March 20, 2020

Eight new positive COVID-19 cases, including first in southern and western New Mexico. Total is 43

Andy Lyman

With the state’s announcement of 43 people total who have tested positive for COVID-19, the virus has now been detected in southern and western New Mexico for the first time.

The state announced eight new positive tests on Friday.

Update (3/21): State DOH reports 14 new COVID-19 cases; total of 57

A male in his 20s tested positive in Doña Ana County and a male in his 30s tested positive in McKinley County, the first in those counties

 The other new cases include:

  • A female in Bernalillo County in her teens
  • Two males in Bernalillo County in their 40s
  • A female in Sandoval County in her teens
  • A male in Sandoval County in his 80s
  • A female in Taos County in her 70s.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 43 positive tests for COVID-19:

  • Bernalillo County: 23
  • Doña Ana County: 1
  • McKinley County: 1
  • Sandoval County: 6
  • San Miguel County: 1
  • Santa Fe County: 7
  • ​​Socorro County: 2
  • Taos County: 2

The state has processed 3,814 tests for COVID-19 as of Friday.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and said given the infectiousness of the virus, it is likely other residents are infected but have yet to be tested. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham enacted restrictions that started Thursday on dining and other establishments where residents often gather. The restrictions are intended to minimize contact among individuals, according to the statement.

Related: Guv: Restaurants take-out or delivery only; malls, many businesses closed

The state strongly encourages residents to limit travel to what is necessary for health, safety and welfare only and that anyone who travels out of state self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

The Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, including contact tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases, according to the release.

Residents who feel symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, are encouraged to call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately at 855-600-3453. The state said in its release that it needs to prioritize testing for residents showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Residents who are not showing those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. The Department of Health reminds residents that this is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. 

Residents who have non-health-related questions or concerns can call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov for more information.