As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to ravage New Mexico, there is a new hotspot in the state: San Miguel County.
Over the last seven days, San Miguel County has recorded 206 positive COVID-19 cases, far and away the most this area has seen since the pandemic began in March 2020. Each day, the New Mexico Department of Health lists the top 10 zip codes in the state where transmission has occurred. On Tuesday, for the first time, the zip code 87701, which is home to Las Vegas, topped the list with 77 confirmed cases.
At the moment, there is no place in the state spreading COVID-19 faster than Las Vegas.
According to the New Mexico Environment Department, multiple workplaces in Las Vegas have multiple rapid response results, including New Mexico Highlands University, the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute and West Las Vegas Schools.
Despite the high number of cases, however, no COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in San Miguel County over the past week.
Mora County has also seen an increase in its case load recently, with 11 cases reported across the last week, a higher average than at any other point of the pandemic.
Statewide, as expected by state health officials, numbers have soared. In the past week, the state has reported a total of 5,774 cases, an average of nearly 825 per day. Health officials have indicated they believe the actual number of infections to be much higher, as the only cases reported are among people seeking out a test.
There are currently 406 individuals hospitalized across the state with COVID-19.
In an attempt to curb the recent spike, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham re-instituted an indoor mask mandate for all businesses across the state in mid-August. At that time, health officials believed the average daily cases would surpass 1,000 per day by the end of August, a number not seen since late 2020.
Despite the recent spike in cases, San Miguel County remains around the state average in terms of vaccination percentage. According to NMDOH, 63.5 percent of the county’s 23,066 residents have completed their vaccination series. That is slightly higher than in Mora County, where 62 percent of the county’s 3,767 residents are fully vaccinated.