Over the weekend, New Mexico reported 46 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 237.
On Saturday, the state announced 17 additional positive tests for COVID-19. On Sunday, 29 additional positive tests were announced.
On Saturday, the following cases were announced:
- 11 new cases in Bernalillo County
- 3 new cases in Chaves County
- 1 new case in Doña Ana County
- 1 new case in Eddy County
- 1 new case in San Juan County
The state did not report new cases for Santa Fe County but the total number of cases did increase by one on that day. According to a news release, "county totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19."
The state reported four new cases for Santa Fe County on Sunday, bringing the total here to 24. The other new cases reported on Sunday were:
- 9 new cases in Bernalillo County
- 1 new case in Chaves County
- 2 new cases in Curry County
- 1 new case in Eddy County
- 4 new cases in McKinley County
- 4 new cases in San Juan County
- 3 new cases in Sandoval County
- 1 new case in Valencia County
A full county-by-county breakdown is available below.
Also on Saturday, the state announced another COVID-19 related death, a male in his 80s in Bernalillo County who died on Friday, March 27 who was hospitalized and had multiple chronic underlying health conditions.
As of Sunday, 22 individuals are hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals 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.
Over the weekend, the state also began reporting the number of individuals who have recovered from COVID-19: 26 as of Sunday.
SFR asked Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office for the criteria by which health officials are designating individuals with COVID-19 as recovered. New Mexico Human Services Department Director of Communications Jodi McGinnis Porter replied in writing that the state criteria "is based on CDC criteria and is specific to each patient. There are a number of variables to take into consideration for each COVID-19 patient, including time, symptoms and test results."
SFR also requested a county breakdown for recovered patients, but McGinnis Porter said she did not have that information.
SFR also asked for a state response to forecasting projections for New Mexico created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. According to IHME, New Mexico will reach its "peak resource use" at hospitals on April 25. That forecasts predicts a shortage of 121 Intensive Care Unit beds. The modeling also projects 513 COVID-19 deaths in the state by Aug. 4.
According to McGinnis-Porter, Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel appointed a Medical Advisory Team under the DOH Department Operations Center "…to maximize the preparedness of New Mexico's healthcare delivery system for the surge of COVID-19 cases here. The Modeling, Analytics, and Reporting team has studied over five models and is working to identify the best and worst case scenarios related to the COVID-19 surge. Many, but not all, of the ranges and best estimate numbers for over 12 variables that they have agreed upon are included in the UW model."
McGinnis Porter said she did not, however, have data on one of the variables about which SFR inquired, which was the IHME forecast that the state would need 128 invasive ventilators.
Noting New Mexico's low fatality rate—the state has recorded two deaths so far—McGinnis Porter writes that the Medical Advisory Team "believes that the aggressive actions described in the WA study and in our power to 'bend the curve' have been taken here in New Mexico: educational facilities were closed early, on March 12, and the stay at home order was published on March 18, putting NM as one of the leading states by doing all three of these within 8 days of the first case. These all improve the outlook for NM as calculated in the WA model."
The "most difficult question to answer," McGinnis Porter writes, is "'How many test positive COVID-19 cases will we have in NM?' Our modeling efforts have not gotten us to a final range of cases just yet, but we continue to work hard on this over the weekend. We'll continue to have more information moving forward."
Last week, Lujan Grisham requested the US Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed US Army combat support hospital to Albuquerque as a proactive measure.
On Sunday, New Mexico's congressional delegation wrote to the US Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency supporting that request.
"Despite proactive measures by state and local public health authorities to reduce community spread of COVID-19, this pandemic threatens to overwhelm the State's existing medical treatment facilities and resources by early April," reads the letter. "Although many hospital systems across the United States are feeling the strain of this public health emergency, New Mexico's limited capacity, particularly in the rural regions of our state, make our health care system especially vulnerable to being overwhelmed by this pandemic."
New Mexico COVID-19 breakdown by county
Bernalillo County: 101
Chaves County: 8
Cibola County: 2
Curry County: 3
Doña Ana County: 17
Eddy County: 4
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 9
Rio Arriba County: 2
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 18
San Juan County: 22
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 34
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 9
Valencia County: 2