June 12, 2020

COVID-19 cases along Texas border continue to increase in Doña Ana County

The numbers of additional COVID-19 test positive cases rose in Doña Ana County from 509 last Thursday to 632 this Thursday but Mayor Ken Miyagishima said the majority of cases are still in the areas that border Texas.

Texas hit all-time highs this week with hospitalizations and single-day increases of COVID-19 test positive cases.

The New Mexico Department of Health map shows that zip code 88021, which includes Anthony, has 88 cases. Zip code 88063, which includes Santa Teresa, has 92 cases. By contrast, zip code 88046, which includes Mesilla, has one case, according to the map.

Zip code 88081, which includes Chaparral, has 627 cases. As of Thursday there were 632 cases in all of Doña Ana County.

DOH spokesperson David Morgan said the zip code for Chaparral includes the detention centers located nearby in Otero County.

“Those cases are not included in the county counts, but they are included in the zip code count,” he wrote in an email.

The rest of Doña Ana County has fewer cases in each zip code. Zip code 88005, which is to the southwest of Las Cruces, has 36 cases. Zip code 88001, which slices a central portion of Las Cruces just to the west of I-10, has 53 cases.

Miyagishima said he is concerned about the increase in cases in Doña Ana County. On Wednesday, the county had 27 news cases and 18 new cases on Thursday. The county now has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 test positive cases in the state and the seventh-highest per capita amount of cases.

“Granted, knowing businesses are opening, we expected it,” Miyagishima said. “Unfortunately, it happens when you have more people coming together. You see more cases.”

Miyagishima said Las Cruces hospitals are not at capacity and he said the hospitals are still able to deliver elective surgery. He said Las Cruces hospitals are prepared to handle more COVID-19 patients if the need arises.

If the county continues to rise in the double digits, he declined to comment on any potential plan to try to flatten that curve.

“I don’t want to discuss that until we know where we’re at,” he said.