With 126 additional COVID-19 cases, the state Department of Health announced the state now has 25,042 total confirmed cases of the disease.

DOH also announced three additional deaths related to the disease, bringing the total to 767.

The news comes as the state prepares to loosen some restrictions and plan for some children to return to partial in-person instruction next month.

Bernalillo County and Doña Ana County each led the newly reported cases with 22 each, followed by Chaves County with 16, Lea County with 14, San Juan County with 11 and Eddy County with 10. 

Bernalillo County has by far the largest population in the state, while Doña Ana County has the second-highest. 

DOH provided some details on the three newly reported deaths related to COVID-19.

A male in his 90s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque.A female in her 30s from Otero County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 80s from Quay County who had underlying conditions.

DOH, as usual, did not say which underlying condition any of the deceased had, only if one was present.

DOH also reported that there were 72 people hospitalized as of Friday for COVID-19, an increase of four people since Thursday. This could include those from outside the state who are hospitalized for COVID-19, but would not include New Mexicans who are hospitalized out of state.

The number of those designated as recovered from COVID-19 reached 12,679, an increase of 233 over Thursday’s announcement.

Gating criteria

The state updates most gating criteria on Fridays, and a day before some easing of restrictions goes into effect, the state fell behind another of the eight key criteria.

The state seeks to keep the spread rate at 1.05 or less on a ten-day rolling average. This is the average number of people a person who has contracted COVID-19 will infect, so anything above 1 means cases are increasing.

The Friday update pushed that number to 1.07, as of the latest available numbers on August 26, slightly above the state’s goal for the first time since mid-July. 

The state’s spread rate is above the goal in all regions except the northeast, with the Albuquerque Metro region leading with 1.23. 

At the same time, the seven-day rolling average of total cases by date of specimen collection is at 122, as of August 21, well under the state’s goal of 168 or fewer cases. The state uses the dates of specimen collection, which differ from the date reported, which are the numbers released each day by DOH.

When it comes to testing, the state remains well above its goal of conducting 5,000 tests per day on a seven-day rolling average, with 6,511 as of August 24.

The test positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that are positive out of the total tests conducted, is at 2.1 percent, well below the goal of 5 percent or fewer. Health officials have noted that New Mexico’s positivity rate remains well below most states, especially in the western part of the country.

Testing details

DOH reported 747,277 tests as of Friday, an increase of 6,911 over Thursday’s announced total.

The state also reported the total number of newly confirmed cases by county.

22 new cases in Bernalillo County16 new cases in Chaves County5 new cases in Curry County22 new cases in Doña Ana County10 new cases in Eddy County1 new case in Grant County14 new cases in Lea County2 new cases in Los Alamos County4 new cases in Luna County8 new cases in McKinley County1 new case in Otero County3 new cases in Roosevelt County2 new cases in Sandoval County11 new cases in San Juan County3 new cases in Santa Fe County2 new cases in Valencia County

The state also reported the total number of cases by county, including those on Friday.

DOH said three previously reported cases were identified as duplicates (one in each of Doña Ana, Lea and San Juan counties), and one previously reported case was not lab confirmed. These were removed.

A previously reported case in Otero County was later identified as a New Mexico Corrections Department inmate at the Otero County Prison Facility.

Bernalillo County: 5,743Catron County: 5Chaves County: 679Cibola County: 396Colfax County: 19Curry County: 660Doña Ana County: 2,793Eddy County: 476Grant County: 79Guadalupe County: 32Harding County: 2Hidalgo County: 97Lea County: 1,097Lincoln County: 166Los Alamos County: 27Luna County: 311McKinley County: 4,178Mora County: 6Otero County: 218Quay County: 60Rio Arriba County: 353Roosevelt County: 198Sandoval County: 1,236San Juan County: 3,177San Miguel County: 77Santa Fe County: 809Sierra County: 37Socorro County: 77Taos County: 115Torrance County: 63Union County: 31Valencia County: 506

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

DOH reported the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the following facilities:

Cibola County Correctional Center: 324Otero County Prison Facility: 280Otero County Processing Center: 159Torrance County Detention Facility: 44

DOH also reported the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by the New Mexico Corrections Department at the following facilities:

Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 28Lea County Correctional Facility: 4Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 1Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1Otero County Prison Facility: 473Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

There are 53 acute care or long-term care facilities with at least one staff or resident who tested positive for the disease within the last 28 days, according to DOH. This is an increase of three facilities from Thursday’s announcement.

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