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7 more virus deaths bring state’s toll to 4,058

Carole Vigil, left, a nurse for Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, gives a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Anais Savariau during a drive-through clinic this month. More than 42% of eligible state residents were fully vaccinated against the virus as of Thursday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – With a revised state health order set to take effect Friday, New Mexico health officials reported seven additional deaths on Thursday related to COVID-19.

That brought the state’s death toll from the pandemic to 4,058 since March 2020, though the death rate has slowed considerably since peaking in mid-December.

But the virus has continued to spread, albeit at a slower rate, even as New Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccine administration rate has increased.

As of Thursday, nearly 58% of state residents had received at least one vaccine dose and more than 42% of New Mexicans were fully vaccinated, according to state Department of Health data.

In addition, more than 178,000 state residents – or about 8.5% of the state’s population – had fully recovered after testing positive for the virus, according to DOH data.

Under the new health order announced Wednesday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state’s color-coded system for determining business restrictions will be based in part on a county’s resident vaccination rate.

A mask mandate will also remain in place, though masks will no longer be required to be worn outdoors except in large gatherings.

In addition, Lujan Grisham said the color-coded map of county-by-county restrictions would be lifted when New Mexico has 60% of its adults fully vaccinated – a target she said the state is on track to hit by June 30.

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