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CORONAVIRUS

Rate of COVID-19 spread declines in southwest New Mexico

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New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Landon said the rate of spread of COVID-19 has dropped in the southwest quadrant of the state that includes Doña Ana County (DAC). Speaking at the Las Cruces City Council’s Friday, May 15, special meeting, Landon said the rate of spread has dropped in southwest New Mexico from 1.33 – the highest of the five NMDOH regions – to 1.17 on May 13. The NMDOH target is 1.15, which New Mexico Human Services Department Sec. David Scrase said May 15 the state had reached. Landon said the higher rate of spread in southwest New Mexico is due in part to an increase in cases in southern DAC and Otero County facilities. He said DAC numbers are more difficult to track because it is adjacent to El Paso County, which has a higher COVID infection rate. Landon said the COVID-19 test is “generally a good test” and “covers all the known mutations.”

New Mexico had a COVID-19 positive rate of 4.7 percent on May 13, Landon said, putting it among the 10 U.S. states with the lowest positive percentages. Alaska was the lowest at 1.3 percent, he said; New Jersey was the highest at 32.5 percent; the U.S. rate was 14 percent. DAC’s current rate is three percent.