Santa Fe Reporter
Santa Fe’s COVID-19 case rate highest in the state. According to the health department’s weekly epidemiology report on geographical trends, for the most recent seven-day period of May 16 through May 22, Santa Fe County had the highest case rate per 100,000 population in the state: 45.9. Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties followed close behind with case rates per 100,000 population of 39.9 and 39.4, respectively. The report marks case rates per 100,000 between 32.636 to 45.921 as high with a brick-colored designation. Sandoval, De Baca and Grant counties also are in the high range. During the same time period, the state recorded 3,549 new cases, a 43% increase from the seven-day total a week prior. Santa Fe County would appear to have had 429 cases in the last week or so (DOH no longer reports county-level cases, but reports them cumulatively each week), compared with 279 the week prior. In response to recent questions from SFR regarding rising case rates—specifically, on May 16, the state reported a three-day weekend total 45% higher than the week prior—a DOH spokeswoman sent a statement noting New Mexico, “like the rest of the country, is experiencing an increase of COVID-19 cases,” but “hospitalizations and deaths…remain stable at this time.”According to the state’s weekly report on hospitalizations, Taos County had the highest per 100,000 population rate of hospital admissions for COVID-19 between May 16-22: 9.5, followed by Santa Fe and San Miguel counties with 4.6. As SFR reported on April 29, the health department has discontinued reporting breakthrough cases in its weekly vaccination report pending “updated methods to account for confounding variables (or unmeasured factors) that impact this analysis, such as age, number of comorbidities, and immunosuppression factors.” According to the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “community levels” tracking system—which uses case rates along with two hospital metrics in combination to determine the state of the virus on a county level—all of New Mexico’s counties remain green, or low, except for Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Grant counties, which are yellow, for medium (that report updates tomorrow).