August 19, 2020

Uptick in COVID-19 cases after two days of very low numbers, but overall trend remains positive

After two days of fewer than 100 reported tests, the New Mexico Department of Health reported 174 newly reported tests on Wednesday, including many in counties in southwestern New Mexico.

DOH also reported six additional deaths related to COVID-19.

The state of New Mexico has now found 23,749 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and reported 729 deaths related to the disease.

The 174 new cases are more than were reported on Monday and Tuesday combined.

At the same time, the number of those hospitalized for COVID-19 dropped to 94, 17 fewer than on Tuesday. This is the fewest hospitalized since April 18. The number of those hospitalized could include those from other states, but would not include New Mexicans who are hospitalized for COVID-19 out of state.

Of the newly reported cases, the most—as has been the case for most days recently—came from Bernalillo County, with 33. Bernalillo County has by far the most population of any county in the state.

This was followed by 25 in Lea County, 19 in Chaves County, 16 in Doña Ana County, 15 in Eddy County, 12 in Santa Fe County and ten in each of Sandoval and San Juan counties; no other county had double-digit numbers of cases.

Three of the deaths related to COVID-19 were from residents of Bernalillo County, according to DOH, which provided some information on each case.

  • A female in her 30s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions.
  • A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions.
  • A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
  • A male in his 40s from McKinley County who had underlying conditions.
  • A female in her 80s from San Juan County who had underlying conditions.
  • A male in his 60s from Taos County who had underlying conditions.

DOH, as usual, did not provide which underlying condition any of the deceased had, only if one was present.

DOH said that 10,976 confirmed cases are now designated as recovered, an increase of 174 from Tuesday’s announcement.

Gating criteria

Per the state’s COVID-19 gating criteria website, the seven-day rolling average of daily cases by collection date, which differs from the date in which tests are reported, was 137 as of August 13, the last date for which the information was available.

This means the state is now at or below its target for moving on to another phase of reopening for each gating criteria. 

Another goal is to keep the testing capacity above 5,000 tests per day on a seven-day rolling average, and it was at 6,308 as of August 16. The test positivity rate was at 2.6 percent, below the 5 percent goal, as of August 16.

And for rate of spread, New Mexico is at 0.7 as of August 18, below the goal of 1. The rate of spread is the average number of people each person with COVID-19 will infect, and anything below 1 means the number of cases is dropping.

DOH updates most gating criteria on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, though contact tracing and healthcare system capacity is updated each Tuesday.

Testing details

The DOH coronavirus information website said 688,495 tests have been reported in the state so far. This is an increase of 5,442 over Tuesday’s total.

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

  • 33 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 19 new cases in Chaves County
  • 3 new cases in Cibola County
  • 8 new cases in Curry County
  • 16 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 15 new cases in Eddy County
  • 25 new cases in Lea County
  • 3 new cases in Lincoln County
  • 1 new case in Los Alamos County
  • 2 new cases in Luna County
  • 4 new cases in McKinley County
  • 4 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 1 new case in Roosevelt County
  • 10 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 10 new cases in San Juan County
  • 1 new case in San Miguel County
  • 12 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Union County
  • 3 new cases in Valencia County
  • 3 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Cibola County Correctional Center

Additionally, the state provided the number of total cases by county, including those reported on Wednesday.

One previously reported case in Valencia County was found to be a duplicate, while one previously reported case in each of Lea County and McKinley County were identified to be not lab confirmed and one previously reported case in Lea County was identified as an out-of-state resident. All have been removed from the totals.

  • Bernalillo County: 5,416
  • Catron County: 5
  • Chaves County: 567
  • Cibola County: 388
  • Colfax County: 19
  • Curry County: 611
  • Doña Ana County: 2,664
  • Eddy County: 394
  • Grant County: 72
  • Guadalupe County: 32
  • Harding County: 2
  • Hidalgo County: 93
  • Lea County: 965
  • Lincoln County: 160
  • Los Alamos County: 24
  • Luna County: 259
  • McKinley County: 4,134
  • Mora County: 6
  • Otero County: 211
  • Quay County: 51
  • Rio Arriba County: 331
  • Roosevelt County: 177
  • Sandoval County: 1,172
  • San Juan County: 3,116
  • San Miguel County: 56
  • Santa Fe County: 723
  • Sierra County: 34
  • Socorro County: 75
  • Taos County: 116
  • Torrance County: 63
  • Union County: 31
  • Valencia County: 468

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

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 323
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 280
  • Otero County Processing Center: 159
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 44

DOH also 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 48 acute care or long-term care facilities with at least one staff or resident who tested positive for the disease within the last 28 days, according to DOH. That is a decrease of eight facilities since Tuesday.