NM COVID-19 Cases Reach 136

Governor requests Army hospital be established in Albuquerque

Today, New Mexico reported 24 new instances of COVID-19, the most on a single day, bringing the state's total caseload to 136. No additional deaths have been reported. However, the state now has 13 hospitalizations, up from nine. Per a news release, those hospitalizations may include people who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. It does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

Santa Fe County has five new cases:

  • A male in his 30s
  • Two females in their 40s
  • A male in his 40s
  • A female in her 60s

SFR has requested more detailed information on the cases in Santa Fe County—now at 22—as  previous Health Department news releases did not include the ages or gender for two people identified as testing positive for the virus on March 21. Moreover, the state initially began reporting possible causes for those testing positive: the first three people identified in Santa Fe were known to have traveled to New York and Italy. That information no longer appears in the daily reports.

Health and Human Services Director Jodi McGinnis-Porter tells SFR via an email request for expanded information: "We're working around the clock to be accurate, consistent and expeditious in the information we are reporting. Our epidemiologists are focused on testing right now. We share what information we have when we have it."

The COVID Tracking Project, an online repository of states' cases spearheaded by Atlantic magazine journalists, also grades each state's data reporting practices. New Mexico currently receives an A for its data quality, which basically rates the reliability of each state reporting total testing, along with positives and negatives.

The rest of the cases reported today are:

Seven new cases in Bernalillo County:
  • A female in her 20s
  • A female in her 30s
  • A male in his 40s
  • A male in his 50s
  • Three males in their 60s
One new case in Chaves County:
  • A female in her 50s
Three new cases in Doña Ana County:
  • Three males in their 20s
Two new cases in Sandoval County:
  • A female in her 60s
  • A male in his 70s
Six new cases in San Juan County:
  • A female in her teens
  • A female in her 30s
  • A male in his 30s
  • A female in her 40s
  • A female in her 50s
  • A male in his 60s

The total statewide breakdown is as follows:

Bernalillo County: 55
Cibola County: 1
Chaves County: 4
Curry County: 1
Doña Ana County: 16
Eddy County: 1
Lea County: 1
McKinley County: 3
Rio Arriba County: 2
Sandoval County: 10
San Juan County: 14
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 22
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 3

Requesting help

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today also formally requested the US Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed US Army combat support hospital (CSH) to Albuquerque as a proactive measure.

“This CSH is urgently needed to support the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm our existing medical treatment facilities and resources,” Lujan Grisham wrote Wednesday in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
According to a new release, the governor made the request under a federal law that authorizes the US government to provide states with emergency medical assistance.

New fund for crisis

Lastly, the governor’s office announced a new fund established by the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations to help New Mexico respond to and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a news release, the All Together NM Fund will initially be used for:
  • Procurement of food and medical and cleaning supplies for at-risk communities
  • Support for childcare workers who are supporting our front-line employees
  • Grants to address income insecurity among smaller businesses and employees affected by COVID-19 disruptions
Later, the grant-making process will “shift to address income insecurity among affected workers and businesses and to fill gaps left by the government response. Finally, when the time comes, the fund will support recovery efforts.”
More than $1.1 million in pledges have been made by Ian and Sonnet McKinnon; Intel; Pattern Energy; Blattner Energy; and Tri State Generation and Transmission Association to seed the fund; the Santa Fe Community Foundation will administer it.
Donations to the fund will be tax-deductible and can be made through the website, http://www.AllTogetherNM.org.
New Mexicans currently are under stay-at-home rules per the state, which has detected community spread of the virus. People with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
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