State reports 159 new cases of COVID-19

State health officials reported 159 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the disease to 28,844. 

No deaths related to COVID-19 were reported Sunday. The state Department of Health said the number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 remains at 870. Bernalillo County reported the most new cases with 32. Five other counties reported double-digit increases in new cases: Eddy County reported 29 new cases—the second most in a single day for the county— while Doña Ana County reported 20 new cases, Lea County reported 17 new cases, while Chaves County and Santa Fe County each reported 11 new cases. 

Officials also reported one new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County. 

There are currently 66 individuals hospitalized for COVID-19, a decrease of six since Saturday. DOH said it’s now designated 16,301 COVID-19 cases as recovered, an increase of 90 since Saturday. 

There are 26 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.

A real vaccine before the election? It’d take a miracle.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Despite President Donald Trump’s promises of a vaccine next month and pundits’ speculation about how an “October surprise” could upend the presidential campaign, any potential vaccine would have to clear a slew of scientific and bureaucratic hurdles in record time. In short, it would take a miracle. We talked to companies, regulators, scientific advisers and analysts and reviewed hundreds of pages of transcripts and study protocols to understand all the steps needed for a coronavirus vaccine to be scientifically validated and cleared for public use.

A fourth straight day of more than 200 cases of COVID-19 Saturday

For the fourth day in a row the state announced more than 200 cases of COVID-19. The state Department of Health reported 206 cases Saturday of the disease and five additional deaths related to the respiratory illness. DOH has now found 28,692 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now at 870. The state provided only the minimal information listed below regarding the deceased on Saturday:

A male in his 80s from Chaves County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 80s from Curry County who was hospitalized.A male in his 60s from McKinley County who 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.A female in her 50s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. There were seven counties that reported double digit numbers Saturday.

Will loopholes gut New Mexico’s new rules on oil and gas well pollution?

New Mexico’s regulators have crafted ambitious new rules to limit air pollution from oil and gas wells, but some stakeholders worry that the flexibility they offer to operators will gut them. “The problem is, right now, the exemptions swallow the rule,” said Jon Goldstein with the Environmental Defense Fund. New Mexico ranks second in the nation for crude oil production. This story originally appeared at Capital & Main and is republished with permission. Thousands of wells tap the state’s reserves.

263 new cases as surge of new COVID cases continues

The increase in COVID-19 cases in New Mexico in the weeks after easing of restrictions and the Labor Day weekend continued, when the state Department of Health reported 263 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday along with six additional deaths related to the disease. The rate of spread, one of the state’s key gating criteria, also increased to a level even higher than that of the peak in June and July. Doña Ana County had 54 new cases of COVID-19, the most in a single day for the county since DOH reported 76 new cases on July 27. The new cases included 51 new cases in Bernalillo County, the second day in a row with 50 or more cases in the state’s most populous county. Chaves County, with newly reported cases 33, and Eddy County, with 27, each had their county’s second highest number of newly reported cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.