A new COVID-19 hot spot is emerging, and it's not in Eastern New Mexico.
It's San Miguel County in Northern New Mexico, which reported 81 new cases Tuesday in the Department of Health coronavirus update. That's on top of the 77 cases that were reported Monday over a three-day period that included Saturday and Sunday.
Most of New Mexico's nonurban cases had been in counties bordering Texas for the past several weeks. Lea County reported 125 new cases Tuesday, but Eddy County and Chaves County reported only 42 and 45, respectively.
Unlike several counties in Eastern New Mexico, which have lagged in vaccinations, San Miguel County's vaccination rate is fairly strong: 63.5 percent of its roughly 27,000 residents have completed their course of shots; 70.1 percent have received at least one shot.
According to the state Environment Department's website, at least eight sites in San Miguel County — including New Mexico Highlands University, the state Behavioral Health Institute and three schools in the West Las Vegas School District — have had at least two rapid responses.
Santa Fe County had 35 new cases in Tuesday's report and Rio Arriba County added 12. There was one case in Los Alamos County.
Bernalillo County had 179 cases.
Six New Mexicans died of COVID-19, according to the report. Three were from Bernalillo County, with the other three victims from Chaves, Lea and Roosevelt counties.
Since the crisis began, New Mexico has lost 4,518 people to the coronavirus.
The state said 406 people currently are hospitalized in New Mexico with COVID-19.