Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – New cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico surged above 1,300 on Thursday – the highest single-day total since January.
Hospitalizations for the disease also reached a peak since August.
The big numbers come as state Department of Health officials say they aren’t certain why cases have failed to recede as infections have in many parts of the country.
Earlier this week, State Epidemiologist Christine Ross characterized it as an “uncomfortable plateau” of new cases in New Mexico.
Waning immunity from New Mexico’s early embrace of vaccination could be a factor, officials said earlier this week, or the infection levels could just be cyclical.
New Mexico ranks No. 13 among states for the percentage of residents who have had at least one dose and is one of just six states with an indoor mask mandate for public places.
People who are not fully vaccinated made up 73% of new cases, 77% of hospitalizations and 92% of the deaths in a recent four-week period.
In its daily announcement Thursday, the Department of Health reported:
• 1,309 new cases of the disease, the highest one-day total reported since Jan. 14. The total includes 304 cases in Bernalillo County, 200 in Doña Ana County and 167 in San Juan County.
• 12 more COVID-19 deaths, pushing the official statewide death toll to 5,039 residents. Half of the 12 deaths were adults older than 60. The youngest fatality was a man in his 30s from Eddy County.
• 424 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, a 22% increase since Oct. 1 and the highest total since August.
• 72.4% of New Mexico adults are fully vaccinated and 54.3% of New Mexicans 12 to 17 have completed their vaccines. About 9.2% of adults have received a booster shot.