Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continued to rise as New Mexico headed into Thanksgiving, reaching 648 patients Wednesday, or more than twice as many as two months ago.
The state Department of Health also reported 1,409 new cases and 21 deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 5,310.
Eight of the 21 deaths announced Wednesday were from Bernalillo County, including a male under 20 years old.
The rising total of COVID-19 patients in New Mexico hospitals has strained health care systems.
Seven hospitals have activated crisis standards of care, a move that can allow the rationing of care when demand exceeds the supply of beds and available staff.
The Department of Health reported 648 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday – the most since mid-January, before vaccines were widely available. It’s also more than double the number from two months ago, when 314 individuals were hospitalized.
People who aren’t fully vaccinated make up a disproportionate share of the hospitalizations.
In a recent four-week period, 79% of hospitalizations were people who weren’t fully vaccinated, according to state reports.
New Mexico has endured one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the country.
The state ranks No. 4 nationally in cases per capita over the last week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The case rates come even as New Mexico remains one of just six states with an indoor mask mandate for public settings and an above-average vaccination rate.
The state ranked No. 13 in the nation Wednesday for the highest percentage of residents with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data.
About 74.2% of adults in New Mexico and 55.4% of residents ages 12 to 17 have completed their one- or two-dose series for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose; the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines take two doses.
About 21% of adults have had a booster dose on top of their initial series.
For children ages 5 to 11 – who just recently became eligible for the vaccine – about 14.3% have received their first dose.
Over the last four weeks, people who weren’t fully vaccinated made up 73% of new cases and 97% of deaths.