Gov Mandates Vaccines or Tests for State Workers

Health officials report 401 new COVID-19 cases, one death and 140 hospitalizations

Starting Monday, Aug. 2, all New Mexico state workers will need to be either fully vaccinated or be required to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test at least once every two weeks, following an executive order Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed today.

The order acknowledges the state’s rising cases due to the Delta variant, which health officials said yesterday account for 75% to 80% of cases here, and says cases are expected to rise further in the coming fall and winter months.

The order comes as President Joe Biden today announced that federal employees and onsite contractors will be asked to attest to their vaccination status, and those who don’t will be required to wear masks; physically distance from all other employees and visitors; comply with either weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirements; and be subject to restrictions on official travel.

The State of California and City of New York having already announced vaccination requirements for their employees. According to a news release from the governor’s office, Lujan Grisham also is considering vaccine mandates “as a condition of employment in certain high-risk settings under her executive authority.”

State employees who do not comply may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination, in accordance with applicable law, the news release says.

“Right now, it’s very simple: Get a vaccine, or else you will be tested,” the governor said in a statement. “There will be no quarter for this virus within state government offices. I will not tolerate any unnecessary risk within the workforce under my authority. And I strongly encourage other New Mexico government agencies and private sector employers to consider doing the same.”

The statement goes on to say the governor has “absolutely zero appetite for another unnecessary surge of infections, hospitalizations and death. This isn’t a debate. The vaccines are safe, and they work. Misinformation to the contrary will lead to illness and death—not to mention full hospitals and economic disruption.”

The announcement comes as, indeed, New Mexico’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with officials reporting 401 today (SFR believes Feb. 18 was the last single case reporting day in which cases rose above 400). There have now been a total of 210,085 cases; the health department has designated 196,786 of those cases as recovered.

Bernalillo County had 96 cases, followed by San Juan County with 51 and Eddy County with 45. Santa Fe County had 12 new cases.

The state also announced one additional death, from more than 30 days ago: a male in his 80s from Bernalillo County.

Hospitalizations continue to rise, with 140 people hospitalized today with COVID-19—seven more than yesterday—and nearly 43% more than one week ago.

Currently, 72.6% of New Mexicans 18 years and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 64.5% are fully vaccinated. In the 12-17-year-old age group, 47.4% have had at least one dose and 37.7% have been fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, among those 18 years and older, 82.9% have had at least one dose and 74.2% are fully inoculated.

New cases

  • 96 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 23 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 15 new cases in Curry County
  • 25 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 45 new cases in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Grant County
  • 30 new cases in Lea County
  • 16 new cases in Lincoln County
  • 1 new case in Los Alamos County
  • 3 new cases in Luna County
  • 13 new cases in McKinley County
  • 10 new cases in Otero County
  • 1 new case in Quay County
  • 5 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 5 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 28 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 51 new cases in San Juan County
  • 5 new cases in San Miguel County
  • 12 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Socorro County
  • 4 new cases in Torrance County
  • 9 new cases in Valencia County
  • 1 new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County

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 Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
  • Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation in Bloomfield
  • Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobbs
  • Fort Bayard Medical Center in Santa Clara
  • GoodLife Senior Living and Memory Care in Artesia
  • Good Life Senior Living in Portales
  • Good Samaritan Society – Betty Dare in Alamogordo
  • Laguna Rainbow Care Center in Casa Blanca
  • Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Sierra Health Care Center in Truth or Consequences
  • Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • The Rehabilitation Center of Albuquerque

Statewide cases

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 60,528
  • Catron County: 98
  • Chaves County: 9,205
  • Cibola County: 2,935
  • Colfax County: 818
  • Curry County: 5,458
  • De Baca County: 178
  • Doña Ana County: 25,425
  • Eddy County: 7,290
  • Grant County: 1,778
  • Guadalupe County: 478
  • Harding County: 13
  • Hidalgo County: 408
  • Lea County: 8,620
  • Lincoln County: 1,834
  • Los Alamos County: 552
  • Luna County: 3,438
  • McKinley County: 12,526
  • Mora County: 179
  • Otero County: 4,187
  • Quay County: 551
  • Rio Arriba County: 3,898
  • Roosevelt County: 2,077
  • Sandoval County: 12,565
  • San Juan County: 15,999
  • San Miguel County: 1,473
  • Santa Fe County: 10,865
  • Sierra County: 787
  • Socorro County: 1,344
  • Taos County: 1,802
  • Torrance County: 906
  • Union County: 261
  • Valencia County: 7,081

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 451
  • Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 452
  • Otero County Processing Center: 395
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 237

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

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 302
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 255
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 762
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 168
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 128
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 473
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 219
  • Roswell Correctional Center: 229
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 231
  • 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.

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