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NM records 9 more virus deaths, 73 new cases


In this file photo from last week, Vangie Chavez wears a mask while getting into her car in Española. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico reported nine more coronavirus deaths – about twice the recent average – on Monday, pushing the total number of fatalities to 779.

But good news emerged on another front: Testing detecting just 73 new infections, continuing the state’s sharp downward trend in new cases.

Those whose deaths were announced Monday ranged in age from a Doña Ana County woman in her 40s to adults in their 80s from Bernalillo and Hidalgo counties. Four of the nine had an underlying medical condition of some kind, a risk factor for the disease.

The state has averaged 4.6 deaths a day over the past week, compared with a peak of 10.3 deaths a day in mid-May.

The number of new cases is also down. New Mexico’s seven-day rolling average now stands at 127 new cases a day – fewer than half the average from the beginning of the month.

The state averaged 288 cases a day in the week that ended Aug. 1.

In the seven days that ended Friday, the most recent period reported by the state, 2.3% of the virus tests in New Mexico came back positive. A month ago, the positivity rate exceeded 4%.

Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county, led New Mexico with 17 new cases Monday.

New Mexico remains in compliance with seven of its eight reopening criteria – a set of standards covering testing capacity, the supply of medical equipment and disease transmission rate.

The lone problem area is contact tracing, or how long it takes to ensure someone who may have been exposed to the disease is quarantined. But state health officials say they’re confident they can reach their goal in that category, too.

A new health order that took effect Saturday allowed restaurants and breweries to resume indoor dining at 25% of capacity and raised the limit on gatherings from five to 10 people.

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