
  • Socorro County: 821
  • Taos County: 1,032
  • Torrance County: 419
  • Union County: 178
  • Valencia County: 4,370

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 418
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 430
  • Otero County Processing Center: 194
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 47

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

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 251
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 246
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 208
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 155
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 96
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 162
  • Roswell Correctional Center: 225
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 182
  • Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 114
  • 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.