New Mexico COVID-19 Cases: 2,974

CDC awards $6.6 mil for diagnostic testing and contact tracing, while state officials caution public that current antibody tests are not FDA approved

Health officials today reported New Mexico 153 additional positive tests for COVID-19, bringing the state total to 2,974. San Juan, Bernalillo and McKinley counties accounted for the most new cases: 45, 44 and 43, respectively. Four new cases were reported for Santa Fe County.

The state also announced six new deaths related to the disease, also in San Juan, Bernalillo and McKinley counties, all of whom had been hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now 110. Details on new cases, statewide totals and new fatalities are listed at the end of this report.

As of today, 157 people are hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19*. The health department has designated 705 COVID-19 cases as recovered.

The latest case reports come as New Mexico's congressional delegation announces the state will be receiving more than $6.6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct more COVID-19 testing and contact tracing through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Currently, the state has 64 testing sites spread across all 33 counties and has close to 100 health workers who have spoken to more than 150,000 people as part of the state's contact tracing efforts.

Public health officials across the country have agreed that increased testing and contact tracing will be crucial factors in re-opening portions of the economy, a point US Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, made in a news release announcing the funds.

"We cannot rebuild our economy or return to normal life safely without drastically expanded testing and contact tracing across the country," Udall said, noting that while New Mexico "has been out in front on testing," the Trump administration's "lack of organization, coordination, and execution" is "unacceptable."

The funding covers diagnostic testing to determine who has the disease, but does not cover antibody testing, which theoretically might show people who have had it in the past. Flawed CDC tests and slow Federal Drug Administration approval slowed initial diagnostic testing across the country and supply chain issues continues to hamper capacity nationwide.

Antibody testing, on the other hand, has been rolled out by myriad companies without FDA approval, creating a new issue, which is lack of reliability. Scientists recently evaluated 14 of the tests on the market and found only three had reliable results.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, in speaking of antibody tests last week, said the state would be relying only on tests that were FDA approved and might work with the federal government to pilot both antibody tests and contact tracing efforts. According to Human Services Department Communications Director Jodi McGinnis Porter, via an email to SFR, the state is still awaiting "guidance on the federal pilot program and at this time I do not have any other information on plans for DOH purchasing any antibody testing materials themselves. However, the Scientific Laboratory Division of the Department of Health is in continuing negotiation with Abbott to purchase serologic test reagents when they become available and receive an [Emergency Use Authorization] from the FDA."

McGinnis Porter also says: "It is important to note that the level of antibodies needed to make someone immune from COVID-19 or how long the protection might last is still unknown" and that people should use caution purchasing antibody tests as the ones currently being marketed have not been approved by either the FDA or CDC. "A wrong test result could, for example, indicate individuals have immunity against the virus when they don't, potentially resulting in behavior that would endanger themselves, their families and every person that person comes into contact with," she writes.

While the health department is working on language for the general public on antibody tests and the state Medical Advisory Team has issued recommendations for health care providers on the use of the tests.

SFR also spoke with Human Services Secretary David Scrase who reiterated that the tests are not FDA approved, "they're not reliable yet and, particularly the in-home tests, I would not encourage people to buy."

New cases

  • 44 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 5 new cases in Cibola County
  • 1 new case in Curry County
  • 3 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 43 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Roosevelt County
  • 5 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 45 new cases in San Juan County
  • 4 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 1 new case in Socorro County
  • 1 new case in Torrance County

New fatalities

  • A female in her 70s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized, had underlying medical conditions and was a resident of Uptown Genesis in Albuquerque.
  • A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.
  • A male in his 30s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.
  • A female in her 80s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.
  • A second female in her 80s from McKinley County who hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.
  • A male in his 90s from San Juan County who was hospitalized, had underlying medical conditions and was a resident of Life Care Center in Farmington.

Congregate living facilities

The health department has identified positive COVID-19 cases in residents and/or staff at the following congregate living and acute care facilities:
  • Advanced Health Care of Albuquerque in Albuquerque
  • Aztec Health Care in Aztec
  • Beehive Homes in Farmington
  • Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington
  • Central Desert Behavioral Health in Albuquerque
  • La Vida Llena in Albuquerque
  • Legacy Santa Fe in Santa Fe
  • Life Care Center of Farmington in Farmington
  • Red Rocks Care Center in Gallup
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho
  • Uptown Genesis in Albuquerque
  • Wellbrook Rehabilitation Center in Farmington

Statewide cases

Previously reported numbers included one case in McKinley County and one case in Santa Fe County that were each determined to be duplicates. County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.
  • Bernalillo County: 738
  • Catron County: 1
  • Chaves County: 22
  • Cibola County: 46
  • Colfax County: 5
  • Curry County: 13
  • Doña Ana County: 129
  • Eddy County: 12
  • Grant County: 14
  • Guadalupe County: 13
  • Harding County: 1
  • Lea County: 10
  • Lincoln County: 2
  • Los Alamos County: 6
  • Luna County: 3
  • McKinley County: 820
  • Otero County: 4
  • Quay County: 4
  • Rio Arriba County: 14
  • Roosevelt County: 8
  • Sandoval County: 383
  • San Juan County: 508
  • San Miguel County: 2
  • Santa Fe County: 98
  • Socorro County: 41
  • Taos County: 17
  • Torrance County: 15
  • Union County: 3
  • Valencia County: 42

* According to the health department, hospitalization figures include people who tested positive for COVID-19 elsewhere but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but do not include people who tested positive here but are hospitalized out of state.

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