Harding County became the first in the state to reach green today under the state's county-level framework for assessing COVID-19. Union County met one of the two health metric thresholds—test positivity rate—and moves to the yellow stage.

New Mexico's remaining 31 counties remain in the red, or most restrictive category, according to today's biweekly update. Moreover, 20 counties' average daily per-capita rate of new cases rose over the last two weeks, while 17 counties had higher test positivity rates. And 16 counties—Santa Fe County among them— worsened in both metrics.

Currently, Santa Fe County has 46.30 new cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 9.04%. Two weeks ago, the county's case rate was 34 per 100,000 and its positivity rate was 7.16%.

As of today, McKinley County has the highest average daily per-capita case rates, at 104.9 per 100,000, while De Baca County has the highest positivity rate in the state: 31.25%.

Only 12 counties improved in both metrics, while 20 counties had higher average daily per-capita rate of new cases in the last two weeks, and 17 counties had higher test positivity rates.

Under the state's red-to-green framework, the state assesses counties against two benchmarks measured in two-week increments: new COVID-19 case incident rates equal to or less than eight cases per 100,000 inhabitants and test positivity rates of 5% or lower. Counties that meet one criteria have more flexibility in the yellow zone. Only counties meeting both criteria qualify for the green bracket and have the fewest restrictions.

For example, the green category allows food and drink establishments to operate at 50% capacity for indoor dining and 75% for outdoor dining. No indoor dining is allowed under the red category and outdoor dining is limited to 25%, with restaurants that serve alcohol required to close by 9 pm each night.

As for current COVID-19 cases, New Mexico health officials today reported 1,151 new ones, bringing the statewide total so far to 159,119. Of those, the health department has designated 81,603 as recovered.

Bernalillo County had 352 new cases, followed by Doña Ana County with 127 and San Juan County with 102. Santa Fe County had 74. The state also reported 53 new cases among state inmates, 48 of which were at the Lea County Correctional Facility.

The health department also reported the first sign of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant surging in the United Kingdom and thought to be more transmissible. The variant was detected in a Bernalillo County man in his 60s with recent travel to the UK. According to a health department news release, the department hasn't identified any close contacts in the state for the man. SFR this week spoke with Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Bette Korber about her work studying such mutations, and the lack of US and New Mexico contribution to the GISAID international genome database where such variants are studied.

Health department Communications Director Matt Bieber tells SFR via email that "DOH is in the process of uploading the variant sequence to the GISAID database. With regard to GISAID submissions, New Mexico is in the top 20% as a state (without normalizing for population). Considering our size and resources, DOH is performing strongly."

This particular case, he notes, "was identified through a specific pattern on our PCR test. The sample was then sequenced and analyzed at SLD, where experts confirmed the B.1.1.7. variant. DOH has been working on genomic surveillance efforts since last March. The efforts have been a collaboration between SLD, ERD, UNM and LANL. Currently, our team is working on ways to expand the throughput of samples sequenced, in order to improve our understanding of strains that are circulating in the population."

In vaccine news, the University of New Mexico earlier today announced it will start using the Pit as a mass vaccination site on Jan. 20. "We were looking for a site that could accommodate a large number of people that had access to parking, that was easy to get to and that was easy for us to envision a workflow that we could go through," UNM Hospitals Chief Executive Officer Kate Becker said during a morning news conference. The hospital anticipates being able to ultimately vaccinate more than 3,000 people daily, and intends the site primarily for Bernalillo County residents. All vaccines at the Pit will still be scheduled through the health department's vaccination registration site and according to the state's phased vaccination plan.

The state also announced 13 additional deaths, including a man in his 50s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. There have now been 2,807 fatalities statewide.

As of today, 702 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*

New cases

  • 352 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 1 new case in Catron County
  • 17 new cases in Chaves County
  • 8 new cases in Cibola County
  • 7 new cases in Colfax County
  • 8 new cases in Curry County
  • 1 new case in De Baca County
  • 127 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 45 new cases in Eddy County
  • 11 new cases in Grant County
  • 6 new cases in Guadalupe County
  • 15 new cases in Lea County
  • 4 new cases in Lincoln County
  • 2 new cases in Los Alamos County
  • 28 new cases in Luna County
  • 69 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Mora County
  • 20 new cases in Otero County
  • 5 new cases in Quay County
  • 44 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 3 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 79 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 102 new cases in San Juan County
  • 21 new cases in San Miguel County
  • 74 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Sierra County
  • 6 new cases in Socorro County
  • 5 new cases in Torrance County
  • 1 new case in Union County
  • 32 new cases in Valencia County
  • 2 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Cibola County Correctional Center
  • 1 new case among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Processing Center
  • 48 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility
  • 5 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County

New fatalities

  • 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 female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Princeton Place facility in Albuquerque
  • A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Hilldale House facility in Albuquerque
  • A male in his 80s from Cibola County who was hospitalized and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society in Grants
  • A female in her 50s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 100s from Doña Ana County who was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces
  • A male in his 50s from Eddy County who was hospitalized
  • A female in her 70s from Grant County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 70s from Luna County who was hospitalized, had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Mimbres Memorial Nursing Home in Deming
  • A male in his 60s from Roosevelt County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 50s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 40s who was hospitalized and was a New Mexico Corrections Department inmate at the Guadalupe County Correctional Facility

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:

  • Albuquerque Grand Senior Living
  • Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
  • The Aldea House – Heaven Sent LLC in Albuquerque
  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Community in Alamogordo
  • Artesia Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Artesia
  • Atria Vista Del Rio in Albuquerque
  • Avamere at Fiesta Park in Albuquerque
  • Avamere at Rio Rancho in Rio Rancho
  • Avamere at Roswell in Roswell
  • Aztec Healthcare in Aztec
  • Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • BeeHive Homes of Albuquerque West
  • BeeHive Homes Clovis
  • BeeHive Homes Farmington
  • BeeHive Homes Hobbs
  • BeeHive Homes Santa Fe
  • BeeHive Homes Taylor Ranch in Albuquerque
  • BeeHive Homes Volcano Cliffs in Albuquerque
  • Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Belen
  • Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation in Bloomfield
  • The Bridge of Farmington in Farmington
  • Brookdale Santa Fe in Santa Fe
  • Brookdale Valencia in Albuquerque
  • Calibre Sagecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Las Cruces
  • Camino Retirement Homes in Albuquerque
  • Carefirst Assisted Living Willow Wood House in Albuquerque
  • Casa del Sol Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa Palo Duro in Albuquerque
  • Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa de Shalom in Rio Rancho
  • Casa Real in Santa Fe
  • Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington
  • Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Clovis
  • Colfax Long-Term Care Center in Springer
  • Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobbs
  • El Castillo in Santa Fe
  • Elmcroft of Quintessence in Albuquerque
  • 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 Carlsbad
  • Good Life Senior Living in Lovington
  • Good Samaritan Society – Manzano del Sol Village in Albuquerque
  • Good Samaritan Society Grants
  • Good Samaritan Society Las Cruces
  • Haven Care Dogwood House in Rio Rancho
  • Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales
  • Ladera Center in Albuquerque
  • Laguna Rainbow Care Center in Casa Blanca
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • Landmark at Desert Gardens in Hobbs
  • Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque
  • The Legacy at Santa Fe
  • Little Sisters of the Poor in Gallup
  • Life Care Center in Farmington
  • Life Spire Assisted Living North Albuquerque Acres in Albuquerque
  • Lovington Healthcare in Lovington
  • The Meadows Home at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas
  • Mescalero Care Center in Mescalero
  • Mission Arch Center in Roswell
  • The Montecito in Santa Fe
  • MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Albuquerque
  • MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Santa Fe
  • Muros de Salvación in Albuquerque
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • Odelia Healthcare (Camino Healthcare) in Albuquerque
  • Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Fe
  • Princeton Place in Albuquerque
  • 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 Spain Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Senior Living Systems in Los Lunas
  • Sierra Health Care Center in Truth or Consequences
  • Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites in Albuquerque
  • St. Anthony Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Clovis
  • Sunny Day Assisted Living in Gallup
  • Sunset Villa Care Center in Roswell
  • Tender Heart Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Vecinos Santos Assisted Living in Santa Rosa
  • The Village at Northrise in Las Cruces
  • Village Retirement Community in Roswell
  • Vista Sandia Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Welbrook Transitional Rehabilitation in Farmington
  • Wellesley Care Home in Albuquerque
  • Wheatfields Senior Living Community in Clovis
  • White Sands Healthcare in Hobbs

Statewide cases

According to a state news release, previously reported numbers included six cases that have been identified as duplicates (two in Bernalillo County, three in Doña Ana County and one in San Juan County) that have now been corrected. County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 45,273
  • Catron County: 67
  • Chaves County: 7,604
  • Cibola County: 2,447
  • Colfax County: 610
  • Curry County: 4,402
  • De Baca County: 115
  • Doña Ana County: 19,224
  • Eddy County: 5,302
  • Grant County: 1,126
  • Guadalupe County: 310
  • Harding County: 8
  • Hidalgo County: 278
  • Lea County: 7,350
  • Lincoln County: 1,182
  • Los Alamos County: 352
  • Luna County: 2,560
  • McKinley County: 10,700
  • Mora County: 135
  • Otero County: 2,469
  • Quay County: 372
  • Rio Arriba County: 2,771
  • Roosevelt County: 1,655
  • Sandoval County: 9,255
  • San Juan County: 11,765
  • San Miguel County: 987
  • Santa Fe County: 8,250
  • Sierra County: 629
  • Socorro County: 1,017
  • Taos County: 1,277
  • Torrance County: 535
  • Union County: 204
  • Valencia County: 5,371

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 424
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 433
  • Otero County Processing Center: 196
  • 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: 282
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 250
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 308
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 166
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 107
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 175
  • Roswell Correctional Center: 228
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 216
  • Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 151
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 62

*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.