The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

PRMC reports positive COVID-19 test


March 25, 2020

CLOVIS — COVID-19 has officially arrived in Clovis, where Plains Regional Medical Center reported a positive test on Monday.

Presbyterian Healthcare Services spokeswoman Amanda Schoenberg said the patient lives in Curry County and has been quarantined at home.

Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said he was contacted by the governor’s office on Tuesday morning and told the patient is a woman in her 50s. The virus is likely travel related, Pyle said.

Jodi McGinnis-Porter, communications director for New Mexico’s Human Services Department, wrote in an email Sunday that privacy laws prevent the release of individual health information. But she said health officials are “investigating each positive test case and communicating with those who the patient was in contact with.”

“The Department of Health may not release any identifying information about patients,” she said.

New Mexico had reported 100 confirmed cases as of late Tuesday afternoon. No one in the state had died from COVID-19.

Counties surrounding Curry and Roosevelt have also reported positive tests in recent days, including Lea and Chaves in New Mexico and Deaf Smith, Oldham, Castro and Hockley in the Texas Panhandle. Lubbock and Amarillo have both reported multiple cases since Monday. An Oldham County woman in her 30s, with underlying health conditions, died on Tuesday.

Presbyterian Healthcare officials also announced Tuesday that PRMC has tested 61 people for COVID-19, with just the one positive confirmed as of Tuesday morning.

Schoenberg wrote in an email that Dan C. Trigg hospital in Tucumcari, also a Presbyterian affiliate, has tested 16 patients with none positive as of Tuesday.

Officials with Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales declined to say how many tests they’ve administered, but said all have returned negative with four pending as of Tuesday.

Schoenberg responded to questions via email and said answers were provided by hospital officials. She said federal privacy laws prohibit disclosing whether there are patients with COVID-19 symptoms in Presbyterian hospitals, but said neither Clovis nor Tucumcari hospitals are overcrowded with patients.

“It is important to note that the vast majority of patients with COVID-19 do not require ICU-level of care. In about 80 percent of cases, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can recover at home and do not require hospitalizations. Only a small proportion of those requiring hospitalization will end up needing intensive care,” she wrote.

Cannon Air Force Base Wing Commander Col. Robert Masaitis on Monday night was the first to announce the positive test in “the immediate area” outside Cannon. He is issuing regular reports in videos posted on the Cannon Facebook page.

The colonel said Monday the patient is not an airman or Cannon dependent.

He said Cannon has 125 active-duty members in self-isolation due to “areas of concern” where they’ve traveled. And he announced the base would be further restricting access following Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s order on Monday afternoon that instructed state residents to remain in their homes “except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare.”

Schoenberg said Presbyterian offers free online and video screenings for COVID-19 “so members of the community can get screened from the comfort of their own home.”

Screenings include checking for symptoms, exposure to other individuals with COVID-19 and recent travel history and are required before testing can be authorized. The website is at:

Residents can also call the state Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.


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