COVID roundup: Area confirms 50 Monday cases
Last updated 12/1/2020 at 6:15pm
BY THE STAFF OF THE NEWS
CLOVIS — As New Mexico closes in on 100,000 COVID-19 cases, eastern New Mexico reported 121 new cases on Monday and Tuesday.
Monday’s report of 1,684 new cases statewide included 35 cases for Curry County and 15 for Roosevelt County.
A local COVID-19 death was also reported for each county — a Curry County female in her 50s and a Roosevelt County female in her 70s. Both were hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
Tuesday's report of 2,330 new cases included 50 Curry County cases, 21 Roosevelt County cases and five local deaths. Curry County deaths included a female in her 60s, a male in his 70s and two males in their 80s. All four were hospitalized with underlying conditions, and the female was a resident of Retirement Ranch in Clovis. The Roosevelt County death was a male in his 90s, with no indications of hospitalization or underlying conditions.
Curry County has now seen 25 COVID-19 deaths, with eight in November following six in October. The county recorded 1,559 cases, nearly half of its total 3,192 cases throughout the pandemic, over the month. The November case count was almost double the October case count of 782.
In Roosevelt County, there have been 15 COVID-19 deaths, with five each in November and October. The November total of 514 cases was more than half of the county’s total 995 cases since March 11.
The state has reported 1,589 deaths and 99,419 total cases through Tuesday, with 909 hospitalizations and a total 33,458 cases have been designated as recovered.
Plains Regional Medical Center, as of Tuesday morning, had 27 COVID-19 patients with six of them in intensive care. That’s down from 31 patients on Sunday, but up from five ICU patients.
In other COVID-19 developments:
• A total of 13 local establishments — 10 in Curry County, three in Roosevelt County — were on the state’s Rapid Response Watchlist on Tuesday.
The state initiates a rapid response when it learns of a positive COVID-19 case in a workplace. The Environment Department or the state agency initiating the rapid response will offer direction to establishments regarding testing, quarantining and isolating, disinfecting, and COVID-safe practices. Brief closures may be required in some cases.
An establishment that has four rapid responses inside of a 14-day period is reviewed by the state for a potential 14-day closure. New Mexico Environment Department Spokesperson Maddy Hayden has previously told The News reaching the threshold does not automatically mean closure, and the state evaluates on a case-by-case basis.
In Clovis, Southwest Cheese had reached six, Albertsons Market and BNSF Railways both reached four and seven others have reached two — the city administrative offices, Clovis Vision Associates, ENMR Plateau, Nick Griego and Sons, Walmart, La Casita Elementary and Zia Elementary.
Southwest Cheese has often been above the four, but has stayed open given its position as a large-scale food producer.
The Albertsons location in Clovis remains open, as all Albertsons locations in the state have made an agreement with the state on broader surveillance testing of staff and contact tracing. Through the agreement, Hayden said, any rapid responses initiated due to positive cases discovered through this surveillance testing will not count toward the four-or-more rapid response closure requirement.
Regarding the BNSF station, Hayden has previously told The News that while it reports the rapid responses, the department does not have the authority to mandate closures of an interstate operation like the railroad.
In Portales, establishments on the watchlist include Homespot Properties with three rapid responses and Roosevelt County Electric and Portales High School with two each.
• Clovis Municipal Schools has halted grab and go meal service at two locations, according to a district release.
The Clovis High School Freshman Academy meal site was halted until further notice due to a COVID-19 exposure, while the iAcademy service will be halted through the semester due to low participation.
The district has reopened meal sites at Yucca Middle School and Barry Elementary. Children can pick up meals at any participating district building regardless of attendance status with the district.
• The new public health order restricts close contact businesses, including gyms, in red counties to the smaller of 25% capacity or 10 customers. A representative for Planet Fitness in Clovis, however, confirmed to The News that all of its New Mexico locations are being considered under another category of retail business, and can operate with up to 75 customers as of today.