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

State reports lowest average cases since March

No changes presented for current public health orders.


Last updated 9/10/2020 at 4:53pm

SANTA FE — State officials provided good news regarding COVID-19 infection rates Thursday, but did not present any public health order changes.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the virus is challenging and unfair, and that while congratulations are in order there’s still more work to do.

“I really do appreciate New Mexicans are making huge differences every single time,” Lujan Grisham said, “to a new normal and getting things reopened to the greatest degree possible until there’s a vaccine.”

The state reported a spread rate of 0.76 and 101 daily cases — its lowest rolling seven-day average since mid-March — and a test positivity rate of 2.3%.

Human Services Secretary David Scrase credited New Mexicans “for doing everything you’ve done to keep numbers down,” including limiting travel, wearing face coverings and frequently washing hands.

The state reported 161 new COVID-19 positive tests Thursday, including two in Curry County and five in Roosevelt County.

The state has announced a total of 26,429 cases with 14,120 recovered. Three new deaths moved the total to 816 for the state.

Scrase noted De Baca County had its first positive test Thursday, but noted the county has done a great job and a positive case “was going to happen sooner or later.”

Regarding public education, Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said the fact that many districts have started in-person learning is “only a product of the fact that so many New Mexicans have done so much work,” and said he owed personal thanks to all school employees from superintendents to teachers to food service workers and custodians.

Stewart noted the state set a “very high bar” for school districts to resume in-person instruction, including a re-entry plan approved by the Public Education Department and county data that includes test positivity at 5% or lower and less than eight daily cases per 100,000 residents.

Stewart noted the PED will share daily case updates on its website and with a daily case letter starting next week, and that group listening sessions will be created for Teacher Talk Tuesdays and Family & Friends Fridays.

Scrase said the state is optimistic for a less severe flu season because many of the COVID safeguards in place help prevent flu spread.

“The problem is, there’s almost no difference between (symptoms for) the flu and COVID,” Scrase said. “You are going to need medical attention. The only things that really differentiate COVID is it’s common to have shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell.”

We will provide a larger update in our Sunday edition.


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