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State adds 6 more virus deaths, 153 cases to tally

Medical staff perform screenings at a drive-up coronavirus testing center at Lovelace Hospital in Downtown Albuquerque on Sunday, April 19, 2020. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Six more adults have died in New Mexico’s coronavirus outbreak, state health officials said Tuesday, pushing the statewide total to 110.

Four of the six who died were from McKinley and San Juan counties, in the northwestern part of the state, where the virus has been especially difficult to contain.

Health officials said Tuesday that testing has also confirmed 153 additional virus cases statewide, bringing the total to 2,974.

The virus has torn into the Navajo Nation – which stretches into northwestern New Mexico, but also includes parts of Arizona and Utah – in recent weeks. About 57% of the new cases announced Tuesday were in McKinley and San Juan counties.

State data also shows that Native Americans now make up an even 50% of New Mexico’s confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. But they are just 11% of the state’s population.

The deaths announced Tuesday cover individuals ranging in age from their 30s to their 90s. All had been hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.

Two had been residents of group living facilities. The virus has been particularly deadly among people who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The state also said Tuesday that 157 patients are hospitalized with the virus and 705 people are classified as having recovered.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and top state health officials have repeatedly urged New Mexicans to stay home to help limit the spread of the virus. They have said that the growth in new cases is starting to flatten but that it’s too early to lift restrictions.

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