Chaves County had the state’s second-highest number of new cases of COVID-19 in Tuesday’s update from the New Mexico Department of Health.
The state reported 178 new cases Tuesday, with 28 in Chaves County. Bernalillo County had the most in the state with 48. Doña Ana County had 26, Curry County 17, Eddy County had 14 and Sandoval County had 11 new cases. Ten other counties reported fewer than 10 new cases each.
The two deaths reported in the state Tuesday were both from Eddy County.
One was a man in his 30s and the other a man in his 80s who was a resident of Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad. Both had been hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.
The state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to date is now 29,157. Chaves County’s total is 1,192.
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The state’s total includes adjustments for two cases identified as duplicates in Eddy and Lea counties, three cases not lab confirmed in Doña Ana, Otero and Sandoval counties, and one case in Lea County identified as an out-of-state resident.
The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 is now at 875, including 12 in Chaves County.
As of Tuesday, 80 people were hospitalized for COVID-19. The health department had identified 16,565 cases as recovered, including 503 in Chaves County.
The state has conducted 914,986 tests, including 22,613 in Chaves County.
In a virtual press conference on the latest COVID-19 modeling data Tuesday afternoon, Dr. David Scrase, secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department, said the state is now able to determine the number of individuals who have had at least one test for COVID-19. People who are in high-risk situations such as living or working in a nursing home might be tested multiple times, Scrase said.
“It turns out a little more than a quarter of people have been tested in New Mexico,” he said.
In Chaves County, 23.4% of the people have been tested, according to the data.
More women than men have been tested, by about 4%, Scrase said. More testing is also occurring in younger age groups, mainly those ages 18 to 44.
Chaves County’s two-week average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is 26, and its positivity rate is 8.6%, both the highest in the state for the period of Sept. 9 to Sept. 15. Chaves County is one of six counties in the “red zone” with high rates for both criteria. The state should release new data on those criteria Thursday or Friday, Scrase said.
Counties that have a positivity rate of 5% or less and eight or fewer new cases per day on average are able to operate with fewer restrictions, such as being able to conduct the hybrid model of learning in public schools and allowing visitation to nursing homes.
To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.
City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or email@example.com.