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NM COVID-19 death toll climbs; two inmates test positive at private prison

Medical personnel administer coronavirus tests at a drive-through site outside the Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services in Gallup in this May 4 file photo. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s death count from the COVID-19 outbreak continued to rise Friday, even as hospitalization numbers decreased and recoveries continued to climb.

State health officials announced nine additional deaths related to the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total death tally to 344.

Four of the nine individuals who died were women from McKinley County, which has a high Native American population and has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

The other deaths occurred in Bernalillo, San Juan, Valencia, Sandoval and Doña Ana counties. Most of the deceased had underlying health conditions, and at least two of them were residents of group-living facilities.

Meanwhile, health officials also announced 133 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

In all, there have now been 7,493 confirmed cases since the state’s first positive test result in March.

The new cases reported Friday included two inmates at the privately-run Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center near Grants, which previously had several corrections officers test positive. Four inmates held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility in Chaparral also tested positive for COVID-19, according to state health officials.

In addition, the Department of Health announced that there are 193 individuals currently hospitalized around New Mexico for COVID-19 – a figure that’s decreased from earlier this week.

A total of 2,728 coronavirus cases have now been designated by the agency as having recovered, or about 36.4% of all confirmed cases.

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