September 11, 2020

137 new cases, as cases continue to grow in Chaves County

A microbiologist in Pennsylvania conducted a test for COVID-19 in March, 2020. Flickr/cc

State health officials reported 137 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and two additional deaths related to the disease.

The state also continues to meet most of its gating criteria for reopening, though the average number of tests conducted daily is dropping. The total number of newly reported cases, on average continued to drop, to a level not reported in New Mexico since late May.

Of the newly reported cases by the state Department of Health, more than a quarter—40—came from Chaves County in southeastern New Mexico. Lea County, with 15, Bernalillo County with 13 and Doña Ana County with 11 each also had double-digit numbers of newly reported cases.

The state now has found 26,563 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and 818 deaths related to the disease.

The two deaths related to COVID-19 were a female in her 70s from Bernalillo County who was a resident of Brookdale Juan Tabo in Albuquerque and a female in her 30s from Lea County who was hospitalized. Both had underlying conditions, but DOH does not disclose which underlying condition because of privacy concerns.

The state announced there are 73 individuals hospitalized in the state for COVID-19, a decrease of seven since Thursday. This number could include those from other locations who are hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19, but would not include New Mexico residents who are hospitalized out of state for the disease. 

The number of those DOH designated as recovered is now 14,276, 156 more than reported on Thursday.

Gating criteria

On the gating criteria, the state continues to improve on most fronts, but the number of tests per day on a seven-day rolling average dropped to 4,315 as of September 9, the lowest number in three months. In a press conference this week, Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase said the biggest driver in the drop in cases was a decrease in public demand, but other things like the Labor Day weekend and inclement weather have also played a factor.

The positivity rate, or percentage of positive tests out of total tests, on a seven-day rolling average dropped to 2.1 percent as of September 8, well below the goal of 5 percent. A lower number is better, and New Mexico has been the best state in the western United States on this measure in recent weeks.

The rate of spread also continues to fall, on a ten-day rolling average, down to 0.87 as of September 9. The state aims to stay below 1.05, and anything under 1 means that the number of cases are falling. The rate of spread is below the 1.05 goal in all regions of the state.

The seven-day-rolling average of daily cases also continues to fall, down to 101 as of September 4. This is the lowest since late May.

Testing details

The state coronavirus page reported 812,050 tests, 5,051 more than previously reported.

DOH also announced the total number of newly reported cases by county.

  • 13 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 40 new cases in Chaves County
  • 7 new cases in Curry County
  • 12 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 4 new cases in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Grant County
  • 16 new cases in Lea County
  • 4 new cases in Luna County
  • 7 new cases in McKinley County
  • 2 new cases in Otero County
  • 3 new cases in Quay County
  • 2 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 6 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 6 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 3 new cases in San Juan County
  • 6 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 2 new cases in Taos County
  • 1 new case in Valencia County
  • 2 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Processing Center

The state also provided the total number of cases, including Friday’s numbers, by county.

  • Bernalillo County: 6,024
  • Catron County: 11
  • Chaves County: 907
  • Cibola County: 400
  • Colfax County: 23
  • Curry County: 722
  • De Baca County: 1
  • Doña Ana County: 3,001
  • Eddy County: 613
  • Grant County: 98
  • Guadalupe County: 32
  • Harding County: 2
  • Hidalgo County: 98
  • Lea County: 1,239
  • Lincoln County: 176
  • Los Alamos County: 29
  • Luna County: 354
  • McKinley County: 4,259
  • Mora County: 6
  • Otero County: 231
  • Quay County: 69
  • Rio Arriba County: 371
  • Roosevelt County: 225
  • Sandoval County: 1,277
  • San Juan County: 3,230
  • San Miguel County: 89
  • Santa Fe County: 888
  • Sierra County: 38
  • Socorro County: 78
  • Taos County: 124
  • Torrance County: 63
  • Union County: 31
  • Valencia County: 529

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

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 324
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 281
  • Otero County Processing Center: 161
  • 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: 31
  • 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: 473
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

There are 45 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.