State announces 239 new COVID-19 cases, no changes in public health orders
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 2:08pm
SANTA FE — New Mexico’s governor said the state’s gating criteria remains good overall Thursday, but did not announce any changes to existing public health orders.
The state reported 239 new positive COVID-19 tests Thursday, including 11 in Curry County and five in Roosevelt County. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham advised New Mexicans continue practicing mask wearing and social distancing.
“We don’t want anyone infected,” Lujan Grisham said. “We’re seeing chronic diseases, chronic conditions. Nobody wants COVID-19, even if you’re asymptomatic the whole time or you have very light symptoms. It is dangerous, people die and we’re seeing incredible issues.”
The governor advised anybody can get tested for COVID-19, but encouraged people who have any symptoms or have potentially been exposed to get tests.
The state reported a spread rate of 1.09, with a seven-day rolling average of 110 new cases and a 2.13% test positivity rate. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state has reported 28,224 positive COVID-19 cases, with 859 deaths and 15,825 recoveries.
Since Sept. 7, 65 schools have started operating in the hybrid model, with about 12,500 students back in classrooms part-time. While 71 positive COVID-19 cases were identified in students and staff since that date, 39 of those cases came from people engaging in remote learning.
Lujan Grisham said some results could be better, but praised public and private school leaders for following safe practices and learning from the issues other states had.
In other matters addressed during the briefing:
• The state will expand childcare access, with assistance available for anybody searching for a job, teleworking, studying online or enrolled in a graduate or post-graduate program. The assistance is based on income, with eligibility for up to 200% of the federal poverty level ($52,400 for a family of four), and a copay may be required. Enrollment is available at nmececd.org or 800-691-9067.
• Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver reminded residents to make sure their voter registration is up to date at nmvote.org. Absentee voting begins Oct. 6, the first day counties can mail those ballots. The final day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 20, and voters are advised to mail ballots back no later than Oct. 27. Early in person voting will be Oct. 17-31. The general election is Nov. 3, and anybody in line before 7 p.m. will be able to vote. Same-day voter registration is available in some circumstances at local county clerk offices, but not on Election Day.
“We are already seeing great enthusiasm among New Mexico voters,” Toulouse Oliver said, “and for me that is very exciting and gratifying.”
Toulouse Oliver noted that vote counting may continue after Election Day., particularly with a requirement to stop counting at 11 p.m. election night to avoid mistakes as a result of fatigue. “This is perfectly normal; it happens in every single election,” Toulouse Oliver said. “Election night results are unofficial for that reason.”