COVID-19: New Mexico sets daily death record, governor gives vaccine update
COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in New Mexico and more on the way as the state continues to deal with a rising death toll, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Thursday.
During an online news conference Lujan Grisham announced 48 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 1,702 new cases were reported statewide on Thursday. That's the most deaths that have been reported in a single day.
New Mexico’s COVID-19 death toll is now 2,097. The number of cases since March are now 126,045.
"Only we have the power to manage this pandemic effectively," she said.
Lujan Grisham was joined in the virtual news conference by Dr. Tracie Collins, health secretary designate, and Dr. David Scrase, human services secretary.
The governor said vaccinations have arrived for healthcare workers and people across New Mexico are making a difference.
“We are not out of the woods. We have far too many hospitalizations. Christmas is an incredible holiday, this one has deep religious meaning and deep familial traditions," she said. "I'm asking you to change it up."
Health officials have warned that even though vaccinations have arrived, residents still need to practice safe hygiene, such as wearing masks and staying socially distant.
Collins said vaccinations have been delivered to 30 hospitals across New Mexico.
Lujan Grisham said Collins is working on a dashboard that gives greater detail on the vaccines.
"We're relentless about wanting that data in real time," she said.
Lujan Grisham didn’t have a timeline on when the dashboard would debut.
During the news conference, Lujan Grisham was asked about vaccine shipments and an estimate on when a second shipment would be on the way from Pfizer.
"We really don't know," she said. "Pfizer is working this out as we speak. Remember it goes to the big hospitals directly. The feds don't know exactly how much is available."
Lujan Grisham said 17,550 total doses were delivered to New Mexico this week by Pfizer and another vaccine could be on the way from another company.
“Pending FDA approval, New Mexico is preparing to receive the Moderna vaccine and doses will go primarily to residents and staff in long-term facilities,” she said.
The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Dec. 16, with all 33 counties now at the red level.
"All 33 New Mexico counties are in the red. New Mexicans are really struggling with that. People are spreading COVID," she said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.