Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico reported 3,354 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, which marks a downturn from last week when the state set records with more than 6,000 cases on consecutive days.
The state also announced 25 additional deaths, bringing the toll to 6,317 since the start of the pandemic – which is about the same as the population of Taos or Aztec.
The deaths included a Bernalillo County man in his 20s and three men in their 30s. The Department of Health has reported that, in the past year, nearly 90% of the people who died weren’t vaccinated.
The state’s test positivity for the last week is at 30% and health officials have acknowledged that it can be difficult to find a COVID test. Bernalillo County announced Tuesday that it would be distributing free COVID tests at sites around the county beginning Wednesday.
New Mexico is in the midst of a surge of the highly contagious omicron variant. State health officials last week said they were hopeful the wave might be cresting and cases would fall by the end of this week or early next month.
Though New Mexico has been seeing a high number of new cases, deaths have not been following the same trend, which local health officials have said is preliminary evidence that the new variant is not as lethal as previous ones.
There was a slight uptick in hospitalizations, with 678 people hospitalized with COVID throughout the state Tuesday, up from 639 the day before.
Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous, has seen a high number of cases in recent days. The county accounted for 864 of the new cases reported Tuesday. In the past week, Bernalillo County has had 14,889 confirmed cases and 41 deaths, according to the CDC’s website.
On Tuesday, the county announced it had received 30,000 COVID tests that are available for free for local residents.
Tom Thorpe, a county spokesman, said the tests are intended for folks who live in ZIP codes with a high number of cases and high vulnerability, based on certain measures. The zip codes cover much of Downtown, Old Town, the South Valley, the International District, the West Side and Southeast Albuquerque.
Thorpe said the county will be giving out test kits in sets of four per household and they will not be checking addresses.
Here’s a list of locations where people can pick up a COVID test Monday through Friday:
n Los Padillas Community Center, 2117 Los Padillas SW, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• Mountain View Community Center, 201 Prosperity SE, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• South Valley Multipurpose Senior Center, 2008 Larrazolo SW, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• Westside Community Center, 1250 Isleta SW, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• Pajarito Mesa Community Building, 9550 Pajarito SW, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta SW, 10 a.m.-Noon.
• Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services, 5901 Zuni SE, 1-7 p.m.
• Bernalillo County Department of Housing, Bernalillo County Midtown Public Health Office, 2400 Wellesley NE, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Other locations where test kits may be picked up are:
• Casa del Rey, 2500 Corona NW, 505-342-2272
• Casa de Salud, 1608 Isleta SW, 505-907-8311
• Rio Bravo Senior Center, 3910 Isleta SW, 505-873-6647.