September 28, 2020

Spread rate in NM continues to rise, while DOH reports 146 new COVID-19 cases

State health officials reported 146 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths on Monday, as the spread rate and some other gating criteria continue to go in the wrong direction.

The New Mexico Department of Health has now reported 28,985 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 873 deaths related to the disease.

The rate of spread, or the number of people someone with COVID-19 will spread the disease to, on average, continued to grow and was at 1.3 as of Sept. 27, the highest rate since the early days of the pandemic. It had been as low as 0.81 on August 5.

The state aims to keep the rate of spread at or below 1.05. 

The county with the most newly reported cases was Bernalillo County, with 47. Doña Ana County (19), Santa Fe County (11), Curry County (11) and McKinley County (10) were the only other counties with double-digit numbers of new cases on Monday.

The state also reported one new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility.

DOH provided some information on the three newly reported deaths, two of which were from residents of Lakeview Christian Home in Eddy County. One was a female in her 60s and the other was a male in his 70s. Both had underlying conditions.

The third newly reported death was a female in her 70s from Luna County, who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

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

DOH reported that, as of Monday, 76 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an increase of ten since Sunday. This could include those from out of state who are hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19, but would not include New Mexico residents who are hospitalized in other states.

The number of those designated by DOH as recovered reached 16,422, an increase of 121 since Sunday.

Gating criteria

In addition to the high spread rate statewide, all five regions of the state also have spread rates above the 1.05 goal, with the northwest and metro areas near 1.4 as of Sept. 27.

The number of cases reported daily also continues to rise, and was at 141 on a seven-day rolling average as of Sept. 22. The daily number of cases is reported by the date of specimen collection, which differs from the date reported. Some labs can take several days to process and report results. The state aims to keep this number below 168.

Two other gating criteria updated on Monday showed better numbers for the state.

The test positivity rate, or the percentage of positive tests to total tests, is at 2.7 percent as of Sept. 26 on a seven-day rolling average, well below the goal of 5 percent. Still, this also represents an increase, since it was as low as 2 percent on Sept. 18.

The number of daily tests also has grown and is at 6,061 on a seven-day rolling average as of Sept. 26.

Testing details

The state coronavirus information page showed that the state has processed 909,505 tests as of Monday, an increase of 4,176 since Sunday.

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

  • 47 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 5 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 11 new cases in Curry County
  • 19 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 4 new cases in Eddy County
  • 4 new cases in Grant County
  • 2 new cases in Lea County
  • 3 new cases in Luna County
  • 10 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Otero County
  • 2 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 6 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 9 new cases in San Juan County
  • 11 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 2 new cases in Socorro County
  • 1 new case in Taos County
  • 1 new case in Torrance County
  • 3 new cases in Valencia County
  • 1 new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility 

Additionally, DOH provided the total number of cases by county.

Two previously reported cases in Eddy County were identified as duplicates and were removed from that county’s total.

  • Bernalillo County: 6,499
  • Catron County: 9
  • Chaves County: 1,164
  • Cibola County: 420
  • Colfax County: 36
  • Curry County: 801
  • De Baca County: 1
  • Doña Ana County: 3,362
  • Eddy County: 826
  • Grant County: 124
  • Guadalupe County: 34
  • Harding County: 2
  • Hidalgo County: 99
  • Lea County: 1,414
  • Lincoln County: 211
  • Los Alamos County: 33
  • Luna County: 422
  • McKinley County: 4,335
  • Mora County: 7
  • Otero County: 264
  • Quay County: 74
  • Rio Arriba County: 399
  • Roosevelt County: 282
  • Sandoval County: 1,357
  • San Juan County: 3,336
  • San Miguel County: 100
  • Santa Fe County: 1,014
  • Sierra County: 46
  • Socorro County: 105
  • Taos County: 144
  • Torrance County: 74
  • Union County: 31
  • Valencia County: 581

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: 285
  • Otero County Processing Center: 163
  • 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: 34
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 49
  • 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
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 1
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

There are 27 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 one more than the state reported on Sunday.