Virus-related hospitalizations continue to decline as more New Mexicans receive the COVID-19 vaccine, local hospital leaders said Monday.
“That is taking some of the pressure off of our acute care delivery system,” said Dr. David Pitcher, UNM Health System executive physician.
The state reported three additional virus-related deaths on Monday, including a San Juan County man in his 20s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The deaths of a San Juan County woman in her 80s and a Lea County man in his 50s were also reported, pushing the statewide toll to 3,892.
The state reported 167 confirmed COVID cases on Monday, including 67 in Bernalillo County.
There were 115 people with COVID hospitalized throughout the state on Monday. During the deadliest stretch of the pandemic in New Mexico, there were days in early December when hospitals were caring for more than 900 COVID patients.
At UNM Hospital and Sandoval Regional Medical Center, there are less than 20 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday.
Presbyterian’s 10 hospitals reported 31 patients with the virus, with five of those people on ventilators.
The four Lovelace hospitals reported between six and eight COVID patients for the last two weeks.
Six COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe. None are currently intubated or requiring intensive care.
Dr. Denise Gonzales, medical director at Presbyterian, said the state is in a “race” to vaccinate as many residents as possible.
“There is still enough virus in the community that we could have another peak,” Gonzales said. “It is definitely not the time to back off and to give up and say that it’s a done deal.”
A state vaccine dashboard on Monday showed that 38.8% of qualified New Mexicans have received at least one COVID vaccine shot and 23.6% are fully vaccinated.