Around 75% of all new cases recorded on Monday and Tuesday in New Mexico occurred in the northwest corner of the state's Navajo Nation counties, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services Department Dr. David Scrase said in a news conference on Wednesday.
The counties where the cases occurred were McKinley, San Juan, and Sandoval.
"We are watching that closely every day and hoping to counteract that trend," Scrase said.
"It is a very vulnerable population, so we are doubly concerned to see the rate of cases in this part of the state combined with these other social determinants of health and socioeconomic factors that may make people even more vulnerable."
Bending the curve: At the same news conference, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the state is bending the curve. Grisham said New Mexico is in a perfect position to partner with the federal government to pilot surveillance, research, and contact tracing in the state.
"The federal government has to lead in addressing the public health emergency. It can't be state by state and region by region," Grisham said.
"We are getting the federal government to pay attention to this as a public health national security and national emergency issue that requires them to lead in a national public health response. New Mexico can help them make the right decisions and get the right data."
Separately, she said that New Mexico is not doing a mail-in election. Every New Mexican who would like to vote by absentee ballot will have to mail in a request.
New Mexico has reported at least 1,484 coronavirus cases, with 36 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.