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

Positive cases in NM get near 300


April 1, 2020

The number of positive coronavirus cases in New Mexico neared 300 and the virus’ death total reached four in the state, health officials said on Monday.

The most recent deaths were a woman in her 90s and a woman in her 70s. Both died Monday in Bernalillo County, officials said. Both had an underlying medical condition.

Officials said 281 people had tested positive for the virus in New Mexico. On March 23, that total was 83.

Officials did not release information on the most recent Curry County residents reported as having tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Presbyterian Healthcare Services spokeswoman Amanda Schoenberg did say none of the three Curry County patients who’ve tested positive in the past week are hospitalized in Clovis.

Previously health officials had provided patients’ sex and age and additional information. That information was not provided for the two Curry County patients announced positive on Sunday.

“As we continue to collect more tests from around the state … there is a lot more information to be compiled and we want to make sure it’s 100% accurate. That’s why we’re not providing that specific patient info at this time,” said Department of Health spokesman David Morgan in an email.

“We do want to let everyone know about the additional positive cases in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience and understanding.”

State officials have said previously they will not release information about specific patients but will investigate “each positive case and (communicate) with those who the patient was in contact with.”

Positive cases in the Texas Panhandle and west Texas also are rising dramatically.

Lubbock County had 51 positive cases on Monday, compared to 41 on Sunday. Castro and Hockley counties — which include Dimmitt and Levelland — had a combined 15 positive cases on Monday, Texas health officials reported.

Texas reported 38 deaths from coronavirus as of Monday.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump pledged to get New Mexico a U.S. Army field hospital that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham requested.

Lujan Grisham last week asked the federal Department of Defense to set up a 248-bed U.S. Army field hospital in Albuquerque.

During a telephone conversation between Trump and governors on Monday, the president told Lujan Grisham that he would grant her request for the hospital.

“We’ll build you that hospital as quick as we can,” Trump told the governor, according to a transcript of the conversation obtained by CBS News. He also apparently directed aides to look into the issue.

That came after Lujan Grisham brought up the request and said her office had not yet received word on the hospital from U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.


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