August 21, 2020

Update on COVID-19 cases, plus NM continues to meet gating criteria for next reopening phase

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On Friday, the New Mexico Department of Health announced 150 additional COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths related to the disease.

Earlier this week, the state reported fewer than 100 positive tests for two straight days for the first time in months.

This came with a big jump in the total number of tests, as the state reported 10,131 new tests since Monday, bringing the state’s total past 700,000. New Mexico has consistently been in the top-five for tests per capita in the last couple of months.

Bernalillo County, by far the state’s most populous county, once again had the most newly reported cases, with 32, followed by Lea County with 19, Doña Ana County with 14, Chaves County with 12 and Santa Fe County also with 12.

Santa Fe County has not had a new peak in cases, but this is the fourth straight day the county reported a double-digit number of cases. The county remains lower than the average number of cases per capita in the state, though is higher than other counties in the region.

Lea County, meanwhile, continues to have a high number of cases per capita. Lea County has the second-most cases per capita in the last seven days according to The New York Times, only behind sparsely-populated Quay County.

Bernalillo County, which has the highest raw numbers but a much higher overall population, has a per capita rate at just under 20 percent that of Lea County over the last seven days, per the Times

Of the five deaths, two were Bernalillo County residents and two were Sandoval County residents.

  • A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Sandia Ridge Center facility in Albuquerque.
  • A female in her 90s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of the Sandia Ridge Center facility in Albuquerque.
  • A female in her 40s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
  • A male in his 80s from Sandoval County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Rio Rancho Center facility in Rio Rancho.
  • A female in her 90s from Sandoval County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Rio Rancho Center facility in Rio Rancho.

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

This brings the total number of cases to 24,095, while 739 people have died related to the disease.

The number of those hospitalized for COVID-19 dropped again to 65, nine fewer than reported on Thursday. This is the lowest number since April 8. The numbers could include residents from outside the state who are hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19, but would not include New Mexico residents who are hospitalized out of state.

The number of those who have recovered increased to 11,312, an increase of 167 over Thursday’s announcement.

Gating criteria

The state’s updated gating criteria—most of which update on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays—continued to show the state is meeting and exceeding its goals.

The state aims to keep its rate of spread at 1.05 or less on a 10-day rolling average—and was at 0.91 as of Friday.

The daily cases on a seven-day rolling average is at 128, well below the 168 target, while the positivity rate is at 2.1 percent on a seven-day rolling average, again well below the 5 percent target.

The number of tests, while it has dropped from its peak in late July through the first third of August, remains well above the 5,000 goal, at 6,333 tests conducted daily.

Other criteria that are updated on Tuesdays—contact tracing times, healthcare capacity and PPE capacity in hub hospitals—also met or exceeded goals.

Yesterday, health officials said they don’t expect any changes to the state public health order, which is set to expire on August 28.

Testing details

The state crossed the 700,000 test mark and hit 704,955 tests reported on Friday, per the DOH coronavirus information website. The state reported crossing 600,000 tests on August 6, and 500,000 tests on July 24. 

DOH provided the number of newly reported tests on Friday:

  • 32 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 12 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 3 new cases in Curry County
  • 14 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 11 new cases in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Grant County
  • 19 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Lincoln County
  • 1 new case in Luna County
  • 7 new cases in McKinley County
  • 2 new cases in Otero County
  • 2 new cases in Quay County
  • 6 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 3 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 5 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 9 new cases in San Juan County
  • 3 new cases in San Miguel County
  • 12 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Socorro County
  • 5 new cases in Valencia County

Additionally, the state reported the total number of confirmed cases by county, including those from Friday.

Two cases previously reported by DOH in Bernalillo County were identified as duplicates, while three previously reported cases, two in Bernalillo County and one in Curry County, were not lab confirmed and one previously reported case in Otero County was identified as an out-of-state resident. All have been removed from the totals.

  • Bernalillo County: 5,502
  • Catron County: 5
  • Chaves County: 593
  • Cibola County: 392
  • Colfax County: 19
  • Curry County: 621
  • Doña Ana County: 2,699
  • Eddy County: 408
  • Grant County: 76
  • Guadalupe County: 32
  • Harding County: 2
  • Hidalgo County: 93
  • Lea County: 1,010
  • Lincoln County: 162
  • Los Alamos County: 24
  • Luna County: 264
  • McKinley County: 4,148
  • Mora County: 6
  • Otero County: 213
  • Quay County: 60
  • Rio Arriba County: 343
  • Roosevelt County: 188
  • Sandoval County: 1,181
  • San Juan County: 3,131
  • San Miguel County: 61
  • Santa Fe County: 748
  • Sierra County: 36
  • Socorro County: 76
  • Taos County: 115
  • Torrance County: 63
  • Union County: 31
  • Valencia County: 479

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 50 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 one facility since Thursday.