Home News COVID-19 Situation Governor orders flags at half-staff to mourn state’s COVID-19 deaths

Governor orders flags at half-staff to mourn state’s COVID-19 deaths

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The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Mexico since March passed 1,000 on Friday, prompting Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to order state flags to fly at half-staff next week.

Thirteen deaths related to the virus were announced in Friday’s update from the state, along with 1,010 new cases. Chaves County reported 29 new cases in Friday’s update.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health’s latest epidemiology report on COVID-19 hospitalizations, more than 17% of people hospitalized for the virus in New Mexico did not survive, a Friday press release from the governor’s office said.

The governor’s executive order will have all state flags at half-staff Monday through sundown Friday.

“One thousand New Mexican lives lost is an unfathomable tragedy,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement in the press release. “For many months now, the daily drumbeat of a few more deaths, a few more deaths has served to diminish the acute feeling of loss. But it is tragic and real for me, every single day, because it is tragic and real for the New Mexican families with an empty seat at the table, a hole in their hearts that will never be filled. I pray for these families every single day. I ask you to please join me in praying for them — and acting to prevent any more needless loss.

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‘We cannot allow ourselves to become numb. These are not numbers, they are not merely data points,” she said. “They are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, educators, first responders, nurses, doctors, business owners, entrepreneurs. Every one of these 1,000 New Mexicans was loved by someone. Every one of these 1,000 lost New Mexicans leaves a hole in a family, a community, our state. I grieve with them. New Mexico grieves with them.”

Chaves County has had a total of 19 deaths related to COVID-19. None of the deaths announced Friday were local.

Of those 13 deaths, four were from Bernalillo County — a woman in her 20s, a woman in her 30s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s.

Two were from Doña Ana County — a man in his 60s and a man in his 80s.

Two more were from Socorro County — a man in his 60s and a man in his 70s.

The remaining deaths were a woman in her 20s from Cibola County, a woman in her 50s from Eddy County, a man in his 60s from Luna County, a man in his 60s from Sandoval County and a man in his 80s from Santa Fe County.

Friday was the second day in a row, and the second time since the pandemic began, that the number of new cases in a single day was more than 1,000.

More than half of the cases came from Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties, with 335 and 248 cases, respectively. Twenty-six counties and one prison reported new cases.

Santa Fe County reported 45 new cases, Luna County had 43, Valencia County had 41, Sandoval County had 36, McKinley County 33, Cibola County 28, Lea County 26, Otero County 21, Curry County 19 and Eddy County 18.

Twelve other counties reported 10 or fewer cases each, and the Otero County Prison reported one case.

The total number of cases in the state since March is now at 45,909. For Chaves County, the total is 2,095.

As of Friday, 334 people are hospitalized for COVID-19. General beds across the state are 78% filled and 75% of ICU beds are occupied.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com. 

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