news 3 days ago

Despite drop, COVID cases remain at record levels

Albuquerque Journal, N.M. — Matthew Reisen Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

Oct. 17-- Oct. 17--The state recorded 577 additional cases of COVID-19 and one death related to the virus on Saturday afternoon.

Dozens of those cases came from the Metropolitan Detention Center -- the largest jail in the state -- which is already reeling from hundreds of recent infections.

Jodi McGinnis Porter, a governor's office spokeswoman, announced one additional death: a woman in her 80s from Bernalillo County. The woman was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

Although it was the first time the daily case count had decreased after back-to-back record breaking totals, of 819 and 672, Saturday's numbers remain the third-highest total seen since the pandemic hit.

A relentless spike over the past week has also pushed the state's average to an unseen peak of 518 cases a day. This time last month the average was almost five times less -- 110 cases a day.

Those counties hit hardest with new cases include Bernalillo with 191, Doña Ana with 98, Eddy -- where a teenage girl recently died from COVID-19 -- with 36 and Curry with 35.

More than a third of the cases in Bernalillo stem from an ongoing outbreak at MDC.

MDC spokesman Julia Rivera said 62 new cases among inmates pushed the total number of active cases to 369 -- around 27% of the population.

There were also two new cases among MDC staff bringing that total to 45.

The virus has wreaked havoc on the facility with 405 cases in the past two weeks -- 85% of the 476 they've had since the pandemic began.

Amongst the outbreaks, hospitalizations have continued to trend upward.

There are currently 173 people hospitalized with the virus and 26 of them on ventilators. This time last month there were 69 people hospitalized with the virus.

McGinnis Porter said there are 19,853 people designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The state now stands at a total of 36,343 cases and 929 deaths related to the virus since the pandemic began.

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(c)2020 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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