December San Juan County COVID-19 case count lower than November, October so far

Decline comes after record-setting number of cases in November

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan County's COVID-19 case count for the month of December so far has slowed down in contrast to the previous two months, as other key factors, including the county’s test positivity rate, also have declined.

San Juan County had 1,218 COVID-19 cases between Dec. 1 and Dec. 20, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

That was a drop of more than 50 percent from November's count, which had 3,413 cases between Nov. 1 and Nov. 19, according to The Daily Times archives.

A health care professional collects a sample during the free testing site for COVID-19 on May 5, 2020, at Shiprock High School in Shiprock.

It was even lower than the count for October, which had 1,990 cases between Oct. 1 and Oct. 20, according to state health department data.

The decline in COVID-19 cases comes after November had the highest number of cases for any month since the global pandemic started, with 4,365 cases.

More:San Juan County sets new COVID-19 case count in November, beating last December

The COVID-19 patient count at the San Juan Regional Medical Center also has declined in recent weeks as its critical care capacity was pushing more than 230% for weeks.

There were 51 COVID-19 patients at the hospital on Dec. 20, a contrast to the 98 patients on Nov. 23. The hospital record for COVID-19 patients is 100 back on Dec. 30, 2020.

Level of community transmission shows decline

The first part of December also showed a decline in the county’s new case count per 100,000 people and test positivity rate.

There were 61.2 new cases per 100,000 people for Nov. 30 through Dec. 13, which is lower than the 89 new case per 100,000 people rate for Nov. 16 through Nov. 29.

That rate is the 14th highest in the state for Nov. 30 through Dec. 13, a big decrease from being fifth in the state for the last two weeks of November.

During the first two weeks of November, the county had 153.8 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. 

The new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people rate takes into account the population size and the number of cases, and provides a snapshot of how each county is performing, regardless of population.

For San Juan County, the test positivity rate declined almost 5 percentage points.

It went from 18.19% for the last two weeks of November to 13.38% for Nov. 30 through Dec. 13.

That represented a drop of almost 10 percentage points from Nov. 2 through Nov. 15, when the test positivity rate was 22.86%.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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More:November COVID-19 case count outpacing October's; 1 in 4 tests in county are positive