State reports 55 new coronavirus cases; 191 total so far

The state of New Mexico announced 55 new positive COVID-19 tests on Friday, by far the largest number in a single day. The new numbers from the state’s Department of Health bring the total to 191 total positive tests in the state since the first three cases were announced on March 11. Update (3/28): DOH: One new COVID-19 death, 17 new positive COVID-19 tests. State total at 208

The new cases included the first in Roosevelt County in eastern New Mexico and Valencia County, south of Albuquerque. 

“This is the largest jump in cases yet,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Twitter Friday. “This does not mean panic – it means stay home.”

Lujan Grisham gives COVID-19 update

In an address on Facebook Friday afternoon, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that COVID-19 pandemic may peak by Mid-April, but the state will have a better sense of things with more data. The address came shortly after the state Department of Health announced that 55 more people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of those in New Mexico who tested positive to 191. She said that 47 percent of the total cases in New Mexico are those age 45 or younger. “That’s a really important data point because it tells us that younger people who are more mobile” and not doing as much social distancing are potential high risk factors, she said. Only one person in New Mexico has died while infected with COVID-19, a type of disease caused by a coronavirus, a man in his 70s in Eddy County.

Governor orders all those who travel to NM by plane to self-isolate for 14 days

Anyone traveling to New Mexico by air must self-isolate for 14 days or for their time while in New Mexico, whichever is shorter, according to an executive order from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The order says that those who do not self-isolate voluntarily would be subject to involuntary isolation or quarantine by the New Mexico Department of Health. Air travel has already been decimated worldwide by the response to COVID-19. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller called the Albuquerque International Sunport “an absolute ghost town” earlier this week. “Because some individuals infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, travelers may be unaware they are carrying the virus,” Lujan Grisham said in the order.

State to announce extension of public school closure on Friday

The state will announce an extension of the closure of public schools on Friday, according to the state Public Education Department. The department made the announcement on social media. The initial closure would have ended on April 6. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and PED Secretary Ryan Stewart will make the announcement alongside the New Mexico Department of Health on Friday morning, with answers to questions online. “The final determination of the scope of the closure period will be done this afternoon, after examining extensive plans among different state agencies,” the PED statement said.

24 new positive COVID-19 tests; 136 have tested positive total in NM

The state of New Mexico announced 24 new positive tests for COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest single-day number yet. 

So far, 136 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Mexico since the first positive tests were reported on March 11. One patient has died. Update (3/27): State reports 55 new coronavirus cases; 191 total so far

As of today, 13 individuals are hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19, which could include those who tested positive in other states but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but not those who tested positive for COVID-19 in New Mexico and are now in hospitals in other states. The new cases are all in counties with previously reported cases, with the most in Bernalillo County, seven, and in San Juan County, six. The state provided a breakdown of the new cases by county with some information.

Thousands have requested absentee ballots

Over 5,500 New Mexicans requested absentee ballots as of the afternoon of Wednesday March 25, according to the Secretary of State’s office. That is after her office opened the state’s absentee ballot portal on March 20. 

The launch of the online portal came a month earlier than normal for the June 2 primary elections. New Mexico offers “no-excuse” absentee voting, which means any eligible voter can vote by absentee just by requesting a ballot. Some states don’t have any absentee voting, while others only allow voters to request absentee ballots for certain reasons. The online portal for absentee ballots only began in 2018, so there is not a direct comparison for the numbers this year, in a presidential election year, which has higher turnout than elections without a presidential race on the ballot.

State: 13 new COVID-19 cases, 112 total positive tests so far

The New Mexico Department of Health announced that thirteen more people tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday. That means 112 people have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Update (3/26): 24 new positive COVID-19 tests; 136 have tested positive total in NM

Of those, one patient died, which the DOH announced on Wednesday. That case was also the first case in Eddy County. A clerical error led the DOH to list an extra case in Chaves County on Tuesday.

Lab announces increased COVID-19 testing capacity

TriCore Reference Laboratories announced the addition of a new machine that will double the private labs’ COVID-19 testing capacity. The release from the City of Albuquerque’s Emergency Management said that the addition of the Abbott m2000 platform on Monday will increase the daily testing capacity from 500 to 1,000. TriCore and the New Mexico Department of Health’s labs are the two places that can process COVID-19 tests in the state. TriCore says that it is working through a backlog of tests collected before the increased capacity; the lab says it currently has a five-day turnaround for tests. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; }
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State announces first death related to COVID-19

The New Mexico Department of Health announced a male, in his late 70s, in Eddy County died after contracting COVID-19. It’s the first reported death in the state related to the disease. The man had multiple, chronic underlying health issues according to the DOH. “This is a tragic day,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. The man entered Artesia General Hospital on Sunday, March 22 and died the same day.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/25/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico from the previous day is available in a daily email. Sign up here. The same post will also appear on our website each morning. The state announced the number of New Mexicans who have COVID-19 has increased to 100, including another 17 on Tuesday. Read our story here.The Navajo Times wrote about how the number of COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation continues to rise—and how medical equipment is also in short supply there as well. The Navajo Times reported 39 cases of those who live on the Navajo Nation; it has since increased to 49, which includes six in New Mexico.The Albuquerque Journal took a step back and looked at where New Mexico is right now during the COVID-19 crisis.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appeared on 11th Hour on MSNBC Monday night after issuing a stay-at-home order. One thing she noted: New Mexico has been doing better at tests per capita than many other states; data from The COVID Tracking Project shows that, using publicly announced numbers, New Mexico is among the states with the highest amount of tests per million residents (with numbers as of Monday).