New Mexico reports 1-day record of 14 deaths - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico reports 1-day record of 14 deaths

In this file photo, Presbyterian medical staffers check a driver’s temperature at a COVID-19 testing site, following a spike in cases in the South Valley. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The state announced 14 additional deaths – a new record – related to COVID-19 as the daily case count stuck to near-record highs with 1,022 cases reported Wednesday.

Aside from setting a record, it also marks the fifth time over the past several days that the state has had a double-digit death toll.

The average over the past week is now at almost nine deaths a day and is fast approaching the highest it’s ever been, in mid-May, when there were just over 10 deaths a day.

The news comes alongside a slew of COVID-related closures in the Albuquerque area and health officials announcing a boost in testing across southern counties hit hardest by the virus.

Nora Meyers Sackett, a Governor’s Office spokeswoman, said almost all of those who died were hospitalized and had underlying conditions. Those who died were:

⋄ Two men in their 70s, two men in their 80s and a man in his 90s – all from Bernalillo County.

⋄ A man in his 50s from Cibola County.

⋄ Two men in their 80s and a woman in her 60s from Doña Ana County.

⋄ A man in his 70s from Doña Ana County who was a resident of the Casa de Oro Center facility in Las Cruces.

⋄ A man in his 70s from Luna County.

⋄ A man in his 90s from Sandoval County.

⋄ A woman in her 70s from San Juan County who was a resident of the Aztec Healthcare facility in Aztec.

⋄ A woman in her 80s from Socorro County.

There have now been 1,059 deaths from COVID-19 statewide.

The majority of new cases came out of Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties, with 266 and 197, respectively. There were also 53 in Eddy County, 53 in Lea County and 52 in San Juan County.

There were also upticks in new cases among inmates at state prisons with 12 reported at the Roswell Correctional Center, seven at the Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County and seven at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County, where 37 cases among inmates and 14 among staff were announced Tuesday.

Recent spikes of quadruple-digit case counts have pushed the seven-day rolling average weekly average to a high of 918 cases a day. This time last month the state announced 186 daily cases with an average of 233 cases a day.

Sackett said there are 393 people hospitalized with the virus, a number that may include out-of-state residents who are in New Mexico hospitals. She said 82% of general beds and 75% of intensive care unit beds at New Mexico hospitals are occupied.

There have now been 50,251 cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico, and of those, 22,274 people are designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

On Wednesday, the DOH announced a plan to boost testing in the southern part of the state as infections spike in many areas.

NMDOH spokeswoman Marisa Maez said the “Red to Green” surge will expand testing to drive down positivity rates and “turn ‘red’ counties to ‘green’ and restore the economy of the region.”

She said 12 new testing sites will open Thursday across southern counties – in Las Cruces, Clovis, Hobbs, Carlsbad, Portales, Socorro, Roswell, Ruidoso, Sunland Park, Hatch, Deming and Alamogordo.

“We are working around the clock to expand New Mexico’s testing capacity,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Testing in New Mexico has been and will always be free. It must be accessible and easy. We’re always working on improving that. And together we will beat back this awful virus.”

Meanwhile, Albuquerque shut down the ABQ BioPark Zoo and a popular city pool due to cases among employees, and Rio Rancho closed its police headquarters and municipal courthouse out of “an abundance of caution.”

Albuquerque officials announced the closure of the Highland Pool, until next Wednesday, after an employee caught the virus. A release from the city said the employee hadn’t been to work since last Thursday and had no “close contact” with swimmers.

“Lap swimmers with lane reservations will receive full refunds,” the release said.

Officials also said the zoo will be closed, without giving a reopen date, due to a guest services employee testing positive on Wednesday. A city release said the employee had no “close contact” with guests.

Rio Rancho officials said they were closing the police headquarters and Municipal Court on Thursday “until further notice.”

“During this time, emergency and non-emergency calls for service will still be responded to without interruption,” a city spokeswoman said in a news release.

The release said that any attorney cases will be canceled and continued at a later date but that video arraignments and bond hearings will be held “as normal.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » New Mexico reports 1-day record of 14 deaths

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