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NM reports no new deaths, 44 more virus cases


In this photo Monday, the New Mexico Army National Guard’s Kayla Bransford, a private first class, processes a kit during the COVID-19 drive-up screening at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

SANTA FE – For the first time in two months, New Mexico announced no new coronavirus deaths Tuesday, leaving the statewide death toll unchanged at 807.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases, meanwhile, plunged to just 103 – less than a third of the peak in late July, when the state averaged about 330 new cases a day.

The good news comes as some of New Mexico’s public schools prepare to bring elementary students back to campus on a hybrid schedule that rotates in-person and online learning.

The last day without a new COVID-19 death reported to the public was July 5. At its peak in mid-May, the daily death toll was about 10.

The number of new cases detected by testing each day remains in decline, with just 44 new infections reported Tuesday. It pulled the seven-day rolling average down to 103 cases a day – a 23% decline over the last week alone.

The daily case totals haven’t been routinely that low since April, about a month after the pandemic reached New Mexico.

Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county, led the state with 22 cases Tuesday. No other county had even five cases.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials began relaxing New Mexico’s public health orders about 10 days ago. The state, for example, now allows indoor dining at restaurants and breweries at 25% capacity.

For now, New Mexico is in compliance with all of its reopening criteria but one – the number of coronavirus tests conducted per day. The state has averaged about 4,910 tests a day over the last week, just below the state’s goal of 5,000 tests.

But state health officials last week expressed little concern about the falling number of tests, contending that New Mexico is still doing well compared to other states.

New Mexico’s positivity rate – the share of tests that come back positive – remains well below the state’s target of 5%. The positivity rate for the most recent seven-day period was 2.4%.

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