Dec 5, 2020 - Health

New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care

Picture of a person taking someone else's temperature in new mexico
Photo: Sharon Chischilly/Getty Images

New Mexico hospitals may soon move to "crisis standards of care," allowing providers to ration care depending on a patient's likelihood of survival, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in a Washington Post interview.

The state of play: "New Mexico has consistently won praise among public health experts for its aggressive approach to combating the virus," the Post writes. But hospitals across the state have been operating at or near capacity recently, with many close to running out of ICU and regular beds, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.

By the numbers: On Friday, the state saw 2,073 new COVID-19 cases, and had a 14.2% case count increase over the past week, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Currently 934 people are being hospitalized.

The big picture: Lujan Grisham imposed a two-week shutdown ahead of Thanksgiving to mitigate the risk of a rise in cases. The latest restrictions were the strictest in the state since the stay-at-home order issued in March, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

  • Although the governor told WaPo that positivity and infection rates dropped, she said she would likely allow hospitals to move to "crisis standards of care" this Monday.

Of note: Each hospital will decide on its own whether that step is necessary.

Go deeper