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New Mexicans are some of the best in the nation at staying home, while Texans not as much

Map shows percentage of positive virus tests per state in the Southwest.

SANTA FE, New Mexico — Judging by the numbers, New Mexico is doing well when it comes to social distancing, while Texas not as much.

President Donald Trump this past week was quick to point out that some states are doing better than others.

“Some states they stay in better,” the President said. “They are not touching. Whatever it is, they are not going out and they don’t stay in groups. Some states are not as good for whatever reason.”

So, how do you determine if a state is doing well at social distancing? Dr. Deborah Birx, a renowned global health official who sits on the White House coronavirus task force, explained that states that have less than 5% of their virus tests coming in positive are doing well at social distancing.

“We have a whole group of states who are testing and their positivity rate is under 5%,” Brix said.

New Mexico is one of those states.

ABC affiliate KOAT looked at the data from states across the nation and found the Land of Enchantment has the lowest rate of people testing positive in the Southwest.

New Mexico’s rate was just 2.7%, while Texas by comparison was 9.2%. Among others in the region: Arizona was 7%, Colorado at 18.3%, Utah at 5.1%, and Oklahoma was 41%.

So why is New Mexico’s rate so low?

"(The state) put in the mechanisms early so people knew to state home,” said Jason Mitchell, the chief medical officer at Albuquerque's Presbyterian Hospital. “They closed down nonessential businesses. Those choices early on made a huge difference.”

But, Mitchell warned New Mexicans should not be celebrating and are far from being safe.

“Even if you are doing the best in the nation at social distancing this could still be catastrophic,” Mitchell said. “What we need to do is that whatever individuals are doing at home today, think about doubling that social distancing.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham acknowledges that New Mexico still needs to do more despite state’s rate of positive tests being one of the lowest in the country.

“I appreciate those measures, but we need to do more," Lujan Grisham said. “The second you let up… is an invitation to this virus.”

Health / News / Texas / Top Stories

ABC News



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