October 2, 2020

New COVID-19 cases shoot past 300 for first time since July

State health officials reported 341 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and five deaths related to the disease. The 341 cases represent the third-highest single day increase in new cases since the start of the pandemic. 

The state Department of Health has not recorded more than 300 new cases in a single day since July 27, but has recorded a steady uptick in cases in recent days, weeks after the state eased some restrictions. The new cases and deaths bring the state’s total to 30,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 887 deaths.

DOH provided the following information on the newly announced deaths: 

  • A male in his 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
  • A male in his 90s from Doña Ana County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces.
  • A female in her 90s from Eddy County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad.
  • A male in his 60s from Lea County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
  • A female in her 70s from Lea County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

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

Ten counties reported double-digit increases in new cases. Bernalillo County reported 99 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day increase for the county since mid-July. Doña Ana County reported 45 new cases, Chaves County reported 32 new cases, Curry County reported 27 new cases, Lea County reported 26 new cases, Santa Fe County reported 17 new cases, Sandoval County and Eddy County each reported 16 new cases, Luna County reported 14 new cases, and Cibola County reported 12 new cases.

DOH also reported one new case at the Otero County Prison Facility under federal custody.   

As of Friday, there were 89 individuals hospitalized, an increase of three since Thursday. This number could include those from other locations who are hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Mexico, but would not include New Mexico residents who are hospitalized out of state.

There are 36 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. This number has not changed since Thursday. 

DOH has designated 17,055 COVID-19 cases as recovered, an increase of 129 since Thursday. 

COVID-19 cases in schools

In a separate announcement, the state Public Education Department reported five new COVID-19 cases across the state in the last 24 hours. PED said rapid response processes have been initiated for the cases and all staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive case. These cases are included in DOH’s totals. 

The new cases are: 

  • 1 case in Chaves County who is a staff member and was last on school property Sept. 28. 
  • 1 case in Doña Ana County who is a student and was last on school property Sept. 25. 
  • 1 case in Lea County who is a staff member and was last on school property Sept. 18. 
  • 1 case in Sandoval County who is a staff member and was last on school property Sept. 16. 
  • 1 case in Valencia County who is a staff member and was last on school property Oct. 1. 

PED said all “close contacts” of confirmed COVID-19 cases will be informed of the positive case and instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Affected classrooms and facilities will be cleaned and disinfected; and staff must be tested if symptomatic or a “close contact.” But, PED said school staff members will not be required to present a negative test result in order to return to work.

PED said it has tracked COVID-19 cases within schools across the state since Aug. 17 and has recorded a total of 210 total cases in 112 schools. Of those, 148 have been staff members and 62 have been students.

Gating criteria

The state is currently exceeding two of its gating criteria for reopening. The state’s 7-day rolling average of new cases is at 171, above the goal of 168 or less. The spread rate, which measures the average number of people someone with COVID-19 will spread the disease to, is currently at 1.26 on a 7-day rolling average. That’s down from Wednesday’s spread rate of 1.3, but is still above the gating criteria goal of 1.05 or less.

The 7-day rolling average for COVID-19 tests is at 6,145 tests, above the state’s goal of 5,000 tests per day. The positivity rate for the virus is currently at 3.4 percent, well below the state’s goal of 5 percent. 

Testing details

The state’s coronavirus information page showed 935,401 total tests processed as of Friday, an increase of 7,012 tests since Thursday.

The new cases in each county are: 

  • 99 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 32 new cases in Chaves County
  • 12 new cases in Cibola County
  • 3 new cases in Colfax County
  • 27 new cases in Curry County
  • 45 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 16 new cases in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Grant County
  • 26 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Lincoln County
  • 14 new cases in Luna County
  • 7 new cases in McKinley County
  • 4 new cases in Otero County
  • 2 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 1 new case in Roosevelt County
  • 16 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 9 new cases in San Juan County
  • 17 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Sierra County
  • 1 new case in Socorro County
  • 3 new cases in Torrance County
  • 3 new cases in Valencia County
  • 1 new case among individuals being held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility

DOH also provided the total number of cases by county, including the cases announced on Friday. Two previously reported cases in Bernalillo County were not lab confirmed and have been removed from the totals. 

  • Bernalillo County: 6,757
  • Catron County: 9
  • Chaves County: 1,293
  • Cibola County: 443
  • Colfax County: 39
  • Curry County: 881
  • De Baca County: 1
  • Doña Ana County: 3,521
  • Eddy County: 891
  • Grant County: 129
  • Guadalupe County: 34
  • Harding County: 1
  • Hidalgo County: 101
  • Lea County: 1,490
  • Lincoln County: 220
  • Los Alamos County: 33
  • Luna County: 439
  • McKinley County: 4,353
  • Mora County: 7
  • Otero County: 275
  • Quay County: 75
  • Rio Arriba County: 403
  • Roosevelt County: 290
  • Sandoval County: 1,396
  • San Juan County: 3,375
  • San Miguel County: 101
  • Santa Fe County: 1,049
  • Sierra County: 48
  • Socorro County: 110
  • Taos County: 148
  • Torrance County: 80
  • Union County: 31
  • Valencia County: 595

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: 286
  • 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: 51
  • 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