Virus cases still climbing in New Mexico & Las Cruces as state sticks with lockdown
SANTA FE, New Mexico -- New Mexico reported two new deaths across the state linked to the coronavirus pandemic as the number of people infected surged by 87 additional cases.
Among those new cases were two more in Doña Ana County for a total of 67, with just one death reported to date in the Las Cruces area.
Health officials said statewide deaths linked to Covid-19 increased to 53, with 1,798 people testing positive for the virus.
Of the more than 50 deaths total in the state, at least a dozen of those involve residents of La Vida Llena retirement facility in Albuquerque, which as a community accounts for over 500 of the confirmed cases in New Mexico.
The state attorney general told the Associated Press that operators of the retirement facility initially discouraged personnel from wearing personal protective equipment and did not warn medical providers in advance that patients from the retirement community had either tested positive or had been exposed to the virus.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has indicated she has no immediate plans to relax social distancing requirements or allow nonessential businesses to reopen, just days after President Donald Trump laid out a road map to gradually reopen the crippled U.S. economy.
State Republican Party officials are pressuring Lujan Grisham to relax some restrictions on small non-essential businesses.
Across the state line, Texas announced Friday it would ease restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, beginning next week with more retail sales via curbside pickup, a resumption of elective surgeries and restored access to some state parks.
New Mexico is among the top 10 states for coronavirus testing per capita — and has one of the lowest infection rates per test, according data provided by The Covid Tracking Project.
State health leaders said those who experience symptoms of infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their doctor or the New Mexico Department of Health hotline at 1-855-600-3453.
Below you can see county-by-county data for virus cases across New Mexico. The data comes from Johns Hopkins, so the numbers may vary from what's reported by the state health department.