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New virus case average falls, but death toll rises

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University of New Mexico pharmacists Stephanie Roller, left and Christina Kim mix doses of COVID-19 Vaccine during the the first official day on mass vaccination at the Pit on Wednesday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico continues to see its seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases go down, while its average for deaths goes up.

The state Department of Health on Thursday announced 997 new COVID-19 cases and 35 more deaths. It’s the sixth straight day the state has announced under 1,000 new cases.

The seven-day average for new cases was 898 on Thursday, down from 961 the day before. The average has continued to dip since reaching 1,398 on Jan. 11.

But the state’s seven-day average death toll has been climbing steadily over the past six days. On Thursday, the seven-day death average was 29.71, up from 28.86 the day before.

Bernalillo County reported 232 new COVID-19 cases, Doña Ana County had 125, McKinley County had 92 and San Juan County had 80.

There were also 10 new cases among state inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County and three new cases in federal detainees at the Cibola County Correctional Center, according to the Department of Health.

Those whose deaths were announced Thursday ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s. They included six people from San Juan County, five from both Bernalillo County and Santa Fe County, four each from Doña Ana County and Sandoval County, and three from McKinley County. New Mexico now tallies 3,044 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

As of Thursday, 644 people in the state were hospitalized with the disease, according to health officials.

Department of Health spokesman Matt Bieber said Wednesday that the state isn’t going to run out of COVID-19 vaccine, like other states have. More than three-quarters of the nearly 200,000 doses that have been delivered to the state have been administered, putting New Mexico among the top states when it comes to distribution rates.

New Mexico now has a total of 166,823 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 91,096 recoveries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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