So far, New Mexico appears to be bucking national trends of rising COVID-19 cases, and has only had 39 instances of the faster-spreading B117 variant, and no instances of two other variants of concern from South Africa and Brazil.
The state, however, is bordered by states with one or both, Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase said today during a COVID-19 news conference, "so that's a cause of concern and something we're watching real closely," he said.
But for now, the state, and counties, remain on track under the red-to-green public health framework. Nearly a month has elapsed since any county failed to meet both the 14-day case and test positivity rate requirements (eight cases per 100,000 and test positivity rates of less than 5%).
Santa Fe County met both again and remains turquoise, allowing for the fewest restrictions under the public health law. There are now 20 counties in the turquoise category, seven more than two weeks ago. Ten are green and three are yellow. Twelve counties advanced to less restrictive categories. Three counties, San Juan, Hidalgo and Guadalupe, regressed to yellow from either green or turquoise.
Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins noted New Mexico's continuing status as the state leading the US for administration of vaccines, and recent national coverage for doing so. Citing data that is in line with that from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (but slightly higher than what the state's vaccine dashboard currently displays), Collins said 50% of New Mexicans 16 years and older have received at least one shot and more than 31% are fully vaccinated. The health department has previously told SFR that the CDC receives vaccination data more quickly from federal agencies, thus accounting for the slight discrepancy.
"We just highlight in this map how beautiful it is that New Mexico is number one…for getting shots in arms," Collins said. "We've got South Dakota that's pretty close, but we're still leading the country in vaccine rollout."
Next week, New Mexico expects 109,950 doses, 3,700 of which will be the single-dose Johnson & Johnson dose. This represents, however, an approximate 16% decrease from this week's allocation, due to a delay in J & J doses stemming from a manufacturing problem.
More vaccines are coming, she said, probably in the latter part of April. But the state is aiming to open up self-scheduling to people 60 years and older in the coming days (it is already open to people 75 years and up), and all New Mexicans as soon as possible.
Aging and Long-Term Services Department Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez said the state has thus far held 61 senior vaccination clinics and administered 23,618 doses, with 20 more upcoming. As one example, Hotrum-Lopez shared a photograph of a 96-year-old woman receiving a vaccine from her niece. "This is what we're doing," Hotrum-Lopez said, "…saving lives and we are proud to be part of this effort."
ALTSD also, in partnership with Presbyterian Hospital, has vaccinated over the past 10 days 300 homebound people in the Albuquerque metro area, and is preparing to expand those homebound vaccinations to Santa Fe, Valencia and Sandoval counties. The department is setting up additional pilot programs with other providers and hospitals.
There have also been three vaccination clinics at long-term care facilities, with high rates of vaccine acceptance by both residents and staff, she said. Since vaccination efforts began, she said, the average number of daily deaths in long-term care facilities has dropped from close to 10 per day to less than one, prompting changes in visitation rules as of March 24. Those rules allow for visitation unless there is an outbreak, with outdoor visits preferred, but indoors allowed with social distancing, mask wearing and ventilation.
Overall, officials presented an optimistic view of the state's status in the push to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but reminded everyone to register for a vaccine, set up an appointment and get the vaccine as soon as possible, and continue masking, social distancing and employing all the other COVID-19 safe practices that have become rote.
"Hang in there with us," Scrase said. "We're in this race. We don't know exactly where the finish line is today. But we know we're in the lead. And so at this point it's just a matter of endurance."
New Mexico health officials today reported 222 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 192,989. The health department has designated 174,409 of them as recovered.
Bernalillo County had 60 new cases, followed by Doña Ana County with 38 and Sandoval County with 28. Santa Fe County had six new cases.
The state also announced three additional deaths; there have now been 3,963 fatalities.
As of today, 78 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*
- 60 new cases in Bernalillo County
- 1 new case in Catron County
- 4 new cases in Chaves County
- 3 new cases in Cibola County
- 4 new cases in Colfax County
- 38 new cases in Doña Ana County
- 6 new cases in Eddy County
- 7 new cases in Grant County
- 1 new case in Guadalupe County
- 4 new cases in Lea County
- 2 new cases in Lincoln County
- 2 new cases in Los Alamos County
- 5 new cases in Luna County
- 7 new cases in McKinley County
- 7 new cases in Otero County
- 1 new case in Rio Arriba County
- 4 new cases in Roosevelt County
- 28 new cases in Sandoval County
- 17 new cases in San Juan County
- 2 new cases in San Miguel County
- 6 new cases in Santa Fe County
- 1 new case in Socorro County
- 2 new cases in Taos County
- 10 new cases in Valencia County
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:
- Advanced Health Care in Albuquerque
- Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
- Avamere at Fiesta Park in Albuquerque
- Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
- Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Belen
- Casa del Sol Center in Las Cruces
- Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobbs
- Genesis Healthcare Uptown in Albuquerque
- Good Samaritan Society – Betty Dare in Alamogordo
- Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
- La Vida Llena Assisted Living in Albuquerque
- Mission Arch Center in Roswell
- The Montecito in Santa Fe
- New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
- Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Fe
- Princeton Place in Albuquerque
- Retirement Ranches in Clovis
- Santa Fe Care Center in Santa Fe
- Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
- Vecino Sanos Assisted Living in Santa Rosa
According to a health department news release, previously reported numbers included five cases that have been identified as duplicates (four in Bernalillo County and one in Doña Ana County) and one case in Bernalillo County that was not lab confirmed—these 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: 55,201
- Catron County: 85
- Chaves County: 8,763
- Cibola County: 2,830
- Colfax County: 728
- Curry County: 5,050
- De Baca County: 134
- Doña Ana County: 24,056
- Eddy County: 6,690
- Grant County: 1,645
- Guadalupe County: 376
- Harding County: 9
- Hidalgo County: 355
- Lea County: 8,241
- Lincoln County: 1,598
- Los Alamos County: 505
- Luna County: 3,251
- McKinley County: 12,153
- Mora County: 169
- Otero County: 3,678
- Quay County: 427
- Rio Arriba County: 3,493
- Roosevelt County: 1,874
- Sandoval County: 11,502
- San Juan County: 13,856
- San Miguel County: 1,322
- Santa Fe County: 9,909
- Sierra County: 714
- Socorro County: 1,247
- Taos County: 1,623
- Torrance County: 685
- Union County: 246
- Valencia County: 6,469
Cases among people being held by federal agencies
- Cibola County Correctional Center: 446
- Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 444
- Otero County Processing Center: 198
- 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: 292
- Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 251
- Lea County Correctional Facility: 759
- Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 167
- Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 126
- Otero County Prison Facility: 472
- Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 217
- Roswell Correctional Center: 230
- Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 230
- Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 151
- Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 75
*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.