August 12, 2020

Cases in southern, SE NM grow; total tests drop

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The New Mexico Department of Health announced 180 additional COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and two additional deaths related to the disease.

The 180 confirmed cases represent 4.01 percent of the 4,486 tests reported since Tuesday. The 4,486 tests represent the lowest one-day total for COVID-19 cases since July 5 (not counting August 3, when the state only reported partial totals because of a technical disruption).

The state of New Mexico seeks to keep the positivity rate, or the percentage of positive tests out of the total number of tests, below five percent.

The state of New Mexico now has found 22,816 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and reported 695 deaths related to the disease.

A spokesman for DOH told NM Political Report the low number of reported cases was due to two reason: One, their private partner TriCore has a lower capacity because of a lack of testing supplies, something that is impacting states and labs across the country.

The spokesman, David Morgan, said that the state does not currently have a shortage, because they use different machines that use a different reagent.

Another reason is that the DOH caught up on a backlog of samples to test this weekend. They will be a full capacity for tomorrow.

Once again, cases continued to grow in southern and eastern portions of the state. Doña Ana County led with 37 cases, followed by 35 cases for Lea County, then 31 cases for Bernalillo County, 18 cases for Eddy County, 11 cases for McKinley County and 10 cases in Chaves County. 

While Bernalillo County is frequently near the top of the list, it has more than three times as many people (about 679,000) as the next most-populous county, Doña Ana County (about 218,000). Lea County, meanwhile, has about 71,000 residents.

Per calculations by The New York Times, Lea County has had the second-most cases per capita in the last seven days, only behind Cibola County. The Times does not separate cases in prisons as the state does, and Cibola County had a high number of cases in the Cibola County Correctional Center recently.

The 18 new cases in Eddy County were the most in a single day, ahead of the 14 reported just a day before, on Tuesday.

The 35 cases equaled the previous high, from July 20, in Lea County.

Quay County also equalled its previous single-day high, with three cases.

The two deaths each were males from McKinley County, one in his 70s and the other in his 80s, who were hospitalized and had underlying conditions. DOH does not disclose which underlying condition the deceased had, only if one was present.

The number of those hospitalized for COVID-19 dropped to 119—15 fewer people than reported on Tuesday. The 119 hospitalizations were the lowest since July 5, when the state also reported 119 hospitalizations for COVID-19. The number could include those from other states who were hospitalized in New Mexico, but would not include those in New Mexico who are hospitalized in other states. 

The number of confirmed cases designated as recovered by DOH increased by 132 to 9,744.

Testing details

According to the state’s coronavirus information page, 644,823 test results have been reported, an increase of 4,486 since Tuesday’s announcement.

The state provided the number of newly reported cases by county.

  • 31 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 10 new cases in Chaves County
  • 5 new cases in Curry County
  • 37 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 18 new cases in Eddy County
  • 35 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Los Alamos County
  • 11 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Otero County
  • 3 new cases in Quay County
  • 1 new case in Rio Arriba County
  • 1 new case in Roosevelt County
  • 4 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 5 new cases in San Juan County
  • 1 new case in San Miguel County
  • 3 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Socorro County
  • 3 new cases in Taos County
  • 9 new cases in Valencia County

DOH also provided the total number of cases by county.

Three previously reported cases were identified as duplicates (one in each of Bernalillo, McKinley and Santa Fe counties), three previously reported cases were not lab confirmed (one in each of Lea, Luna and Socorro counties) and one previously reported case in Lea County was determined to be an out-of-state resident. All of these have been removed from the totals.

  • Bernalillo County: 5,226
  • Catron County: 5
  • Chaves County: 485
  • Cibola County: 371
  • Colfax County: 18
  • Curry County: 569
  • Doña Ana County: 2,554
  • Eddy County: 336
  • Grant County: 71
  • Guadalupe County: 32
  • Harding County: 1
  • Hidalgo County: 90
  • Lea County: 863
  • Lincoln County: 130
  • Los Alamos County: 24
  • Luna County: 254
  • McKinley County: 4,077
  • Mora County: 6
  • Otero County: 204
  • Quay County: 37
  • Rio Arriba County: 319
  • Roosevelt County: 168
  • Sandoval County: 1,146
  • San Juan County: 3,069
  • San Miguel County: 46
  • Santa Fe County: 660
  • Sierra County: 32
  • Socorro County: 75
  • Taos County: 112
  • Torrance County: 61
  • Union County: 30
  • Valencia County: 441

DOH reported the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the following facilities:

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 313
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 280
  • Otero County Processing Center: 159
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 44

DOH reported the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by the New Mexico Corrections Department at the following facilities:

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 25
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 4
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 1
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

There are 54 long-term or acute care facilities with at least one staff or resident who tested positive for the disease within the last 28 days, according to DOH. This is two fewer than reported on Tuesday.

Update: Added information from David Morgan on the test totals.