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10 virus deaths in NM is most in a day since mid-June

Leticia Williams, a health care worker, inserts a swab into her nose at the drive-up coronavirus testing site in the parking lot of the Walmart Superstore at Wyoming and Academy NE in May. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico health officials reported 10 coronavirus deaths Tuesday – the most in a day since mid-June – pushing the statewide death toll to 588 residents.

Testing also confirmed 307 new cases of the disease, propelling the daily average for the last week to a record high.

The 10 deaths related to COVID-19 include adults ranging in age from their 40s to their 90s – all but one of whom had an underlying medical condition of some kind, a risk factor for COVID-19.

The deaths were spread out geographically, with McKinley County in western New Mexico leading with four deaths. One resident from each of Bernalillo, Cibola, Grant, Lea, Lincoln and Sandoval counties also died.

The last time New Mexico reported 10 deaths in a day was June 11. The last day with 11 deaths was May 21.

Rio Arriba County in northern New Mexico and Lea County in the southeastern part of the state reported substantial growth in cases.

Testing also confirmed 47 cases in Rio Arriba County and 32 in Lea County, large jumps from the day before.

Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county, led the state with 60 new infections Tuesday, followed by Doña Ana County with 49.

The state reported that 154 virus patients were hospitalized in New Mexico, the same as the day before.

Altogether, the state has confirmed 17,517 cases of the disease out of 481,531 tests – a positive rate of 3.6% – since the pandemic reached New Mexico in March.

Tuesday’s positive rate was 6.1%, suggesting the increase in cases wasn’t just a result of increased testing.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has responded to the climbing number of cases by tightening New Mexico’s mask mandate and reimposing a ban on indoor dining, among other steps.

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