Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – The number of New Mexicans who have died in the coronavirus pandemic climbed above 300 on Friday, with eight more deaths announced by state health officials.
The new victims – ranging in age from their 60s to their 90s – all had underlying medical conditions of some kind, a risk factor for the respiratory disease. Half had been residents of group living facilities.
Health officials also reported 160 new positive tests for the virus, for a total of 6,625 cases since the first infections surfaced in the state March 11.
Just over half of the new cases announced Friday were in McKinley and San Juan counties – a smaller percentage that has been typical for those areas. The northwestern part of the state, especially the Navajo Nation, has been hit hard by the virus.
Four of the eight deaths announced Friday were in San Juan County. Three adults in Bernalillo County also died, and another victim was from McKinley County.
The state’s death toll now stands at 302, and 210 patients are hospitalized. The state Department of Health has designated 2,149 people has having recovered from the virus.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging people to stay home if they can, wear masks when out in public and engage in social distancing to help limit transmission of the disease.
State officials said Friday that they are preparing to hire 200 to 250 new workers to aid in tracing the contacts of anyone who has been infected. The work is done remotely.
Visit www.spo.state.nm.us to apply or learn more.
“Effective and timely case investigation and contact tracing are central to New Mexico’s effort to contain the virus and move into each of our three phases of economic recovery,” Governor’s Office spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said in a news release.