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New Mexico's COVID crisis, by the numbers

Check this page for the Daily Lobo's updated testing and confirmed case data for the COVID-19 outbreak in New Mexico, thanks to the COVID Tracking Project. This page will be updated daily as more data is produced and reported.

As of December 22, the NMDOH has reported 132,075 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Mexico, including 2,204 deaths and 56,844 recoveries.

The graphics on this page are optimized for desktop screens. For the best results, readers on mobile devices should view these graphics in horizontal mode.

Mapping the outbreak in New Mexico


The 'curve' in NM's counties

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Here, the 'curve' is shown as the rolling seven-day average of new cases reported in each county, adjusted for population. The steeper the line, the more rapidly cases are being reported. A shallower, flatter line might suggest that the individual counties might be flattening their respective curves and mitigating the outbreak.

As of December 22, the New Mexico counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases are:
Bernalillo County: 37859 cases (15245 recoveries, 484 deaths)
Catron County: 55 cases (16 recoveries, 3 deaths)
Chaves County: 6262 cases (2839 recoveries, 81 deaths)
Cibola County: 2075 cases (943 recoveries, 63 deaths)
Colfax County: 457 cases (74 recoveries, 11 deaths)
Curry County: 3804 cases (2093 recoveries, 40 deaths)
Doña Ana County: 16374 cases (8715 recoveries, 261 deaths)
Eddy County: 4112 cases (1923 recoveries, 62 deaths)
Grant County: 785 cases (278 recoveries, 9 deaths)
Guadalupe County: 253 cases (57 recoveries, 3 deaths)
Harding County: 8 cases (1 recovery, 0 deaths)
Hidalgo County: 219 cases (136 recoveries, 6 deaths)
Lea County: 6143 cases (2708 recoveries, 75 deaths)
Lincoln County: 981 cases (476 recoveries, 10 deaths)
Los Alamos County: 246 cases (80 recoveries, 0 deaths)
Luna County: 2241 cases (1411 recoveries, 38 deaths)
McKinley County: 9187 cases (4812 recoveries, 327 deaths)
Otero County: 2024 cases (713 recoveries, 35 deaths)
Quay County: 324 cases (140 recoveries, 6 deaths)
Rio Arriba County: 2053 cases (710 recoveries, 35 deaths)
Roosevelt County: 1380 cases (625 recoveries, 21 deaths)
Sandoval County: 7497 cases (3123 recoveries, 118 deaths)
San Juan County: 9085 cases (4053 recoveries, 280 deaths)
San Miguel County: 726 cases (257 recoveries, 3 deaths)
Santa Fe County: 6848 cases (2659 recoveries, 63 deaths)
Sierra County: 491 cases (188 recoveries, 27 deaths)
Socorro County: 877 cases (379 recoveries, 40 deaths)
Taos County: 1088 cases (445 recoveries, 37 deaths)
Torrance County: 439 cases (150 recoveries, 3 deaths)
Union County: 184 cases (46 recoveries, 7 deaths)
Valencia County: 4537 cases (1508 recoveries, 54 deaths)

In addition, the NMDOH recently began reporting case totals from various prisons and holding centers independently from the counties where they reside. These cases include:

1091 cases in federal agencies:
Cibola County Correctional Center: 419 cases
Otero County Prison Facility: 431 cases
Otero County Processing Center: 194 cases
Torrance County Detention Facility: 47 cases

2203 cases in New Mexico Corrections Department agencies:
Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 276 cases
Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 249 cases
Lea County Correctional Facility: 218 cases
Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 160 cases
Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 96 cases
Otero County Prison Facility: 472 cases
Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 174 cases
Roswell Correctional Center: 225 cases
Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 187 cases
Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 140 cases
Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 6 cases



Raw case growth vs. per capita growth

While the raw case count for each county is an important figure, it doesn't take into account the fact that New Mexico's population isn't evenly distributed throughout the state. For example, since Bernalillo County has (by far) more residents than any other county in the state, it tracks that Bernalilo would also have more confirmed COVID-19 cases than any other county.

Because of that, it's just as important to look at the per-capita case growth in NM counties, which illustrates below the number of new cases that each county reports per every 100,000 people that live in each county.


COVID-19 testing in New Mexico, by the day

As of December 22, there have been 1,851,782 tests conducted in New Mexico, resulting in a total of 132,075 positive cases in all 33 counties.


How NM stacks up to the rest of the U.S.

Here's how every state has fared so far in terms of new cases and tests per day. These lines have been smoothed out by using the seven-day rolling average for each metric.

As far as population-relative case growth, New Mexico ranks among the highest in the nation, with around 10,000 new confirmed cases per every million people over the past two weeks through December 21.

Throughout the pandemic, we've seen that New Mexico has returned one of the highest test density marks in the country while seeing a low percentage of positive tests.


How infectious is COVID-19?

The basic reproduction number (referred to as R₀ or R-naught) represents an estimate of the number of new infections created by every individual case of a given disease. COVID-19's virulence ranks similarly to that of Ebola, the 2003 SARS outbreak, HIV/AIDS and the flu.

An R₀ value of 1 or below suggests an illness which is expected to die out, while a value greater than 1 demonstrates an illness' ability to spread throughout a population. Current estimates of the R₀ of the coronavirus range from 1.5 to 3.5, though this number has varied as the situation has evolved.

Public health funding and COVID-19 prevalence

There are a number of ways to look at New Mexico's ability to respond to the pandemic, including public health funding. The United Health Foundation releases annual reports outlining each state's per capita public health funding, which it defines as being a two-year estimate of "state dollars dedicated to public health and federal dollars directed to states per person by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration."

In this regard, New Mexico's $220-per-person mark is the second highest in the nation. Paired with a (currently) below-average cases-per-million mark, New Mexico is in the lower risk tier when it comes to public health funding and COVID-19 prevalence.

This page will be updated daily as testing data continues to be reported.
Joe Rull is the data editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @rulljoe.
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