Local death toll now 17
Another local resident has died from COVID-19, as Friday marked the third consecutive day of record-breaking daily coronavirus case totals statewide, with 819.
The New Mexico Department of Health reported that a woman in her 90s who was a resident at Heartfelt Manor Assisted Living is the latest local fatality from the pandemic. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the woman, who is the 17th local resident to die from the virus, was hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.
Five more deaths from COVID-19 were recorded across New Mexico Friday, four of which were hospitalized and had underlying conditions. They include a woman in her 80s from Bernalillo County who is a resident of the Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque; a man in his 60s from Socorro County and two females in their 70s — one from Roosevelt County and the other from San Miguel County.
A female teenager from Eddy County is also reported to have died from complications related to COVID-19. The latest deaths bring New Mexico fatalities from the pandemic to 928.
In addition to a surge in deaths, the state on Friday announced 819 new COVID-19 positive test results, shattering the previous all-time record of daily cases of 577 and 672 reported Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
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New Mexico has now had 35,770 cases of the virus confirmed by the state, of which 1,687 have been detected among Chaves County residents. Of the statewide number, 19,163 are now considered recovered, compared to 633 recovered in Chaves County.
Twenty-four out of New Mexico’s 33 counties had new documented cases of the virus.
On Friday, Bernalillo County recorded the most new positive tests with 178; followed by Doña Ana County with 146. Lea County recorded 54; Sandoval County 42; Santa Fe County 39; Eddy County 36; Luna County 30; San Juan County 29; Chaves County 26; Otero and Valencia counties with 23 each and Lincoln County with 16.The remaining counties all had additional cases of less than 10.
Positive test results for the virus were found among inmates housed at New Mexico prison facilities. At the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County, 20 positives were found among New Mexico Department of Correction detainees, while one was also discovered at the Lea County Correctional Facility.
Inmates held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility reported 31 new cases.
New Mexico is now experiencing uncontrollable spread of the virus, according to COVIDexitstrategy.org, a website maintained by public health experts which documents spread of the virus in each state.
On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stated the virus is spreading rapidly with the three-week rolling average in cases, the state’s positivity rate now at 8.1% and hospitalizations all rising, sparking worries about a health care system that could come under strain.
Chaves County’s positivity rate is now 9.5%.
Hospitalizations have also jumped with a shortage of available beds in intensive care units throughout New Mexico, David Scrase, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Human Services said.
The number of cases, he said, in all of the state’s regions have risen sharply in recent days.
Rapid response testing of businesses across the state has also surged, Lujan Grisham said during a Thursday press conference.
She said rapid response tests, which consist of testing, contact tracing and sanitation performed by the state in work places where a case of the virus has been found — have increased by 60%.
That includes a 126% surge week over week among New Mexico restaurants and a 98% rise among retail and wholesale operations, Lujan Grisham said on Thursday.
In response to the resurgent virus, Lujan Grisham signed a new emergency health order Thursday. Effective Friday, New Mexico food and drink establishments that serve alcohol must close each night by 10 p.m. The order also reduces the maximum occupancy rates of hotels and other lodging facilities, decreases the limit on public gatherings from 10 to five people and requires 14-day self-quarantine of visitors from high-risk states.
Lujan Grisham also warned people to limit daily outings from their home to a maximum of three, wash their hands, wear a mask when out in public and avoid crowds.
She also warned that if residents fail to observe social distancing measures, new constraints on businesses may have to be implemented.
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 email@example.com.