This new page on the Beat, as of March 18, 2020, will be dedicated to news on COVID-19 as we receive it. Some articles in front page news, in legal notices,  columns, in sports, in editorials or letters to the editor, as well as in local and non-local news releases may also pertain to COVID-19. So please look at all pages in the Beat for ongoing news.

SANTA FE- New Mexico state health officials announced on Thursday that 4,001 New Mexicans have died due to COVID-19. 

“Today’s sad milestone reminds us of what we have been through as a state and as a country. This is not just another number  - they are our neighbors, our fellow New Mexicans. We grieve for them and their families. It also underscores the need for us to remain cautious in the weeks and months ahead. While New Mexico is leading the nation in vaccinations and staying vigilant with COVID-safe practices, we are not out of the woods. There is still much work still to be done. We need to remain vigilant if we are going to beat COVID,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins.

DOH urges New Mexicans to continue following all DOH- and CDC-recommended safe practices, including:

  • Wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.
  • Staying 6 feet apart from others outside of their household.

New Mexico Department of Health Hearing On “Shot of Truth: Communicating Trusted Vaccine Information”

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband

SANTA FE – Below is the transcript of New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins' testimony at today's Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband:

Chairman Luján, Ranking Member Thune, and distinguished members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to testify before you today to discuss New Mexico’s efforts to disseminate accurate, timely information about vaccine safety to rural areas and communities of color, and to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated.

In New Mexico currently, more than 55% of the population has received at least one shot, and approximately 36% are fully vaccinated. Thanks to our state’s vaccine equity plan, this includes high proportions of minority and socially vulnerable communities.

El Departamento de Salud reprograma eventos, comunicándose con los recipientes de J & J

Santa Fe--El martes, el Departamento de Salud de Nuevo México anunció que estará pausando la distribución de la vacuna COVID Johnson & Johnson siguiendo las recomendaciones federales de los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades y la Administración de Drogas y Alimentos. Estos anuncios siguen los reportes de seis "raros y severos" coágulos de sangre - de las 6.8 millones de dosis administradas - en mujeres entre las edades de 18 y 48 años en los Estados Unidos. Los síntomas ocurrieron entre 6 y 13 días después de la vacunación.  

"Nuevo México - como el gobierno federal - está actuando con cautela," dijo la Secretaria NMDOH Dra. Tracie Collins. "Estaremos compartiendo más información, mientras la recibamos." 

Los eventos y vacunaciones programados con J & J serán pausados o cambiados a Pfizer o Moderna.

Department of Health rescheduling events, communicating with J&J recipients

Santa Fe--The New Mexico Department of Health on Tuesday announced that Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine distribution will be paused following federal Center for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration recommendations. These announcements follow reports of six “rare and severe” blood clots - out of 6.8 million doses given - among women between the ages of 18 and 48 in the United States. Symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.  

“New Mexico - like the federal government - is acting out of an abundance of caution,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “As we learn more, we will share that information.” 

Scheduled J&J events and vaccinations will be paused or shifted to Pfizer and Moderna.

New report will be issued on Mondays and include weekend data

Santa Fe--The New Mexico Department of Health on Friday announced that it will no longer release a daily COVID-19 case count report on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead, the state will provide a consolidated weekend report on Mondays. Day-by-day breakdowns of case counts for Saturday and Sunday will no longer be available.

Note: DOH has also shifted the time frame covered by its daily Epidemiology and Response Division reports - which include the daily case count press release. Instead of reporting from noon to noon the following day, these reports will now cover the period of midnight to midnight the following day. This change took effect today, April 9, and covers the case count press release issued early this afternoon.

Department of Health also announces that 50% of New Mexicans 16 years and older have received at least a first shot

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday announced that registrants who are 60 years and older can now schedule their own COVID-19 vaccine appointments. To do so, users simply log in to using their confirmation code and date of birth, choose their location, and then select from available appointments in their area. Event codes for New Mexicans 60+ are no longer required, though they are required for younger populations.

“We are pleased to offer increased scheduling flexibility for our seniors,” said DOH Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “And in the coming weeks, we intend to offer self-scheduling for all New Mexicans 16 years and older.” 

In the event that a user does not immediately find an available appointment, DOH encourages them to check back again. Providers are continually updating their appointment schedules.

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning April 7, with 20 New Mexico counties at the Turquoise Level and three at the Green Level, at which there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities amid decreased virus risk. The majority of the state’s counties are now at or approaching the least restrictive levels.

Ten counties are at the Yellow Level as of March 24. None are at the Red Level, signifying the highest risk.

Twelve counties advanced to a less restrictive level since the most recent biweekly map update: Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, Eddy, Harding, Lincoln, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Taos and Torrance. Three counties, meanwhile, regressed to the Yellow Level; San Juan and Hidalgo regressed from Turquoise to Yellow, and Guadalupe regressed from Green to Yellow.

Department of Health encourages New Mexicans to update profiles

Santa Fe--The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday that the state has now invited more than 99% of Phase 1 registrants for vaccine appointments.

“DOH has been prioritizing invitations to early-phase vaccine registrants - and we will continue to reach out via text, email, phone calls, and other methods until everyone who wants a vaccine has received it,” said DOH Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins.

All New Mexicans 16+ are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, but DOH is prioritizing invitations for New Mexicans 75+ and seniors with a chronic condition.

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