Matthew Reichbach is the editor of the NM Political Report. The former founder and editor of the NM Telegram, Matthew was also a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and one of the original hires at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation and formerly published, “The Morning Word,” a daily political news summary for NM Telegram and the Santa Fe Reporter.
This morning recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every weekday. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. Seven counties reached the “yellow” benchmark and one remained in green, but many counties are approaching yellow status. Read more here.As of Tuesday, the state said it had administered 216,913 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine (7,333 more than announced on Monday) out of the 235,025 doses it has received from the federal government. The state had administered 63,453 doses in the previous seven days.A four year old was released from the hospital after a nine-month hospital stay for COVID-19, which included more than five months in the pediatric ICU, KRQE-TV reported.School districts throughout the state responded to the news that hybrid learning is able to return on Feb.
Seven counties moved from “red” to “yellow” in the state’s reopening criteria, while one county, Harding, remained green. This came on the same day that the state reported 755 new cases of COVID-19, and 27 additional deaths related to the disease. On Tuesday, the state reported 602 new cases and fourteen additional deaths. DOH has now reported fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for ten straight days. State data showed that nearly all counties have improved and some, including the state’s most populous county, appear poised to move into the yellow framework if the current trajectory continues.
School districts will be able to start in-person learning, through a hybrid system, for students of all ages beginning on Feb. 8, Gov. Michelle Lujan Griaham announced during her State of the State address on Tuesday, declaring, “there’s no substitute for in-person learning.”
The state will leave the decision up to local school boards whether or not to allow in-person learning again, as it has for elementary school students for much of the past few months. Middle and high school students at public schools have been using remote-only learning since March of 2020. “I believe the planning and hard work has paid off, and our state has developed a solid, epidemiologically-sound plan for a safe expansion of in-person learning for all age groups, supported by union leadership,” Lujan Grisham said. “We will get this right, and we will move forward, and every school district in the state will be able to welcome all ages of students safely back to the classroom on February 8.”
Related: Lujan Grisham delivers State of the State address, remotely
Public Education Department Secretary Ryan Stewart and Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase provided more details in a press conference after Lujan Grisham’s State of the State, where he called it a “first step.”
“It’s not a last step and it requires our ongoing diligence to make sure that it works,” Stewart said.
This morning recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every weekday. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The state Department of Health announced 602 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths related to the disease, as the average number of cases continued its weeks-long drop. Also, DOH reported 561 individuals hospitalized for COVID-19—the lowest total since the state changed to collecting data directly from hospitals (hospitals reported just 435 hospitalizations for the disease on Monday, but this was with partial data).As of Tuesday, New Mexico had administered 216,913 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, an increase of 7,333 over Monday, out of 235,025 doses received from the federal government. The state had administered 63,453 in the previous seven days.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in her State of the State address that in-person schooling could start again for all students (depending on the decision of their local school districts) on Feb.
Major hospital systems in New Mexico say that they are prepared to administer many more COVID-19 shots as they become available. But the nature of the supply chain is not only out of their hands, it’s out of the hands of the state, which relies on distribution from the federal government. Department of Health Secretary-designate Dr. Tracie Collins said that, as of Sunday, the state had received 221,375 COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government and administered 203,830, or over 90 percent. “New Mexico [has] the third-highest vaccine administration rate among all states in the country,” Collins said. “So we have a lot to be proud of.”
The limiting factor for New Mexico Collins said, echoing what health officials had said earlier, was available supply.
This morning recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every weekday. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to plummet, with just 494 new cases and twelve additional deaths. The 494 new cases were the fewest reported in a single day since October. Read more here.Cases dropped 25.6 percent in the week ending Sunday compared to the previous week, the USA Today Network reported.Deaths remain high because of the lag between when cases are first reported and when deaths occur and are reported, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.State health officials and leaders of major hospital systems in the state say they can vaccinate more people if they receive more supply from the federal government.
The state Department of Health reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 related deaths on Monday. This was the lowest one-day total of newly reported cases since Oct. 18. Mondays typically have lower test counts than other days, though the total number of reported cases between Sunday and Monday was not significantly lower than normal. Bernalillo County had the most new cases reported on Monday with 143 cases.
This morning recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every weekday. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The state of New Mexico reported 1,494 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday and 68 more deaths related to the disease. Read more here.The average number of cases has continued its steep decline, the Albuquerque Journal reported.As of Sunday, the state Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard showed that the state has administered 203,830 doses out of the 221,375 it has received from the federal government. This included 58,976 in seven days, including Sunday.The guidance over who is next in line to get COVID-19 vaccines is still muddled, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.House Democrats and Republicans clashed over the debate on rules for the session to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.The Albuquerque Journal looked at businesses that did well and did badly during the COVID-19 pandemic.Commercial real estate saw a ten percent drop in occupancy during the pandemic, KOB-TV reported.Curry and Roosevelt counties could move to yellow restrictions this week, based on the spread of COVID-19, The Eastern New Mexico News reported.The state Department of Health is working on simplifying the vaccination process for elderly residents, KRQE-TV reported.So far, 30 percent of eligible health care employees have declined to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.Some Rio Rancho teachers protested the cancellation of a vaccination event for school employees, KRQE-TV reported.On Sunday, the Navajo Nation reported 133 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths related to the disease.
The state Department of Health reported 921 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 33 additional deaths related to the disease, a day after reporting 997 new cases and 35 additional deaths. The state has now reported fewer than 1,000 cases every day since Jan. 16. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Friday, with 208 cases. Doña Ana County was the only other county with 100 or more cases, with 136.
On Friday, the department reported 624 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, a decrease of 20 people since Thursday.
The state Department of Health explained the cancellation of COVID-19 events for educators and school staff by saying the state was not in the part of Phase 1B where essential frontline workers could be vaccinated. A vaccination clinic for Rio Rancho Public Schools and others’ staff was scheduled for Friday, but those who had vaccinations scheduled at the event were informed that the DOH had said it could not go forward. “Everyone’s disappointed and we have had some tears and people have been really distraught over this,” RRPS superintendent Dr. Sue Cleveland told NM Political Report on Thursday. Cleveland said the school district was informed on Wednesday night by DOH that the event, which would have vaccinated 1,800 school employees, could not go forward. And after asking for a reconsideration, they were told no again on Thursday.