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NM tallies 137 cases, 2 more virus deaths

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In this file photo from Monday, the New Mexico Army National Guard’s Kayla Bransford, a private first class, tests a driver during the COVID-19 screening offered at at Expo New Mexico. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Chaves County in southeastern New Mexico led the state in new coronavirus infections for the second day in a row Friday, reporting 40 cases – more than twice as many as any other county.

The county, home to Roswell, has a population about one-tenth the size of that of Bernalillo County, which had just 13 cases Friday. Lea County reported 16 cases, the second-highest figure in the state.

Two of Friday’s cases were people held by federal agencies in Otero County.

But New Mexico’s overall infection levels remained within targets set by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration. The state reported 137 cases overall, pushing the seven-day average of new cases to 95 a day – just a fraction of the peak of 330 cases a day in late-July.

The state’s goal is an average of 168 cases or fewer a day.

Health officials on Friday reported two more virus fatalities, bringing the statewide death toll to 818 residents.

The latest fatalities were a woman in her 70s from Bernalillo County and a woman in her 30s from Lea County, both of whom had underlying medical conditions.

With Friday’s numbers, the state remains in compliance with all of its reopening criteria but one – how many tests are conducted each day.

New Mexico has done about 4,315 tests a day over the past week, a bit below the daily target of 5,000.

But the state is hitting its goals in other areas, such as the rate of disease transmission, prevalence of the disease and supply of medical equipment.

About 2.1% of the state’s tests are coming back positive, well below the goal of 5% or less.


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