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NM coronavirus case growth lowest since April

Renee Garcia loads up her car after shopping in Grants in this May file photo. New Mexico’s rolling average of new coronavirus cases has steadily decreased since peaking in late July. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s rolling average of new coronavirus cases hit its lowest point since April on Wednesday, even as state health officials reported six additional deaths linked to the virus.

Department of Health officials announced 92 new COVID-19 cases statewide, including two new cases at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas.

Those cases brought the state’s seven-day rolling average of new virus cases to 94, according to a Journal analysis. That’s down by nearly half from a month ago, when the rolling average was at 186 cases per day.

However, the state’s death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic has continued to go up, even as the state’s death and hospitalization rates remain below a mid-May peak.

The six whose deaths were reported Wednesday included three elderly Doña Ana County residents, one of whom was a nursing home resident.

The three others who died lived in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Lea counties. All had been hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.

A recent report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 94% of COVID-19 victims had at least one underlying health condition.

New Mexico has recorded similar data, with diabetes, heart disease and lung disease being among the most prevalent underlying conditions. The state’s coronavirus mortality rate also goes up as age increases.

Meanwhile, the state’s improved virus outlook recently prompted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration to relax certain business and travel restrictions, including allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining at limited capacity.

The state’s Public Education Department is also authorizing some school districts to resume in-person teaching for younger students, although some districts have opted to stick with a distance learning model for now.

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