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NM reports 76 new virus cases amid downward trend


Presbyterian registration staffer Juliette Rohde processes a driver at the at Isleta Amphitheater COVID-19 testing site on Monday, August 24. The site was established after a spike in cases in the South Valley. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — New Mexico reported just 76 more coronavirus cases Monday and two deaths, continuing a sharp downward trend in new infections over the last month.

The state is now averaging about 138 new cases a day over the last seven days, comfortably below the state’s reopening target of 168 or fewer cases a day.

Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county, led New Mexico with 19 new infections Monday, followed by 10 cases in Doña Ana County.

The two fatalities pushed the statewide death toll to 747 residents since the pandemic hit New Mexico in March.

The victims reported Monday were both men — one in his 80s from Lea County, the other in his 60s from McKinley County. The younger man had an underlying health condition of some kind, a risk factor for the disease.

The decline in cases isn’t simply a result of less testing. The positivity rate in New Mexico’s virus testing has fallen to 2.1% over the seven-day period ending Aug. 19, the most recent figures released by the state.

New Mexico’s seven-day average of new virus cases has fallen dramatically over the last month, from an average of 330 cases in late July to 138 through Monday.

New Mexico remains in compliance with all of its reopening criteria — a set of standards on the spread of the disease, testing capacity, the supply of medical equipment and beds, and other factors.

The state’s public health order — banning indoor dining at restaurants, among other restrictions — is set to expire Friday, though state officials may extend or revise it.

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