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NM daily case average drops below 300, lowest since Oct. 8

A medical worker prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccination in December. Nearly a quarter of New Mexicans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

New Mexico reported 259 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, dropping the seven-day average to under 300 cases per day for the first time in nearly five months.

The state also reported 16 deaths, bringing the toll to 3,769 New Mexicans since the start of the pandemic. The deaths reported Thursday included 11 men and five women, who ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s.

Thursday’s case count dropped the state’s seven-day average number of cases to 297 per day, marking the first time since Oct. 8 that the state has averaged fewer than 300 cases per day for a week, according to a Journal analysis.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 also declined. A total of 177 COVID patients were in hospital on Thursday, down from 195 on Wednesday, according to a Department of Health news release.

Meanwhile, state health officials said this week that New Mexico is a leading state in vaccine distribution.

“We are really proud of our progress,” Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said this week, saying that more than 94% of vaccine doses the state has received have already been delivered.

A state vaccine dashboard showed that, as of Thursday, 628,000 doses of vaccine had been administered. Nearly 227,000 people have had two doses of vaccine and 401,000 have received at least one shot.

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