New Mexico’s daily number of new COVID-19 cases has swelled to a level not seen since late 2020, when closures were widespread and vaccines were not yet available.

The state recorded 2,054 more cases as of Thursday, as well as 14 additional deaths, according to the Department of Health.

Also, 655 people statewide were hospitalized with COVID-19 complications.

That’s up from 633 hospitalizations just two days earlier and reflects health officials’ earlier predictions that patient loads could reach 700 in December.

New Mexico’s seven-day positivity rate — the percentage of people who test positive for the virus out of the overall number who have been tested — was was at 14.2 percent, up 2 percent from two weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, an amended emergency public health order issued Thursday will require many workers to receive a booster shot. Those in high-risk environments, including health care and congregate-care facilities, have been required to be vaccinated for months. Those who work in public schools and state employees must take weekly COVID-19 tests if they aren’t already vaccinated.

Workers in those categories must receive a booster shot, no later than Jan. 17, or within four weeks of becoming eligible, according to a news release.

“New Mexico is doing well with boosters, better than the national average, but we still must do better,” Dr. David Scrase, acting Health Department secretary, said in a statement. “Our hospitals are overfull, and the spread of the virus continues to exacerbate the issue. New Mexico isn’t an island, and we can’t prevent the new variant from arriving here. So we must defend ourselves with the tools we know to work: Masks, vaccines, and personal decisions that serve to protect the collective well-being.”

The state’s coronavirus death toll rose to 5,393, while its total number of cases recorded during the pandemic reached 318,135.

Santa Fe County had 95 new cases. Other counties with the highest numbers of new cases were Bernalillo, with 610; Doña Ana, 298; Sandoval, 137; San Juan, 120; and Valencia, 114.

The newly reported deaths involved four people in Bernalillo County; two each in Doña Ana and Torrance counties; and one each in Chaves, Colfax, Otero, San Juan, Sierra and Socorro counties.

The rising numbers come as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials urge New Mexicans to get booster shots. They said last month that the state’s definition of “fully vaccinated” could change to include only those who have had three COVID-19 shots, not two.

According to the New York Times, Santa Fe County is averaging 51 new cases a day, a number that equals about 34 cases per 100,000 residents. That’s down from mid-November, when the county was averaging 62 new cases a day, according to the Times.

Santa Fe County’s per-100,000 ratio is lower than those in five of the seven counties that border it. Among neighboring counties, only Los Alamos and sparsely populated Mora have lower rates.

(31) comments

Lynn k Allen

I was watching Amanpour & Co. The Nov 30 broadcast with a

discussion between Walter Isaacson, interviewer, and Covid

disease Dr. Celene Gounder. At one point Dr. Grinder was

asked her opinion about the US Covid map showing NM in the

red & being one of the highest levels of covid. Since NM has a

very high percentage of vaccinations and mask wearing

adherence and covid precautions, why did she think NM was very red? Dr. Goinder's opinion was that travel from the

neighboring states lower vaccination & mask rates AND NM HOSPITALS TAKING COVID CASES FROM TEXAS, ARIZONA

and some Colorado raises our covid hospitalization

numbers resulting in NM being vibrantly RED on the map.

It was not necessarily representing NM resident rates. 😒

If this us true, I am livid that our New Mexican Healthcare

workers & Hospitals are suffering from Texas disregard for vaccines, mask mandates and federal health guidelines.

We are losing nurses, Dr.s, and Healthcare Workers, as well as limited emergency room access for New Mexico Residents!!!

Is this true??? If so, I am livid at our Governor allowing Texas, Colorado & ARIZONA to injure us for their follies. Texas unleashes vigilante dogs against women & everyone for their hate while we take their hateful antivacc problems into our ICU beds and suffer from their stupidity & hate?? Our neighboring states politicians are full bore broadcasting lies & hate AND WE ASSUME THEIR COVID PROBLEMS??

John Gomez

Why do the countries with the highest vax tates and rules have the highest level of infection? Why is Israel drowning while Palestine isn't? Why is Ireland and Singapore in trouble but most of Africa isn't? Why you guys were your masks outside and in your cars when no one is around? Do not get your news from cnn or fox. Ever hear of operation mocking bird? Texas is either doing as good as us or better I need to look at up again. Don't worry soon you will get to put all those dirty unvaxxed in a camp. Have you learned nothing from history?

Sabine Strohem

@John Gomez: time to read up.

John Gomez

What? Everything but the texas thing is true and even that might just be a case of adjusting per cap. The places with the highest vax rates and most rules Israel Ireland singapore all have the highest case numbers and the places with the lowest vax rate loosest rules are doing better. Don't know why but it's true look up the numbers

John Gomez

Ok I was wrong about Texas and I don't know how to adjust for per cap buy it am not wrong about the rest of my post. Look i hate all this fighting but your guys are treating the unvaxxed and anyone who questions things like the enemy and that never works out well. You are letting the TV tell you who to hate and your aren't focused on the real enemy the elite. I am scared to get my booster because of this rapid growling at those who question this and because they lied about the lab and keep moving the goal posts. If good people ran the world I would love to get boosters but evil people rule us.

Andy Blanco

I saw the same on CNN. It makes absolutely no sense to me, however, that we are having a spike caused by neighboring states while those neighboring states are not having a spike. Also, when Texas and Arizona had their spikes over the summer, we did not have one. The commentator cited no evidence for her ridiculous theory and I just don’t see any evidence for it. It seems pretty clear that the numbers spike when people go indoors (either because of summer heat or winter cold).

It’s getting pretty old hearing that “we know masks work” from Scrase. They’re not working. Our death rate is now again higher than Texas. I have traveled recently and literally no one is wearing masks in other parts of the country, even other blue states. Why are we not doing substantially better than everyone else?

John Gomez

Hispanic New Mexicans have left over fear of uncle sam and the rest of santa Fe anyways are old white scared lib's that is why we have a mandate

Riley Stephens

Why do we care about “cases” - which probably does not even fully reflect those who are vaccinated and get covid with mild symptoms and may or may not test at home? The most important metric is hospitalizations and deaths which - as we all know by now - will only stabilize or decrease with vaccination. Covid is not going away - just like seasonal flu - learn to live with it in the manner you feel is most prudent. Get your booster but assume someday you’ll get - hopefully mild - covid. What else can we really do?

Jeff clark

Thanks anti-vaxxers for the continuing pandemic.

Lawrence Leichtman

Even the vaxed should wear masks. It still helps.

Joe Danna

Everyone should get a booster vaccination, but once there is a critical mass of infection, a complete five day shutdown (with arrests for those who violate) may be necessary to break the chain of infection. COVID is a new reality with which we must adjust. Wishing will not make it disappear.

Sabine Strohem

None of this will change until folks get vaccinated, and use common sense (masks, hand washing). We will be in exactly this place next year, unless all the unvaccinated folks have passed. Even then, COVID will still be with us. Love thy neighbor folks. Do right by them. Get vaccinated and follow common sense guidelines.

Amy Earle

Sorry I accidentally posted. To continue my thought. We’d be in much better shape if the things I previously mentioned had not happened. Just get vaccinated. Real patriots do so to protect their communities and their country. Fake ones find reasons not to.

Amy Earle

People may not like mandates but they’ve been proven to work. Unless there is a valid medical reason why someone can not be vaccinated they need to be. Required vaccination is nothing new. If this vaccine had not become so ridiculously politicized and so much misinformation nonsense had not been circulated we would

Mike Andredi

No thanks Mikey, too many of you Californians move here and change New Mexicos identity to resemble Commifonia... if Commifornia is soooo great, then why did you leave? Its not great, so quit trying to ruin my state... we are already way to much like that terrible place.

Sabine Strohem

@mike: I'm born and raised, multi-generation NM. We need vax mandates.

John Gomez

Strohem is a American name. I got Spanish and Indian blood so I've been here longer and I say to heck with your mandates and your camps. More people will wake up and fight this global techno fascist government.

Sabine Strohem

@John. It's a message board. LOL. And way to play the "you're an anglo" card without knowing...anything. STFU about camps, don't be ridiculous. Actually, this whole post from you is ridiculous. nvm.

John Gomez

Well you played the generational card that's why I pointed out your immigrant name.

John Gomez

Look at the whistle blower from the aussie camp we got one in Washington state

Michael Kiley

We just vacationed in San Francisco in the Union Square night life district. Business is racing. I STRONGLY urge Gov. Lujan to copy their rule: for every business patron entering an indoor business, including restaurants, requires and notices it at the entrance, you must show your vax certificate.  We saw people without it turned away.  New Mexico has climbed two levels toward the highest new infection category on the NYT daily US map (front page and online).  What we are doing is not working. Rates here are doubling owing to vax deniers. New Mexico should ORDER VAX CERTIFICATE DISPLAY for all indoor businesses. And that will catch the vaccination deadbeats' attention, which will help stem new infections and deaths. No, its not illegal to copy California!  L.A. has now copied San Francisco.   The main point here is that vax mandates are less obstructive than business closures, but very effective against the current surge, and would potentiate our high vaccination rate, the same situation as California. Mike Kiley, Ph.D., M.P.H., Retired Paramedic/Rescue Operations Supervisor, California State Police

John Gomez

So how many shots how many boosters? Why is Pfizer saying it won't comply with a FOIA act for 55 years? Why can't you sue the makers? You want to end up like Australia? So far all cases of the new variant have been mild. What happened in 1976?

John Gomez

You are a cop such a shock you would be cheerleading for the State. F a police state. In 10 years you will look back and understand you cheered on what's coming.

David Ford

Thank you Michael, and I agree. There are a lot of vaccinated folks who do not patronize restaurants and other businesses, especially in their previous numbers, due to the number of alleged "patriots" faghtin' for their freedoms putting themselves, but more importantly, their fellow citizens at risk. I am one of those who limit my exposures due to the random number of idiots roaming the streets and businesses.

Ignore the high pitched whining and screeeeeeching you will see on here as these are the serially misinformed/ignorant and they are proud of it - sadly.

Interesting to note though that all of those politicians, and TV talking heads that they worship and bow down to are themselves all vaccinated. Go figure....

Kim Griego-Kiel

Michael, I 100% agree with you. NYC has the same requirements. If I owned a restaurant I would do it, to protect my employees and my patrons.

John Gomez

I want to ask some questions.

Where did Covid come from? Was it man made and if it was should we really be listening to the people who funded it's creation? Look at Fauci's emails.

Why can't people sue the vaccine makers?

Why isn't Pfizer going to comply with a FOIA request on the safety of the vaccine for 55 years?

Do we trust Pfizer after what they did in Africa?

Do these companies have a profit incentive to push vaccine after vaccine?

Why are we freaking out when every expert is saying this new variant is mild?

How many boosters is enough?

Are you need scares about ending up like Australia where they have passed the craziest surveillance state laws and has a camp they are sending Natives too against their will?

Since when as the government ever cared about innocent people dying?

Why is everyone blindly going along in the mob?

Why are you acting like the unvaxxed are the problem when they didn't create this virus and the vaxxed can still spread it. Look at cape cod. I think the CDC said the viral load is the same.

What happened in 1976.

I took the jab but I didn't sign up for endless boosters and lockdowns

Oh one last one why did the cares act transfer the wealth of the middle class to the rich?


John Gomez

Want to add why are you guys using the word Patriot like that means anything? Didn't you learn from 9 11 and the war on terror and even war us a racket that patriot is just a word used to control dum dums?

Michelle Rudy

There is some evidence to show that Covid started in bats living in caves in SE Asia. Sorry, I no longer have access to this paper. A recent paper by Michael Worobey, University of Arizona virus expert, shows an origin in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan China. See, SCIENCE, 18 November 2021, pp.1202-1204. This journal should be available at the public library.

Likely the "freaking out" over omicron is due to its transmissibilty. And, of course, it is early days on the mildness of the variant.

Angel Ortiz

Sorry Michael. This not California!

Comment deleted.
Michelle Rudy

I told you who wrote the paper. Look it up and find out who sponsored his work.

John Gomez

They deleted my comment detailing Fauci's cover up of the lab leak

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.