Home News COVID-19 Situation County’s COVID transmission levels increase in December

County’s COVID transmission levels increase in December


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The level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Chaves County increased by about 39% from the end of November to Dec. 20, according to data from the New Mexico Department of Health.

The entire state of New Mexico is considered to have a high level of community transmission according to daily case rate thresholds established by NMDOH. The department’s thresholds are based on weekly thresholds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Counties with more than 14.29 cases per 100,000 people per day and more than 10% of tests returning positive for COVID-19 in a two-week period are considered to have a high transmission rate, according to NMDOH.

In the community transmission report issued by the department for Nov. 16 to Nov. 29, Chaves County sat in the middle of New Mexico’s 33 counties with 495 new cases in that time period, or 55.2 cases per 100,000 people. The test positivity was 15.78%.

Daily case numbers began to rise throughout December, and for the Dec. 7 to Dec. 20 report issued Tuesday, Chaves County was ranked fourth-highest in community transmission. The number of cases in the two-week period increased to 690 or 76.9 per 100,000 people and the test positivity increased to 16.99%.

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Still, the county is fairing better than a year ago. On Dec. 19, 2020, Chaves County had a two-week average of 121.2 new cases of COVID-19 per day per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 21.4%.

Three of New Mexico’s least-populated counties rank higher than Chaves County in the latest community transmission report.

Union County is third with 97.8 cases per 100,000 people and a test positivity of 9.77%.

Quay County is second with 106.3 cases per 100,000 people and a test positivity of 21.785%.

The highest level of transmission is in De Baca County, with 163 cases per 100,000 people and a test positivity of 26.92%.

Los Alamos County has the lowest level of community transmission with 18.6 cases per 100,000 people and a test positivity of 3.07%.

Due to the Christmas holiday, the state did not issue a daily case update for Friday. Monday’s update will include information from Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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/.

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