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8 more virus deaths, 122 new cases in New Mexico


In this file photo, Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel, left, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham give an update on the COVID-19 outbreak in New Mexico last month. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – State health officials say eight more New Mexicans – all adults from McKinley or San Juan counties – have died in the state’s coronavirus outbreak, bringing the statewide death toll to 375 on Wednesday.

Testing also confirmed 122 new cases of the disease, including 25 cases among federal detainees at the Otero County prison.

Seven of the eight individuals who died had underlying medical conditions of some kind, a risk factor for COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. The deceased ranged in age from their 60s to their 80s.

The deaths continued a trend in northwestern New Mexico, the part of the state hit hardest by the respiratory disease.

The Otero County Prison Facility is also enduring an outbreak. Cases there now total 162, according to the Department of Health.

Wednesday’s numbers also contained an encouraging trend. The state reported that 170 virus patients are hospitalized in New Mexico – a 19% drop from a week ago.

The Department of Health has designated 3,013 people as having recovered from the disease – out of the 8,140 cases overall since March 11.

State health officials continue to urge people to stay home except for essential outings and to wear cloth masks if they must go out, unless they’re exercising, eating or drinking. The goal is to reduce the transmission of the disease and hit targets for reopening more of the state’s economy.

New Mexico this week began a partial reopening of indoor restaurants, gyms and salons. Retail stores are also open under capacity limits.

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