COVID-19 case growth slows, with 214 new cases reported

Drivers wait in line for drive-up COVID-19 testing at Lovelace Medical Center in downtown Albuquerque in this March file photo. New Mexico’s coronavirus case growth is slowing, after rising for most of July. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s coronavirus case trajectory continues to decline, after rising for most of last month.

State health officials announced 214 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s rolling seven-day average of new daily cases to 223, according to a Journal analysis.

That’s the lowest that the state’s average of new coronavirus cases has been since July 6, when it was at 218 cases per day.

The decline in new cases comes as New Mexico public school students are preparing to start the new academic year under a remote learning model.

It could also raise new questions about easing business restrictions, as the pandemic has caused unemployment to rise to record levels.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said last week that further reopening of the state’s economy would hinge on testing and case figures – among other criteria – after a previous loosening of restrictions led to a spike in new cases statewide.

“My goal is to get that (test) positivity rate as low as possible and to keep that infection rate as low as possible – that gives us much more opportunity,” Lujan Grisham said during a news conference at the Roundhouse.

Meanwhile, Department of Health officials also reported three additional deaths due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll since mid-March to 658.

The three deaths included a woman in her 90s from Bernalillo County who lived at an Albuquerque nursing home.

The other two deaths were both men: a McKinley County resident in his 50s and a San Juan County resident in his 80s who was a resident of an assisted-living home in Farmington.

The number of individuals hospitalized due to the coronavirus has also gone down – from 160 a week ago to 133 on Tuesday.

That figure includes both New Mexicans and out-of-state residents transferred to New Mexico for treatment.

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