This story is a staff report from The Paper.


For a state accustomed to finding itself on the bottom of many bad lists, this news will be a pleasant surprise. New Mexico has vaccinated a higher percentage of the state’s population than two-thirds of other states according to tracking data published this week by the Centers for Disease Control.

CDC data shows that New Mexico ranks 15 out of 50 states (19 of 56 when including territories) in the percentage of people who have received at least one vaccine. That’s good news coming after the state reported that a new more contagious variant of COVID-19 had been reported in the state.

Source CDC data. Click to view the interactive map.

Another data marker points to good news for New Mexicans: New Mexico also ranks high among states that have distributed the vaccines allocated, according to rankings published by the Becker Hospital Review. Many states have come under criticism for failing to quickly make allocated vaccines available to the public.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration has been aggressive in their response to COVID. The governor was one of the first in the country to cancel in-person schools in the early days of the outbreak. The state also established rapid response teams to respond to outbreaks at essential businesses.

Those steps and the state’s robust planning for vaccine delivery seem to be paying off.

New Mexico Educators Receive COVID-19 Vaccine | The Paper.

Dept of Health Launches Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Site | The Paper.

>>> Here’s How To Register For The Vaccine in New Mexico. | The Paper.

According to the Associated Press, the governor also said during an online briefing Thursday that she’s optimistic given that the rate of positive tests is much lower than it was just a couple months ago when New Mexico saw a dramatic spike. She also noted the state’s progress with vaccine distribution.

“We absolutely can see light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel. It’s there. I can see it,” she said. “It’s brighter and clearer every day. The way to the other side of this pandemic is absolutely these treatments and vaccines, and I am very enthusiastic about the number of New Mexicans who are not only registering but are clearly wanting to take vaccine.”

Infection rates remain high

The state currently operates under a “Red-to-Green” framework for restrictions. Only one county is considered green.

The state has also placed more than 3,500 businesses on a watchlist for on-site cases. The Paper mapped each one so you can identify those near you.

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