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

Curry cases fall back to pre-November levels


Last updated 1/2/2021 at 1:38pm

December saw Curry County fall back to pre-November levels on COVID-19 infections, while Roosevelt County stayed mostly flat according to Department of Health reports in the past week.

Curry County recorded 848 new cases in December — just over half the 1,559 recorded in November and about 8% higher than the 782 recorded in October.

However, infection rates may be on the rise again. Curry County reported 96 positive COVID cases on Thursday and Friday, after averaging 27 cases per day the first 30 days of December.

In total, Roosevelt County saw 508 positive cases in December. That’s consistent with November’s 514 cases, and the two months have accounted for more than two-thirds of the county’s cases. Between March and October, Roosevelt County had 481 positive cases.

Roosevelt County reported COVID-related deaths on three consecutive days going into Saturday. It reported two deaths on Wednesday, two more on Thursday and one on Friday for a total of 28 since the pandemic began.

December was by far the deadliest month for the virus in Curry and Roosevelt counties. Curry County saw 24 COVID-related deaths in the last month of 2020, while Roosevelt saw 13. Curry County saw 21 COVID-related deaths from July through November; Roosevelt saw 14 from June through November.

The average age of area residents who've died from COVID is about 73 years. Two Curry County residents in their 30s were victims of the virus.

The region has seen 12 COVID-related deaths in the past week — six in Roosevelt County, three in Curry, two in Bailey and one in Quay.

Friday’s update from the state included 1,286 total new COVID-19 infections, with 54 in Curry County and 22 in Roosevelt County.

In other COVID-19 developments:

• All but one of New Mexico’s 33 counties remained in the red zone for reopening criteria on Wednesday, the latest two-week observation period. However, all but seven counties are showing improvements in cases per 100,000 residents and test positivity.

The state’s “red to green” model is based on the gating criteria of eight daily cases per 100,000 residents and test positivity at or below 5%. Counties that meet both are green, counties that meet one are yellow and counties that meet neither are red.

Roosevelt County was one of the counties shown as not improving, with 94.8 daily cases per 100,000 and test positivity of 26.25%.

Curry County was in the improving category, with 43 daily cases per 100,000 and test positivity of 15.3%.

There are no green counties, and Catron County — at 5.7 cases per 100,000 and 6.67% test positivity — is the only yellow county.

The next update is scheduled for Jan. 13.

• A total of 67 establishments were on the state’s Rapid Response Watchlist on Thursday, with two in Curry County and one in Roosevelt County.

The watchlist includes any establishment that has had multiple rapid responses in the last 14 days. A rapid response is initiated by the state after a business informs the state an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Rapid response measures include but are not limited to rapid testing of employees and location cleaning.

In Clovis, Interim Health Care had three rapid responses, and Bath and Body Works had two.

In Portales, La Casa Family Health Center had four rapid responses, down from seven earlier in the week.

An establishment that collects four rapid responses inside 14 days would be under consideration for a 14-day closure, but the state looks at each case on its own merits and has not closed any local establishment that has reached the threshold.

The state did not provide a watchlist update for the New Year’s Day holiday.


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