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New Mexico’s governor reports nearly 500 virus cases & 10 deaths; Doña Ana County has 22 infected

SANTA FE, New Mexico -- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced New Mexico now has 495 coronavirus cases and added that 10 people have died.

The governor said New Mexico's demographics, with an aging population, pose a challenge which will require the state to work all the harder to contain the virus.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases across New Mexico rose by 93 on Friday, with one new infection reported in Doña Ana County - which now has a total of 22.

Among those new cases, according to health officials, were 18 residents of a retirement facility in Albuquerque. New Mexico suspended public access to assisted living facilities with few exceptions after the first coronavirus case in the state was detected in mid-March.

People over the age of 60 are more vulnerable to severe effects of the contagion, according to medical experts.

Friday's news conference also came amid word from the governor's office that it's working on a plan to soon release nonviolent inmates to reduce risk of a virus outbreak in the state's prisons and jails.

“The governor wants to find a way to get it done, and it will be done,” spokesman Tripp Stelnicki told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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