Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – New Mexico reported 173 new coronavirus cases Monday, continuing a trend of elevated infection numbers over the last week.
But health officials had just one additional death to announce – a woman in her 50s from San Juan County. The statewide death toll now stands at 493.
The number of virus patients in New Mexico hospitals, meanwhile, continued to fall – to 119 on Monday, a 14% decline from a week ago.
Release of the numbers comes as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has put on hold New Mexico’s plan to reopen more of its economy, citing a surge in infections throughout the state.
She is also urging New Mexicans not to let up on mask wearing and social distancing – key strategies for limiting transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The governor has said widespread use of masks will allow the state to reopen more quickly.
“Face coverings are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and living in a COVID-positive world,” Lujan Grisham said Sunday in a tweet.
Testing over the past week has confirmed an increase in cases, compared with early and mid-June. The 173 cases announced Monday, for example, are 35% more than the same day a week ago.
The leading counties for virus cases Monday were Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties.
Bernalillo County reported 45 new cases, and Doña Ana County had 35.
Altogether, testing has confirmed 11,982 cases out of 337,720 tests – for a positive rate of 3.5%.