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NM records 300 new COVID-19 cases; five deaths

Signs reminding people of a face mask mandate in public settings are displayed on Santa Fe’s historic plaza in this July 2 file photo. New Mexico coronavirus cases have increased since the start of this month. (T.S. Last/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s coronavirus case count continued to surge Thursday, with state health officials reporting the third-highest single day number of new cases since the pandemic began in mid-March.

Overall, New Mexico officials said there were 300 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 103 new cases in Bernalillo County.

The state’s most populous county has seen a resurgence of cases in recent weeks. There were just 38 new cases in Bernalillo County on July 1.

Statewide, the recent increase in confirmed cases boosted New Mexico’s rolling seven-day average of new cases to 270 on Thursday – the state’s highest number to date.

Increased testing is part of the reason for the rise in new coronavirus cases, as the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity has gradually gone up to an average of about 6,400 tests per day, as of this week.

However, the state’s positive test rate has also increased in recent days, meaning an increase in testing alone is not the only factor driving New Mexico’s growth in new cases.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said family gatherings, relaxed business restrictions and general “coronavirus fatigue” are among the likely factors in the recent New Mexico case growth, which has seen an increased number of residents in their 20s and 30s testing positive for the virus.

While the state’s hospitalization and case rates have increased this month, the number of deaths related to COVID-19 remain below peak levels.

The Department of Health reported five additional deaths Thursday, bringing the state’s total death tally to 562.

The five individuals who died were all women. Two of them were from McKinley County, while the other three were from Bernalillo, Cibola and San Juan counties, respectively.

All five of the women who died had underlying health conditions, and three of them were residents of senior-living facilities, according to DOH.

Meanwhile, a total of 6,678 New Mexicans infected with COVID-19 are now designated as having recovered by the state Department of Health, which means the state’s recovery rate is roughly 41.4%.

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