Home News COVID-19 Situation Chaves County reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

Chaves County reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

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Chaves County reported 31 additional positive test results for COVID-19 Thursday, the county’s highest daily case total so far.

As of Thursday, Chaves County has had a total of 867 cases, of which 332 are designated as recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health. In all, 18,434 tests have been administered to local residents.

Statewide, 161 new cases were reported Thursday, bringing the state’s total since March to 26,429, of which 14,120 have recovered, according to the Department of Health’s daily report issued Thursday.

Eighty individuals are currently hospitalized in New Mexico with the virus.

Counties with the most new positive test results Thursday were: Chaves County with 31, Bernalillo County with 27, Eddy County with 21, Doña Ana County with 17, Lea County with 13, and Santa Fe County with 11. Fourteen other counties recorded new cases numbering in the single digits.

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Three deaths were also reported Thursday, causing New Mexico fatalities from the virus to reach 816. Of those deaths, Chaves County’s number stands at seven since March.

Two women in their 80s — one from Lincoln County and one from McKinley County — were among the fatalities. Both were hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

In Bernalillo County, a man in his 20s with underlying conditions also died from the virus.

State public health officials, during a livestreamed press conference Thursday afternoon, said the state as a whole has improved as relates to the pandemic.

Dr. David Scrase of the New Mexico Department of Human Services said the modeling data is the best the state has seen in as much as six months.

“They are wearing their masks, they are not going to large gatherings and they are keeping surfaces and their hands clean, you know, multiple times a day,” he said of New Mexicans.

The seven-day average of daily COVID-19 positive cases statewide has fallen to 101. In the southwest, the picture has improved dramatically with the number of positives in that region in the last two days at its lowest in months.

Scrase said New Mexico is also at the top of its game in terms of its test positivity rate.

In a bit of bad news, Scrase said De Baca County recorded its first new case of COVID-19. The county had been the only one in New Mexico to have not reported a case of the virus.

As for numbers of positive test results in the last two weeks, Scrase said the northeast and northwest are experiencing a decrease, while activity is rising in the southeast.

With flu season approaching, Scrase said there is little difference in terms of symptoms between the flu and COVID-19.

“The only things that really differentiate the flu and COVID is a lot more common shortness of breath if you don’t have respiratory issues and the loss of taste and smell that has been reported a lot. And so I think the takeaway here is that if you get a respiratory illness this fall, please get medical attention and be evaluated,” he said.

The wearing of masks, Scrase said, could also be a benefit in helping curtail transmission of the traditional influenza virus.

“So we are going to get a double benefit from those COVID-safe practices,” he said.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.